Tampa Bay Rays (21 days until Opening Day)

Yesterday: Reds 6, Tampa Bay Rays 4. Edwin Jacskon allowed all 6 runs in the second inning on 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 errors. Jackson retired the last 6 batters he faced in the 3rd and 4th and 5 other pitchers did not allow a hit in the final 5 frames including Troy Percival and Dan Wheeler who each pitched perfect innings. The Rays committed four errors on Sunday after committing only two in the first eight games. Dioner Navarro was 1-2 throwing out base stealers. Elliot Johnson started and led off, going 1-4 with a walk. He is now 6-13 (.462) with 3 walks (.563 OBP). Ben Zobrist started in left field and later played one inning in right field. He fielded two base hits, but made no put outs. Evan Longoria had a pinch hit double. Willy Aybar started at third going 0-2 with a walk. Reid Brignac started at short, batted 9th and went 1-3 with an RBI single.


  • Edwin Jackson may have lost his firm grip on one of the open spots in the rotation. Even though he was strong in the third and fourth inning, Joe Maddon says that Jackson must stay away from innings like the second and needs to find the strike zone better. This was classic Edwin Jackson. He looked dominating most of the game, but when things unravel for Jackson that unravel in a big way and he is bad enough in just one inning to lose a game. [St. Pete Times]

“Edwin Jackson today, really not sharp,” Maddon said. “That’s the kind of performance he’s got to stay away from. Better strike throwing, better quality pitches – we need to get that out of him. More like he did in that six- or seven-game stretch last year during the season. … I just want to see a little bit more direction within the strike zone.”

  • JP Howell and Andy Sonnanstine are both expected to start games in the near future…Despite looking so well so early, Brian Anderson will start season in the minors with hopes of being in the majors within a month or two. [Herald Tribune]
  • Scott Kazmir will throw a bullpen session today and is expected to make his spring debut on Saturday against the Yankees. Joe Maddon noted that it was still possible for Kazmir to be ready to throw on opening day, but that they need to remain flexible and consider what is best for Kaz and for the team. [Tampa Bay Rays]
  • Hidden behind the “Insider” wall of ESPN.com, Peter Gammons names Evan Longoria as #3 on the list of the “Grapefruit League’s eight to watch”. [ESPN]

Maybe the Rays will send him down to Triple-A to start the season because of concerns of him being a “Super Two” player after the 2009 season, but Longoria should open the season and be an instant impact star. His hands are remarkable, and scouts believe he can hit 30 home runs as a rookie, in the middle of a lineup with B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. Think of that Long Beach State shortstop succession, from Bobby Crosby to Troy Tulowitzki to Longoria, who will play third for the Rays.

  • Brittany Ghiroli takes a look at Jason Bartlett’s adjustments to his new team and new environment. In addition to learning Japanese to help the communication between himself and his new double play partner, Akinori Iwamura, and tinkering with his swing Bartlett has been a calming influence on the emotional Matt Garza. [MLB]
  • Great line from Joe Maddon about David Price…After making a recent joke at Troy Percival’s expense, the closer responded by sticking large pictures of himself to Price’s BMW. When asked if Price had the “inner fortitude” to respond, Maddon stated that “he has the inner intelligence to not”. [Tampa Bay Rays]
  • Yankees Chick has a poll going on the morality of playing hard in spring training…On a Yankees blog…two days after one of their players is hurt by a completely legal and regular occurring baseball play…Let’s just say it is not the most scientific poll ever. [Yankees Chick]
  • In an effort to ease our stress levels this morning, we will not be posting links to every Yankees blog that is crying over a play in which Yankees fans would be the first to laugh it had happened to another team. Instead, we gave you the silly poll above and now for balance and sense of Fen Shui we will now give you the point of view of Red Sox Chick, which we can sum up in three sentences…”Does new Joe realize that he’s making the Yankees look like whiny babies and the Rays look like tough guys? Is this the direction he wants to take the team? Or is he just enjoying being a hypocrite this early in his new job?” Couldn’t have written it better ourselves. [Red Sox Chick]
  • Sports Indeed takes Rays Anatomy to task for backing Joe Girardi’s comments…An outsider might raise an eyebrow or think a writer is trying to take an unbiased point of view. Neither are true. The lead writer for Rays Anatomy writes through pinstripe-tinted glasses. He is a Yankees fan. [Sports Indeed]
  • When asked if he would still brush a batter back in spring training if the situation called for it, Joba Chamberlain said “You have to. If you don’t, that’s the time you get hurt, when you’re not doing .everything you would normally do.“…Sounds like Joe Girardi needs to have a talk with his own players. [Newsday]
  • Oh yeah, and in case you missed it, DRG came down pretty hard on the Evil Empire yesterday. [Rays Index]
  • River Ave. Blues ranks the best skills in the AL East. [River Ave. Blues]


  1. Robert Rittner says:

    River Avenue Blues is a good site, ranking just behind Bronx Banter among the Yankee sites I visit. He establishes a pretty representative list.

    Perhaps Upton''s outfield arm could have snuck into his list, but I can't argue with the ones he chose or with suggestions others gave in the comments. I also think that under command and control, he might have considered Shields and Sonnanstine, but again, his list is legitimate, and given Shields's gopheritis and Sonnanstine's small sample size, no complaint there either.

    On the other hand, very nice to see Friedman get some attention, and Maddon as well.

    Interesting that he does not have any catcher skills ranked.

  2. Jules Winnfield says:

    I'm a writer for Rays Anatomy and I just want to say that Sports Indeed didn't take the website to task, they took one writer to task. Eric has his own thoughts and opinions and they don't represent everyone on the site. And he didn't write it on our site, he left it in the comments of another Rays blog. Don't go spreading hate like that if you don't have all the facts.

  3. The Professor says:

    fact.Eric is the lead writer for Rays Anatomy

    fact. Eric is a Yankees fan.

    fact. since taking over the MVN Rays blog, Eric has written almost every post, only recently being joined by two other writers.

    fact. you are not listed as one of the writers at Rays Anatomy

    fact. Eric posts comments on the other Rays websites under the guise as a writer for Rays Anatomy

    fact. Eric is biased in his account of Joe Girardi's comments.

    what other facts do i need? and there was no hate. I was just setting the record straight. lots of people were surprised that a Rays Blogger would make those comments. While Eric has made it clear on his blog that he is a Yankees fan, he did not in his comments and that left some people confused. I was just making sure everybody had their "facts" straight.

  4. Michael Connell says:

    The lead writer for Rays Anatomy writes through pinstripe-tinted glasses. He is a Yankees fan

    are you fucking serious Jules? He said "the lead writer". what exactly is your problem? get YOUR facts straight.

  5. Big Mike says:

    and the title of the post at Sports Indeed is "We Are Calling Out Rays Anatomy". So Cork's statement that "Sports Indeed takes Rays Anatomy to task" was also correct.

    keep up the good work Cork.

  6. Tommy R. says:

    All of this is Elliot Johnson's Fault, he is the DEVIL ray./sarcasm>

    Really it's not a big deal Eric has his own opinion, myself and Erik with a K don't agree, but that's the point of open forums/blogs, to have a place for your opinion.

    We read all the other Rays blogs and everybody has their own views and beliefs. As you can see even within a blog the writers can have different opinions of the same situation.

    People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out

  7. The Professor says:

    sounds to me like your issue is with Sports Indeed. All we did was report what they did and explain where Eric is coming from.

    We did not "take Rays Anatomy" to task. but if you go back and read Sports Indeed's headline. They did.

  8. Possum Avenger says:

    I am the guy who wrote the post on sports indeed (I sign my posts PA) -- sorry you all had to comment here -- our comment section is in disarray and currently unavailable (I know nothing about the technical side of the website, but we will try to get that back up and functional as soon as possible). It's not that I am trying to hide from what I said.

    I realize that there are three writers for rays anatomy, but the guy who started it is a Yankees fan (as Cork said). I will put up a post saying that the other two writers aren't fans, but the fact that the guy who is the lead writer for Rays Anatomy is a Yankees fan still puts the whole website in a different light to me. I would rather get my "blog reading" from sites that only have Rays fans working for them, not a mixture of both. It is a serious compromise of interests in my opinion.

    From what I understand the other two Rays Anatomy writers have their own website at Outs Per Swing. Although the names don't match up correctly, from what I understand they are the same people. Please correct me if I am wrong. From what I remember from the first post at OPS they are also both staunch, long-time Rays fans. This is good. I will continue to link to Outs per Swing. But why would you guys go write for MVN and Eric when you could just have your own blog that only has Rays writers? Is MVN really paying you that much? By writing with him it taints everything you say, in my opinion. Nothing against you guys in particular -- Tommy and Erik -- but you have to understand that you brought this on yourself when you signed on to write for a Rays blog run by a dude who is a Yankees fan.

    That's just my opinion though. I will still read Outs per Swing and probably even Rays Anatomy, but anything written by Eric S. will be taken with a big grain of salt. I am not even saying other people shouldn't read rays Anatomy, just that they need to be aware of the bias (site is run by a Yankees fan) and how this bias could show through at any time.

    I apologize for lumping all you guys together, but everything I wrote in the post was factually accurate. And I still think it was unwise to start writing for a Rays blog run by a Yankees fan.

  9. Tommy R. says:

    PA, you are correct Erik and I run OPS as well even though the names don't match up. When we started our first blogs we just used fictional names, but when we joined MVN just used our real names.

    The reason we joined MVN wasn't about money, We just saw another way to get our stories out to the masses. While we're sure most Rays fans read the same blogs already, MVN puts our work out there for some other readers who may not be Rays fans, but happen to see our story on a sidebar and decide to read it.

    Also Eric does not "run" Rays Anatomy. MVN has final say over all content and each story and its content is chosen and written by the individual writers. I don't have to run anything by Eric for approval, he doesn't tell me what I can or can't write. And the same is for him and Erik as well. They write their own stories. Eric has been there longer and we do exchange ideas between the three of us as a courtesy to each other, but truly we are three independent writers writing for the same blog. So to me it really doesn't taint our work. I don't think it taints Keith Law work because he writes on the same site as Steve Phillips. I'm not comparing myself to Keith Law or Eric to Phillips, but you get my point.

    As for the Part about him being a Yankee fan, Most Rays fans were fans of other teams before the Rays. It's only natural for a team that has been around 11 years and Fans who've loved the game for longer.

    I respect your opinion if you choose not to read Rays Anatomy, or Eric's work, or whatever you choose. That is the wonderful things about blogs is it is not something put in front of your face like ESPN.

    Also, apologies to Cork and RI for hi-jacking this post. This will be my final post on this topic.

  10. Robert Rittner says:

    I dislike ad hominem arguments. I can understand being more suspicious knowing the perspective of a particular writer, and I can understand reading what said writer posts more carefully and critically.

    But in the end, the only thing that matters is whether his opinions are supported by information and logic and whether they reflect valid assumptions.

    As it happens, I disagree with Eric on this issue, but his writing at Anatomy is thoughtful and informative. And even in this case, while I disagree, I think his point of view is worth considering, regardless of which team he roots for. I also think it entirely possible for people to rise above their personal rooting interest when they analyze or evaluate. In fact, with intelligent and honest people, I think it is common to do so.

    Focusing on the person instead of the argument is lazy thinking. If a congenital liar tells you that 2=2=4 while a known truth- teller informs you that it is 5, it does not change the fact itself.


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