Joe Maddon spoke about what he expects from BJ Upton

When you’re coming in injured or off of surgery, you have all those questions in the back of your mind. You have to break all those mental adhesions to get yourself going again. It was a tough year for him last year—he didn’t really have a spring training and really had to get himself in shape during the major league campaign. So now he’s coming off a full offseason with good health, and he’s had a chance to work with Shelty [hitting coach Derek Shelton] for a couple months now. I know he’s coming in here with a different feeling and attitude. I think he looks really good—he looks a little bit stronger, bigger. And I know he’s going to really get it going. The meeting we had was very informative and good.

We know it is unusual for JoeMa to sing one of his players praises. Wait. Reverse that. Still…oh mama.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays released part of their Summer Concert Series which is a who’s who of AARP acts. [St. Pete Times]
  • Willy Aybar came to camp and reported that the wrist injury he suffered during winter ball was completely healed. Well, he didn’t even last one workout as he has been shelved for a week after he felt pain when hitting. [The Heater]
  • Joe Maddon on Rafael Soriano: “Just think of him as Troy Percival…He resembles Percy in his game planning and how he wants to get ready for the season”…Oh, great. [Tampa Tribune]
  • David Brown writes about what Matt Joyce did this off-season to make the team. [Big League Stew]
  • The Good: Carlos Pena calls Tampa Bay “the best place on Earth to play baseball.” The Bad: Pena says he knows it won’t last forever. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Gerry Hunsicker says it would take “extraordinary measures” for Desmond Jennings to make the jump to the big leagues this season. He also stated that it would be difficult for the Rays to keep Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. While it is a bit surprising that Jennings has little shot at a promotion, even in September, the second part is akin to saying women are attracted to Evan Longoria. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Big League Stew previews the Rays. [Big League Stew]
  • What is more strange about this story? Evan Longoria eating by himself at a bar, or Joe Maddon happening to walk into the same restaurant by himself and deciding to join Dirtbag for dinner? [St. Pete Times]
  • Rise of the Rays makes a case for trading Carl Crawford before the season starts. [Rise of the Rays]
  • Matt Silverman spoke on several topics including the recent developments in the search for a new Rays stadium. Silverman says he is “encouraged that the regional dialogue is taking place.” He must have missed the part where St. Pete threatened to sue anybody that even thinks about building a new stadium in Tampa. [The Heater]
  • Meanwhile, if Tampa wants to keep hosting Super Bowls, the city will need a new football stadium in the near-future. [Joe Bucs Fan]
  • The developer that wants to put a new Rays stadium in the Channelside area of Tampa originally wanted to put the new stadium in the Tampa Heights area. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Ben Zobrist’s position this season will be decided during spring training and will likely depend on what other players do. But if you are keeping score at home, Zorilla worked out with the infielders on the first day. [Rays Plays]
  • Does Ben Zobrist have the best nickname in baseball? One writer thinks so. [Tauntr]
  • Not sure why, but there is something creepy about this post and what may or may not be a young fan’s crush on Evan Longoria. [Big League Stew]
  • Bill Chastain writes about what may be Elliot Johnson’s last shot to make the Rays roster. [MLB]
  • Roger Mooney has 5 questions for Dan Wheeler. [Rays Report]
  • Derek Jeter calls Tampa “home.” [Tampa Tribune]

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14 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Not sure what you found creepy about the Big League Stew post on Longoria’s signing an autograph. The story was about how young fans look up to players, and Longoria’s willingness to take time to sign an autograph. I thought it was kind of sweet, and seemed kind to both Longoria and the girl in the photo. Is my creepiness meter broken?

    • I just thought they were digging a little too deep into the psyche/emotions of a young girl based only on a photograph. We have no idea what she was really thinking and I an not sure it is any of our business anyway. And if she does have a crush on Longo? So what. Young people can be very sensitive about those feelings and I didn’t think she needed to have her feelings speculated on by a very popular website. That could be very embrassing/traumatizing.

      Or maybe I am overreacting.

      • KillaTapes says:

        I actually agree with you on that. I thought he was prying a bit much. Leave the crush part of it out.

        • Beth says:

          Here’s what the post says:

          “He [Longo]had just signed a ton [of autographs] and was rushing into the clubhouse before she politely, but firmly, asked him to stop. But if he ever sees this picture it’s an easy reminder of what professional athletes can mean to kids.”

          I thought it was kind of nice that they were treating the girl just as any young fan looking up to a player, and not trying to falsely turn the encounter into something else.

          • KillaTapes says:

            I agree with you on that front, but this is what was referring to:
            “It looks like somebody has a crush on Evan Longoria”
            “…this particular fan looks like she’s a little more into Longo than other Rays players.”

  2. Tone says:

    Resign Pena or Crawford? On the public statements and past public knowlege does it seem more likely they could get Pena at a discount than Carl? Does Pena bring more to the team than Carl(since DJ could help fill the void)? I just do not see anyone replacing Pena’s power and threat of power(his d-fense is sweet too). Pena is more important than Carl in my eyes.(mucho love for CC aside).

    • I’m with you. If they are going to sign one, I’d prefer Pena for the reasons you stated. I also think Pena is the one that is more likely to give a home-team discount.

    • Don says:

      I know a guy that sells seeing eye dogs that goes to the Rays games…
      I think you need help……!

      • Tone says:

        Pena won a gold glove in 2008, and made some pretty amazing plays in 2009. He hit the same amount of HRs as Tex in less games. My eyes wook good. Rays reached the world series while Carl was missing a huge chunk of the season. He seems to have a big leadership role as well.

        • Don says:

          Not sure about your eyes but if you even think Pena is in the same class as CC in baseball you have lost your(baseball) mind. Do you realize Pena hit .220!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          would have struck out 200 times if he played the season,
          can not hit and run, can not bunt, can not steal bases(run)…what can he do(that Carl does)..maybe hit a home run once every four (4) games… How does that help win the other 3 games?
          Do you want me to go on or can you see (understand) better now?
          Oh, also give me ONE instance/game that Pena showed leadership to
          “rally the troops” into winning….all I ever see is Him with that stupid smile on his face…Mister “happy go lucky!”
          If CC goes and Pena stays thats a DOUBLE waste of money/talent!

          • Tone says:

            CC is gone after ’10. DJ will help in the loss of speed, and he could have the talent to be almost as good. Who will play 1st and hit 30 or 40(many game winning) BOMBS. CC knees and wallet have checked out of Tampa. Pena could give a discount. Money Ball 2.0…. Most of the Rays line up has a strike out problem, it’s what they do.

        • steve-o1285 says:

          Dude, don’t argue with him…it’s a trap!

  3. Don says:

    Just got home from a tough one…Bud in hand, and you two are going to make me think/write some more…oh well..
    Listen..who’s arguing?? The guy (tone) said that Pena was a better player and more of an asset to the team than our ‘best player” (CC)…..and I showed him where he was wrong!
    I call that HELP, for someone who needs it, and he should be ok now!

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