Lots of links today so let’s just get to it…

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Sun Sports will televise three games this spring (Mar 19, 25 and April 1). Of course, that is about the same time that fans stop caring about spring training, but whatever.
  • Might just be speculation, but Jayson Stark thinks the Rays may have a better shot at Russell Branyan than many believe. [Twitter]
  • Roger Mooney has a Q&A with Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Marc Topkin has the FanFest autograph schedule for Saturday. [The Heater]
  • Joe Maddon calls his 3-4-5 hitters (Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, Ben Zobrist) “interchangeable” and is thinking of moving Zobrist up to the three-hole…Also, Marc Topkin confirms that 2B and RF will be an “unconventional three-way battle” between Reid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez and Matt Joyce, with Ben Zobrist getting whatever is left over. [St. Pete Times]
  • Former Tampa mayor Dick Greco is part of a group that wants to build a stadium on the Florida State Fairgrounds. [Tampa Tribune]
  • The St. Pete Times spoke with one of the people behind the plan to bring the Rays to the channelside area. [St. Pete Times]
  • And of course the only thing the city of St. Pete is doing about a new stadium is threatening legal action against those that want to do what St. Pete won’t. [St. Pete Times]
  • Now that The Mosaic Group is seemingly out of the picture, can the Rays find somebody else to buy the naming rights for their spring home? [Bradenton Herald]
  • This is no surprise, but Tony Fabrizio confirms that the Rays will not limit Wade Davis’ workload this season as they did with David Price last year. Davis is coming off a season in which he threw 195 innings, so 200-220 innings will be well-within the Rays self-imposed 20% increase limit. [Rays Report]
  • Jeff Niemann did an interview for his college paper…Should we be concerned that he still spends a lot of time at Rice meeting with the coaches and working out with the guys? [The Rice Thresher]
  • Here is the Rays promotion schedule for this season…What, no Dioner Navarro bobble-belly? [Tampa Tribune]
  • John Romano wonders if the Rays feel a sense of urgency this season knowing some of the core players will likely be gone next year. [St. Pete Times]
  • Dewayne Staats writes about the Rays starting pitchers for FoxSportsFlorida.com. [FoxSportsFlorida]
  • A Tampa Bay Rays preview, in haiku. [Babes Love Baseball]
  • Finally, a bonus video today. An interview with Carlos Pena. Why are we burying this after the webtopia? Well, you’ll find out…

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6 Comments

  1. KillaTapes says:

    Thanks for the plethora of links! Wish I had taken more Spanish... Staats' article seemed rudimentary at best but that's not why we care about him- can't wait to hear his home run call!!! And I like Zobrist in the 3 spot, with Longo and Peña backing him up- I have a good feeling about this year's lineup!

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  2. I'm pretty sure the lady in the interview said Devil Rays.

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  3. Gus says:

    So can we now officially criticize the operations part of the front office for the brain dead move with the naming rights on the spring training facility? Or was that somehow clever and I'm not seeing it? When it comes to the operations side of the team, things have not gone well since they hired Michael Kalt from the Yankees (am I correct that he's still on the payroll as VP of Bullying the Locals?). I'd suggest if you are going to have a Florida franchise, maybe hire somebody with Florida ties who knows the local landscape and knows who is a good corporate citizen and who is trying to stick it to your spring training partner.

    It was all Pinellas County's fault, anyway.

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  4. Don says:

    Could Maddon be getting smarter after 2 "real years" of trying to manage?...Zo batting 3rd takes a lot a heat off Longo and Pena...
    You know Zo will put wood on ball with Bartlett/CC on base...many times will be a hit or sacrifice..... then Longo sitting good for RBI's, Pena hits a home run or strikes out...max. runs for the inning....
    Then you can go to bathroom or get a beer for next time Rays at bat!

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  5. WhyBeConcerned says:

    Why be concerned about Nieman spending time at Rice and working out with the guys? I'm pretty sure he has done this dureing every off season and 2008 and 2009 he came to camp in the best shape of his life. I think you can expect much of the same. I'm curious why this would be concerning.

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  6. WhyBeConcerned says:

    Sorry for the typo. Niemann

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