DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Another day, another feature piece on the Rays in the New York Times. This time they take a look at the staying power of the team in the AL East, noting that core of the team could be unchanged in 2009 and beyond. However, Gerry Hunsicker reiterated that due to financial limitations, the team is always “trying to trade people a year too soon than a year too late.”. The piece also speculates that Scott Kazmir could be traded along with one or more of the arbitration-eligible players (Edwin Jackson?)…In the piece it is indicated that the Rays likely turned a profit for the first time under Stuart Sternberg thanks to reaching the World Series. [New York Times]
  • Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald says the Rays have “started – and are winning – a war for supremacy with the Red Sox” in the AL East and that the rivalry between the Sox and Yankees has been put on ice for now. Silverman says the Rays are good for baseball and refreshing for the Red Sox. [Boston Herald]
  • Eric Hinske gets to face Brad Lidge again. They are in a Fantasy Football league together. Seriously. [Fanhouse]
  • There is a rally tentatively scheduled for 4:30pm on Friday at Straub Park in St. Pete. [MLB]
  • We wish we could have muted Tim McCarver and Joe Buck and instead listened to Sully’s wife. She had more insight…Speaking of which, did any of you watching on TV know that Jason Bartlett ran through a stop sign in the 7th inning? Us neither. We listened to Dave Wills call during the Rays’ radio broadcast and indicates that Bartlett indeed ran through a stop sign. Of course we never saw replay from FOX TV and McCarver and Buck never even bring the issue up. [Sully Baseball]
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN takes a look at what the World Series means for the Rays moving forward and how this is a team that could be better next year. [ESPN]
  • Jon Heyman says there was no disappointment, anger or bitterness in the Rays locker room following their game 5 loss…There is a part of us that wished the Rays had taken the World Series loss a little tougher. But then again, this is what has been great about the Rays all season. They are able to get over losses very quickly and move forward. [SI.com]
  • Jordi over at The Serious Tip opens up about what the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays meant to him. [The Serious Tip]
  • Will never happen. NEV-er. [Chicago Tribune]
  • A Joe Maddon pumpkin? Wow. That’s all we got. Wow. [The Heater]
  • Mike Wlodarczyk is blogging from the Arizona Fall League. [Rays Prospects]
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25 Comments

  1. DirtbagFan says:

    Much like Jordi I feel like I owe the Rays something.
    Usually in sports fans take a selfish standpoint, believing that their team owes them something, but in the case of the 2008 Rays- it's different, dare I say- special.

    I feel like the Rays gave me something, and now I owe them.

    And now, as non-masculine as it may seem, I'm sort of depressed.

    I feel as if an old girlfriend has just broke up with me and my entire routine is going to have to change... I liked it the old way, I'm not ready for it to change.

    The Lightning/Steelers (I was born near Pittsburgh) are my new "girlfriends" for now, but for any team (including the '09 Rays) its gonna be hard -nearly impossible- to live up to my "2008 girlfriend", she was the "one who got away"...

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  2. Hazleton Jason says:

    I'd like to see the Rays trade for Hermida or Willingham from Florida

    My choice for DH though is Adam Dunn, instant HR threat= better pitches for Upton and Pena and Longoria to hit

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  3. Joe D says:

    With his strong arm, good range, and potential to be a regular power threat I could see BJ Upton filling the RF role. Sounds Crazy I know, but with Fernando Perez possibly being even faster than Upton, and I think that Perez has more of a CF arm then RF arm.

    Then with Desmond Jennings suposedly in the cards for the Rays future, Upton in Right could fill a huge hole in the lineup and be a gold glove caliper RF, and free up room in CF for some prospects.

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  4. Voice of Reason says:

    I voted Gross/Baldelli, but it's not really an accurate depiction of what I'd like to see. I'd prefer that Baldelli find a way to handle the day to day well and be healthy, because I feel that given a consistent routine at the plate he could regain the hitting form we all remember.

    Should that fail to happen I think Perez could be a serviceable replacement, though I hesitate to declare him ready to perform throughout the full season given the short sample we've seen to date.

    All told I think if you ask me again come Spring Training I may have a completely different thought but for now there you go.

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  5. The Professor says:

    JoeD...not crazy at all. I have long thought that the ideal OF might be CC-Perez-BJ left-to-right, due in large part to BJs arm. The only downside is moving Upton, again. And CF is a premier position. Upton is not going to want to give that up. He is on pace to be one of the best OF in baseball and I dont think he would get the same recognition in RF.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I would love to see one of the Braves OF prospects playing RF for us next year. They have too many young outfielders and not enough pitching. We have too much young pitching (I didnt think that was possible before this year) and not enough young hitting. Seems like we should be able to make a deal. Heyward is off limits and wont be ready next year, but Brandan Jones would be a great addition. Schafer might be a good option as well, but I dont know how he has been since the steroid suspension. These guys have tons of talent and we could actually afford them; unlike most of the big names being thrown around.

    Also, this is crazy talk, but I think Micah Owings would make an awesome right fielder. He played OF in college, he definitely has the arm, and imagine how good a hitter he could be if he gave up pitching. I am sure Friedman is very familiar with him from his days with the Green Wave and knows what he is capable of. If we could get him for Sonny it would be a great trade, although it might be asking too much for him to make the conversion in one offseason.

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  7. DirtbagFan says:

    I voted Perez based on speed, but I'm still a Gross fan despite his horrible post-season play.

    I'm glad you didn't include Gomes as a viable option, because he most definitely is not.

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  8. Flava Dave says:

    The Rays cannot go out and be a player in free agency and make a splash with a big name or even known name in free agency. If we want to compete year in and year out, we need to be scouting other teams minor leagues to find players who can suit us.

    I love the idea of BJs arm in RF, but i dont neccesarily think Fernando will be an everyday CF (not yet, anyway) and wouldnt want to be shifting BJ back and forth. I would like to see Perez get ample playing time though...platooning with Ben Zobrist. Zobrist hit a HR at a clip of once per every 16.5 ABs this year. That is damn good. He also had a .505 slugging and an OBP above .300 so he also has a decent eye at the plate and isnt going to be hacking wildly a la my boy Johnny Gomes.

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  9. stunna says:

    Gomes > Gross

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  10. stunna says:

    Also, I voted for Perez, but wouldn't mind seeing Rocco in RF every now and again

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  11. Jim says:

    I see you have Aybar as one of the candidates. I know he isn't cut out for the outfield, but you don't want him left out of the starting lineup and DH'ing him is a waste of his fielding.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    We have been talking about this on some message boards, and the two names I like the most are Corey Hart and Billy Butler. Hart makes perfect sense for a few reasons. First off, Brewers need pitching and Rays need a right handed RF who kills lefties. Hart fits the Rays mold as he is athletic, has a grea arm, speed, and again, kills lefties. Further, he and Jackson are a perfect match in a trade. Both average at their position, and at the same point contractually, first year of arb.

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  13. Brendan says:

    i like milton bradley but that could backfire and he wants a long term deal. i'd be all for getting nelson cruz from the rangers on the cheap.

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  14. Joe D says:

    To uptons credit, when ever they ahve moved him from short to 2B, and Center, he's always said the same thing "I'll play where ever they want me (or need me)".

    At Disney in '07 they had Upton and Delmon Young set up siging for the fans, and I asked him whey he was playing that night, and he said "second", and I asked him whcih he likes better and he told me "I'll play where ever."

    As irony would have it that was the night that Rocco got injured at Disney...

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  15. Jim says:

    Joe D,

    I remember Upton saying he would be happy to play CF as long as they don't move him again. At some point they have to pick a position for him to play and leave him there. I think he should stay put at CF.

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  16. Possum Avenger says:

    I have no doubt that Aybar could be a solid right fielder if he had some practice. He has a strong arm and good fielding instincts.

    He got my vote.

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  17. PEter says:

    I'd like to see Rocco get healthy and play every day.

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  18. DirtbagFan says:

    @ Stunna

    Give me one reason why Gomes is better than Gross, and back it up with stats...

    Gomes is a cool cat, and an obvious favorite from the the Devil Ray days but working hard isn't enough; he has about as much talent in the field as me- and sported an average of .182 in 2008, not much of a DH

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  19. Charles says:

    I like the idea of Brad Hawpe or Jeff Francouer, but I don't like the idea of giving up a lot for either of them. Though Hawpe is nice because his home/road splits don't indicate a Coors effect.

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  20. Cork's Sister says:

    I bet you wish you had JD Drew in your right field, son!

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  21. stunna says:

    dirtbagfan...

    Gomes had a bad year, everyone can see that. But he didn't really get much of a chance. Look at his rookie year, he had over 300 AB's and hit .282 with 20 something homers. I think he only had one other season after that with 300+ AB's and hit like .250 IIRC, which is still probably better than Gross' career average. Gross can't hit for power and isn't great defensively, nor is he fast. The only advantage he has over Gomes is when it comes to strikeouts.

    I don't think Gomes is our best option to start, but he definitely won't hurt us taking a spot on the bench and playing every few days in right or DH

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  22. stunna says:

    Also, I didn't mean to make it sound like Gomes was great defensively or fast, but compared to Gross there isn't really a difference. Plus, for a guy his size, Jonny runs really well

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  23. DirtbagFan says:

    Gross plays a smart game (with the exception of the playoffs), and has a very strong arm from RF. I'm not saying I want him as my everyday RF either, but he's a more well-rounded player than Gomes (and he hit for power at times this season).

    Anyone think Brignac will make the change to the OF?
    He obviously won't be breaking through at SS anytime soon (before 2010), so at what point do they start thinking about playing him in the OF just to see?

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  24. Anonymous says:

    holliday??

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  25. Scott says:

    Heard the Tigers are shopping Magglio Ordonez. How bout shipping some combo involving Jackson, Niemann and Talbot to the Tigers and slotting him in RF. I would love that bat in the middle of the lineup.

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