The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Power Surge. Kelly Shoppach and Evan Longoria hit 2 home runs apiece and the Rays hit 7 wind-aided home runs total. That is a team record in any type of game…Hank Blalock. If Matt Joyce starts the season on the DL, it increases the chance for Blalock to make the opening day roster. Blalock homered yesterday.
THE BAD: Bullpen Battle. With JP Howell on the DL, another spot in the bullpen may be up for grabs. Two that could be in contention, Carlos Hernandez and Winston Abreu combined to allow 8 runs (6 earned) in 2.2 innings.
THE TELLING: Pat Burrell will be in left field today while Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac will be at SS and 2B respectively. Matt Joyce will DH…BJ Upton went 3-4 with a HR and Matt Joyce was 2-5 with a HR in a minor league game
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Matt Joyce won’t be able to play the outfield until at least next week…It is beginning to sound suspiciously like Joyce will start the season on the DL. [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon now says he may drop Carlos Pena to the 5th spot in the rotation. Also, the Rays are still hoping Dioner Navarro will be back before the regular season and Gabe Kapler is expected back tomorrow. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Topkin looks at what Joe Mauer’s new contract means for Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria and the hope for a new stadium. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Maddon says he is not concerned about Wade Davis’ struggles. [Rays Report]
- David Feaster, the CEO of Cornerstone Community Bank wrote a piece for the Tampa Tribune basically saying the Rays have done everything they can and now it is the fans responsibility to support the team. [Tampa Tribune]
- Milton Bradley (after being ejected in two straight games): “I’m not going to change.” Oh yeah, Stuart Sternberg would have loved this. [Seattle Times]
- 5 questions for Carlos Pena. [Tampa Tribune]
- A rival executive on the Yankees: “The Yankees absolutely love [Carl] Crawford.” Jon Heyman adds “what the Yankees love, they usually get,” speculating that CC is a $15 million per year player on the open market. Andrew Friedman said the Rays worked hard to lock up Crawford this off-season, but one source says the two sides “never got close.” [SI.com]
- Jayson Stark says this is the most important season in franchise history both on the field and off. [ESPN]
- The Tampa Bay Rays were listed as the 5th best midsize employer by the St. Pete Times. [St. Pete Times]
- Former Rays prospects Chris Mason and Jim Magrane are now playing in Taiwan. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Buster Olney (behind the Insider wall) writes that Bud Selig needs to do something to help the A’s and Rays. For the Rays, Olney says Selig needs to get them out of the AL East. [ESPN]
- 13 “fun facts” about the Rays, many of which most Rays fans already know. [New York Times]
- The Rays and the Tampa Bay History Center have partnered together to celebrate a traveling art exhibit inspired by the Negro Leagues (thanks Jordi). [Tampa Bay History Center]