The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

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


  • 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.” []
  • 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]




  1. Justin says:


    Someone has to tell these guys to stop wearing white pants with non-white jerseys. They look terrible, and mismatched. Look at the picture above and tell me that white pants with a navy jersey looks coordinated.

    • Completely agree. Of course I hate the spring unis in general. Just another stupid money grab by MLB. Would it kill them if teams designed their own spring unis or at least had different templates?

      • TheRevTy says:

        There are a few teams that just wear their regular game uniforms - the Cardinals being one of them. Why isn't this done more?

        And then this all begs the question: what about the new Powder Blue jerseys? How will they look with the white pants?

  2. KillaTapes says:

    Umm, JP and his wife worked out with Peggy Fleming over the offseason? Ice skating? Was he hoisting her over his shoulder? Is this why there's no JP for the first month?

    I kid, obviously, but that does sound a little bizarre to me.

    • yeah, apparently his wife has been friends with Peggy Flemming for a long time and JP hade now idea who she was. So this offseason JP used Flemming's workout coach. Here is the original exchange via the Trib...

      For years, J.P. Howell heard his girlfriend-turned-fiancee-turned-wife Heather talk about Peggy, her friend and workout partner.
      Peggy had been a figure skater.
      "Cool," J.P. said.
      She skated in the Olympics, Heather said.
      "That's cool," J.P. said.
      Peggy would be Peggy Fleming, who won gold at the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France.
      "Who?" J.P. asked.
      "Dude!" Heather said. "Peggy Fleming!"

      I love that his wife calls him "dude"

      • KillaTapes says:

        Haha, JP seems like such a laid back "dude", one of the many personality attributes that make this team fun to watch.

  3. Horn says:

    Reid Brignac... Matt Joyce.... Ben Zobrist....

    is this situation clearing up? if opening day was tomorrow, who would be the odd man out of the starting lineup, Joyce or Brignac?


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