Akinori Iwamura took out a full-page ad in the Sunday St. Pete Times (click on image to see a larger versions), thanking the Tampa Bay Rays and their fans. Classy move by a classy guy.

In related news, the guy that sold the full-page ad was taken to the hospital after six straight hours of doing the Ed Lover Dance*.

*he may have only been doing the Ed Lover Dance in his head

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays avoided arbitration with yet another player, this time agreeing to a one-year deal with Grant Balfour for $2.05 million. We had The Mad Australian projected at $2.1 million. [The Heater]
  • Durham manager Charlie Montoyo was named the Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America. [MiLB]
  • Joe Maddon spoke with the Boston Herald about the downfall of using a closer-by-committee. This is the biggest reason most people (including us) feel closers-by-committee can’t work: Pitchers can be warn out from too much warming up during a game. This happens because the manager doesn’t always know how a situation will play out 2-3 batters down the line. [Boston Herald]
  • Closer Matt Capps was non-tendered by the Pirates. There has been some rumbling that the Rays would be a good fit. One writer even said the Rays are “very interested.” However, it was unclear if that was insider info or speculation. While the Rays may be interested now that he is a free agent, John Perrotto said they had no interest in Capps during trade talks, saying they were “leery” of his 2009 performance (it sucked). [Inside Pittsburgh Sports]
  • Roger Mooney writes that the ability to acquire Rafael Soriano only happened after the market changed by Soriano accepting arbitration from the Braves. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Keith Law breaks down the trade for Rafael Soriano (insider subscription needed). [ESPN]
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6 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Both Scott Kazmir and Rocco Baldelli had taken out ads thanking Tampa Bay fans when they left, but Aki's ad is by far the coolest.

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  2. Sublime says:

    Aki was one of my favorite players on the Rays, and I was/am sorry to see him go. I hope this is a move, Like the Cliff Floyd/Hinske/Gomes moves that doesn't come back to bite them in the butt. You can't put a price tag on class, I wish Aki the best.

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  3. Rayhawk says:

    Jack Bauer!!!!! He was my favorite right off the plane. All the Best Aki.

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  4. Matt says:

    Aki and his ad are awesome! Good luck in Pittsburgh

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  5. 113Tidbits says:

    More athletes need to show class like this as well. Makes the city that they play for feel appreciated and bolsters more support..Good luck Aki!

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