Tampa Bay Rays (17 days until Opening Day)

With the Rays proposed stadium starting to feel like it could become a reality, we got to wondering when the new stadium might host a Major League All-Star game. The Rays are one of only three franchises that have never hosted the mid-summer classic, with the other two being the D-Back and the Marlins.

There have been 10 new stadiums opened in MLB since 1999. Of those stadiums, seven have already hosted an all-star game. Of the three new fields not to have hosted an all-star game yet, all three cities (Philly, San Diego, Cincinnati) have hosted the game in the last 20 years.

Including the Nats’ new stadium this year and the Rays’ new park in 2012, there are seven new stadiums scheduled to be opened in the next five years. The Yankees will host the game this year in the final year of Yankee Stadium so it will be a while for their new park. That leaves six parks that appear to be in line to host the all-star game.

According to the Biz of Baseball, the Angels will host in 2010, with the D-Backs following in 2011 and the Royals renovated stadium in 2012. Biz of Baseball is predicting the Mets new park to host in 2013. If this is true, 2014 will be the earliest the other five stadiums can host the game. 2026 seems like a logical year for the Nationals’ which would coincide with the 250th birthday of our nation.

Therefore if the Rays do indeed land a new stadium along the St. Pete waterfront, we can most likely expect the Major League Baseball all-star game to come to St. Pete for the first time as early as 2014 and no later than 2017.

2008-2013: Here’s the locations for the All-Star Game [Biz of Baseball]

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Jonny Gomes, Shirley Duncan and Melky Cabrera were each suspended for their roles in the rest bench-clearing incident. Gomes was hit with a 2-game suspension, while Duncan and Cabrera will sit out the first three games of teh regular season. Cabrera’s suspension comes as a surprise as he was not mentioned in any reports immediately after the incident. Word on the street is that Cabrera hit or punched Evan Longoria in the back of the head. [Fox Sports]
  • Because of the recent bad blood between the Rays and the Yankees, Joe Maddon has altered the team’s travel schedule. Maddon was originally schedule to attend the team’s split-squad game on Saturday in Orlando, but will now go to Tampa where the rest of the squad is facing the Yankees. Jonny Gomes will no longer be part of the group going to Tampa. [Tampa Bay Rays]
  • John Romanoof the St. Pete Times comes down pretty hard on Joe Girardi for being a hypocrite. [St. Pete Times]

The New York manager continues to tap dance his way around questions concerning Shelley Duncan’s spikes-high slide into Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura…Girardi tried to avoid the topic after Wednesday’s game, and then again 24 hours later. He said he still hasn’t seen a replay, despite video on ESPN, numerous newspaper Web sites and several YouTube posts….What’s disturbing here is that Girardi didn’t feel the need to wait before criticizing Johnson and Rays manager Joe Maddon last week. Back then, he used words like “disheartening” and “scary” and “uncalled for.”

  • Rays of Light debates the merits of signing Kenny Lofton to replace Rocco Baldelli. [Rays of Light]
  • Jayson Stark of ESPN.com looks at how Troy Percival went from semi-retired to signing a 2-year contract with the Rays and becoming their clubhouse leader and mentor to David Price. [ESPN]

…first, you need to understand that this isn’t only a story about Troy Percival, the pitcher. This is just as much about Troy Percival, as unique a member of the human species as you’ll ever run across in this life.

  • St. Pete Times’ writers look closer at a sponsorship agreement the Rays had with a local financier that went bankrupt. The Rays are now suing the group. [St. Pete Times]
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5 Comments

  1. Clayton says:

    Duncan should have gotten at least 5 games. At least.

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  2. Scot Gould says:

    In general, performance by a team during spring training means little. However today was a bit more important as we come closer to start of the new season. Key points from today's game:
    * Edwin Jackson continues to be Jackson
    * Both Litsch and Tallet, on whom the Rays teed off, are both quality pitchers with sub 4.00 era last year. (Tallet has been a solid middle reliever for the Jays for the past 2 years). This is positive news.

    Finally, since the Rays are now a smart organization and recognize that past performance is a key indicator of future performance - (and they should recognize primary factors (OBP, power, power pitching) and resist promoting secondary factors (speed)) I guess I don't see how Longoria will not be the regular 3Bman for the Rays. Could not the "lets see how he reacts to failure" quotes a ploy to put self imposed pressure on him now?

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  3. The Professor says:

    I agree Duncan should have gotten 5 games minimum, especially considering the comments before hand

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  4. The Professor says:

    scott, the longoria situation puzzles me a bit. certainly we don't see everything Longoria is doing but it sure sounds like he has done EVERYTHING that was asked and he is handling everything like a pro which is what they were looking for.

    as for Jackson, if you noticed we bumped Jackson down a notch in the roster projections. we always assumed he was a lock for a spot. not so much anymore. it may not happen, but i rellay see the Rays trying to trade jackson in the next two weeks. maybe pick up a relief pitcher and a backup outfielder.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Download the 2008 Devil Rays schedule into your Outlook, ical, or Google calendar at http://www.mysportscal.com

    Go D-Rays!!!

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