Journalists are afraid to ask a “yes or no” question. This is not meant as a knock on the media. They are trained to only ever ask open-ended questions (questions that require more than a one-word answer), as it is difficult to generate quotes for a story if all the questions are answered with one word.

Unfortunately open-ended questions are flawed. Today’s sports personalities are conditioned to respond with evasive, cliche-filled, non-answers. The only way to pin these athletes/coaches/personnel down to a solid answer is to ask the close-ended question and demand an answer.

Here are 10 ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions that the local media are afraid to ask but we as Rays fans want answered…

  • For Andrew Friedman:
    1. If the Tampa Bay Rays could fit Barry Bonds within the financial framework of the organization, is he a player the Rays would consider signing?
    2. Will David Price pitch in Spring Training games?
    3. Will David Price start any Spring Training games?
    4. Are you concerned that Juan Salas‘ 2007 suspension will keep him from obtaining a visa to come to the U.S.?
    5. Have teams contacted you recently about the availability of Joel Guzman or Willy Aybar, in anticipation of Evan Longoria making the squad?
  • For Joe Maddon:
    1. You recently made comments about not giving the players as much rope in 2008. You made similar comments prior to last season. Do you feel you were too easy on the players in 2007?
    2. Will one of the final two spots in the bullpen come from the five pitchers competing for the final two spots in the rotation?
    3. If the season opened tomorrow, would Scott Dohmann have a spot in the bullpen?
    4. Will BJ Upton get work at any position other than center field this Spring?
    5. Do you consider Rocco Baldelli to be the backup center fielder?
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7 Comments

  1. Robert Rittner says:

    * For Andrew Friedman:

    1. If the Tampa Bay Rays could fit Barry Bonds within the financial framework of the organization, is he a player the Rays would consider signing?
    2. Will David Price pitch in Spring Training games?
    3. Will David Price start any Spring Training games?
    4. Are you concerned that Juan Salas' 2007 suspension will keep him from obtaining a visa to come to the U.S.?
    5. Have teams contacted you recently about the availability of Joel Guzman or Willy Aybar, in anticipation of Evan Longoria making the squad?

    * For Joe Maddon:

    1. You recently made comments about not giving the players as much rope in 2008. You made similar comments prior to last season. Do you feel you were too easy on the players in 2007?
    2. Will one of the final two spots in the bullpen come from the five pitchers competing for the final two spots in the rotation?
    3. If the season opened tomorrow, would Scott Dohmann have a spot in the bullpen?
    4. Will BJ Upton get work at any position other than center field this Spring?
    5. Do you consider Rocco Baldelli to be the backup center fielder?
    ____________________________
    I will save you time and give you their answers.
    Friedman:
    1. It is a non-issue. We do not discuss such matters unless an agreement is reached. We have had no discussions with Bonds or his agent, so I have no response.

    2. That depends on what Joe sees in the training sessions.

    3. Ditto #2

    4. We are working on trying to expedite matters but have no idea right now when the problem will be resolved. We hope the young man gets here in time to compete for a spot on the team.

    5. We never comment about trade offers unless a trade is actually made. We are pleased to have both players and think they can contribute whether Longoria starts the season in TB or not.

    Maddon:
    1. No. Developing discipline, especially in young players, is an ongoing affair. We saw significant improvement in 2007 and expect even more maturity in 2008.

    2. It is much too early to tell. There is a lot of pitching talent in camp; we will try to take the best pitching staff north when camp breaks.

    3. Dohmann has a very good chance of being in our bullpen this year. He showed real progress last year. I do not make decisions about the staff in the first week of camp. There is a lot of healthy competition yet to come.

    4. No. B.J. is our center fielder. He showed us he could handle the job, and we expect him to be a star there for years to come.

    5. If Rocco is healthy, he is our right fielder and could back up Upton in CF.

    Speaking now for myself, I am not sure why you would want to ask about Dohmann now. Is it a trick question intended to allow you to infer something else? Why would any manager declare someone has a spot now when it is a position we all know is up for grabs. It is one thing to designate Percival, Reyes, Wheeler and Miller. They are here because they have jobs. And apparently he likes Glover enough to designate him as well. But if he did not already declare Dohmann on the team, why would he do it before even one game?

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  2. stunna says:

    Now ESPN and Yahoo are reporting about the Rays possibly signing Bonds. It's all over the headlines. This is getting ridiculous. Anyone who knows anything about the Rays knows that this will never ever ever ever happen.

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  3. The Professor says:

    Robert, I am not going to argue semantics on every point. But my biggest beef is...with games starting in less than a week, do you honestly think the team hasn't yet decided whether or not David Price will pitch in Spring games?

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  4. Robert Rittner says:

    They probably have and he likely would tell you, although my guess is Maddon would be the one to ask. I am curious about the purpose of that question too, though. Is it to determine what is in store for Price this year? If so, why not ask that? Or is it simply to get a heads up on how long he will be kept in the major league camp? In either case, it is interesting to know the answer but I am not sure it tells us much about their intentions with Price that we do not already know.

    The one thing I doubt anyone will commit to is whether Price is on a fast track to TB. In various forms, that question has been asked, and the answer is they will do what is best for him based on his performance and their observations. I would like to know if he will begin the year at Vero or Montgomery, but that is so I can plan my minor league trips sooner.

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  5. Syar Og says:

    I believe David Price is 100% on the Fast track, but the only one who decides the how fast he moves on the track is David Price himself. If he dominates like lets say a Tim Lincecum, he will be up by August. They have said from the begiing he was the most Major league ready in the draft, although that means alot of things, if he dominates AA, they will move him to AAA, if he dominates there they will move him up.
    The only thing i see preventing this is if Neiman /jackson Sonnastine, 2 of three are playing great baseball , and Rays are competing for a wildcard spot. Because than there will be a jogjam, and price no matter how well he is pitching may have to wait for 2009.

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  6. Syar Og says:

    however, if they are competing for a wildcard spot and all 5 pitcher are throwing well and david price is dominating, (obviousily a perfect storm aka a carl crawford), I would not be surprised to see david price throwing out of the bullpen, in a job chaberlain type situation. This would do 2 things solidify a bullpen down the stretch and keep the pressure on the 5th starter.

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  7. The Professor says:

    The other thing to consider is 2009. If the Rays are convinced that Price is a key piece for a 2009 playoff run, then they may want Price in the majors this September to get his feet wet.

    I have actually argued before that Jake McGee would make a perfect "Joba Chmberlain", but Price could be that guy also. Ultimately, I think we will see one of McGee, Davis, Price in a set-up role, now that teams are seeing how important that player can be.

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