THE GOOD: Scott Kazmir. Three scoreless innings, only 2 hits and 1 walk. We have said it before, but we think this will be Kid K’s breakout season…Troy Percival. Another game, another scoreless inning. He did walk a batter…Evan Longoria. Dirtbag singled 3 times in 4 at bats.
THE BAD: Scott Kazmir. We have seen this photo before, but it always makes us giggle. That is Kaz on the right…Philadelphia. We are yet to hear a good explanation for why the Rays are even playing these two games in Philadelphia…Minor Leaguers. The minor leaguers on call helped give away the game, literally. A dropped fly ball, 3 walks and a single in the 9th inning without even recording an out and the WFC* scored twice to win.
THE TELLING: This was the most likely opening day lineup with Aki Iwamura leading off, Matt Joyce batting sixth, followed by Dioner Navarro, Gabe Gross and Jason Bartlett…BJ Upton will play center field in a minor league game today…The regulars will only get one at bat today.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Marc Topkin has a fun Q&A with Stuart Sternberg…We love that Sternberg’s ringtone is Howard Cosell’s call from Ali-Frazier, “Down Goes Frazier!” [St. Pete Times]
- Michael Sasso takes a closer look at the Rays business strategy for 2009 in which the Rays expect to lose money because of their $60 million payroll. The Rays are hoping to increase attendance from 1.8m to 2.0m this season. [Tampa Tribune]
- Dennis Maffezzoli of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune spoke with Joe Maddon about the importance of all his young pitchers learning a changeup, a pitch that Andy Sonnanstine is trying to add to his already vast repertoire. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
- The Phillies honored Pat Burrell in his first game back in Philadelphia, with The Bat calling it “pretty special.”…Also, Marc Topkin is reporting that the team will not make a decision on the final two pitching spots until tomorrow. [St. Pete Times]
- Mitch Talbot will get the opening day assignment for Durham on Thursday. David Price will start on Friday, followed by Wade Davis on Saturday and Carlos Hernandez on Sunday. Lefty Jason Cromer will be the 5th starter. [Durham Bulls]
- Chris Mason and Eddie Morlan have been assigned to double-A Montgomery. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Ryan Reid, one of the top relief pitcher prospects in the organization will miss the start of the season after missing two weeks with elbow pain. [Montgomery Advertiser]
- Marc Topkin talks to some of the Rays about what it is like being back in Philadelphia. [St. Pete Times]
- Peter Gammons called David Price one of the young players that has made a major impression on him. [ESPN]
- Joe Maddon insists that nothing is different from last year, and he is hoping that the Rays will be this year’s Rays. [Tampa Tribune]
- The Bradenton Herald takes a look at Ron Porterfield, the Rays head athletic trainer. [Bradenton Herald]