Tampa Bay Rays (34 days until Opening Day)

What could possibly knock the Barry Bonds non-story from above-the-fold. Hmmmm? What could possibly be a bigger story than that? What is THIS?

Rays ace Scott Kazmir will have an MRI exam on his left elbow this afternoon after feeling discomfort while warming up on the mound during today’s intrasquad game.

WHAT THE [several explicatives deleted]!?!?!?!? Excuse us while we go curl up in the corner in fetal position mumbling incoherently…

But wait…It might not be so bad after all.

“We did all the strength tests and everything and he said I had great strength, and I didn’t feel one thing,” said Kazmir. “That’s always a good sign.”

And could this actually be a blessing in disguise…Scott?

“It was just a little scary because I’ve never felt it before,” he said. “But after I talked with Ron and we did some strength tests, I felt confident that we’ll be all right. Just got to check it out just to make sure.”

Little nervous are we? Maybe you want to reconsider that long-term extension after all.

Kazmir headed for MRI [Rays Report]

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Oh yeah. At the bottom of the same story, David Price experienced stiffness in his throwing shoulder, but it does not sound serious. [Rays Report]

He’ll be checked out again tomorrow to see if his work schedule needs to be pushed back, but Joe Maddon said there was nothing to worry about. “He’s fine,” said Maddon.

  • Stuart Sternberg acknowledged that the Rays may back off of their stadium proposal if the sale of Tropicana Field does not generate as much revenue as the team has projected. Sternberg also stated that he told Andrew Friedman not to consider the fate of the stadium when making trades and signings this off-season even though more wins will certainly help push the proposal through. [Bradenton Herald]

“What I try to do and what I’ve instilled in the organization . . . is remove as many variables as I can from any equation. I said to them immediately, just take the stadium out of it because If you don’t, you’re just going to end up driving yourself crazy and what you start to do is to say, ‘Were only trying to win for that reason’ or, ‘Lets try to win a few extra games to get some votes.’ We just removed that immediately and we don’t have to think about it…There are a lot of factors we can’t control. Yes, we can help control the wins a little bit, but quite frankly is there a lot we can do to help us win a ton more games? If you win three or five more games is that going to make the difference at the voting booth? I doubt it. I would hope and I think that people see past that a little bit. I think if you win 53 games and were shedding payroll and were doing some bad things, that’s a bad thing. But the economy is certainly an issue. How do people look at it? There’s so many variables that I just try to remove as many as possible whenever I make a decision.”

  • Stuart Sternberg also rekindled his 2007 goal of 50 home wins (The Rays went 37-44 at home in 2007). Seven teams won 50 home games in 2007. Six of those teams went to the playoffs. He also stated that he thinks this team could make the playoffs if they stay healthy and everybody plays to their potential. [Rays Report]

“What I would love to have happen, you don’t know October is going to look like, but you’d like to get well into the summer, into August and see that the guys are performing real well and that you’re within at least shouting distance and that you’re making some noise, making some trouble. If we can stay out of a bad stretch like we did last year, we had a real rough spot in July, I think that’s very possible.”

  • We already got a look at how Baseball America ranked the Rays top prospects. Now we get to see how those guys stack-up against the rest of the prospects in baseball with BA’s “Top 100 Prospects”. Four Rays are in the Top 20, including Evan Longoria (2), David Price (10), Jake McGee (15) and Wade Davis (17). Reid Brignac (39), Desmond Jennings (59) and Jeff Niemann (99) also made the list. [Baseball America]
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3 Comments

  1. Ben says:

    If the rays don't get as much as they would like from the tropicana redevelopment, would they ever consider building a cheaper stadium? I've just been reading up on the cost of some other newer stadiums such as chase field and PNC park, and they are both seat about 10,000 more than the rays are looking at.

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  2. The Professor says:

    that is the logical next question that nobody seemed to ask. I think Sternberg would probably tell you that they are going to play this one out until they get a final decision before making new plans. but eventually the team is going to want a new stadium. my guess is that they will start talking about the "need to move"

    In the end. I think this stadium will get done one way or another. right now it is just posturing from both sides.

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  3. Ben says:

    Right, because it would take to much money to move the team before the lease with the city is up and if they are willing to wait most likely a new deal could be hammered out for a stadium.

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