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: Matt Garza. Like James Shields the day before, Garza stretched his arm out working 7 strong innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 7. He walked 1. He now has 21 strikeouts and just 4 walks this spring…Ben Zobrist. Zorilla looked comfortable in the 3-hole, hitting a single, triple and a home run…Carlos Pena. Pena, who had 3 hits all spring before the weekend, had 3 hits this weekend, including a home run on Sunday. He also walked twice yesterday.

THE BAD: The Truffle Shuffle. Yes, it is spring, and yes scoring the run was not important. But a safety squeeze with Pat Burrell on third base? Burrell was thrown out at home on Gabe Kapler’s squeeze attempt.

THE TELLING: It appears that Joe Maddon is leaning towards having BJ Upton hit 6th and dropping Pat Burrell to the 7th spot…Hank Blalock started at third base…With 6 games remaining, the Rays now have 17 wins. That is 1 short of the franchise record set in 2008.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Marc Topkin says there is a possibility that opening day will not sell out. This would be the first time since 2005. Anybody still think we were overreacting last week?…In the same piece Topkin writes about new ways in which the Rays are taking advantage of video technology. [St. Pete Times]
  • Dioner Navarro and Willy Aybar played in a minor league game yesterday and both are expected to be ready for opening day. [St. Pete Times]
  • Michael Sasso notes that Bud Selig’s history suggests that at some point he will become more active and more aggressive in the quest for a new stadium for the Rays. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Jeremy Hellickson will pitch in a minor league game today which leaves him on pace to pitch the Durham Bulls opener and the exhibition game in Durham between the Bulls and the Rays on Saturday. [Biscuit Crumbs]
  • Mitch Talbot, who was sent to the Indians for Kelly Shoppach will be on the Indians opening day roster and has won a spot in the rotation. [Cleveland.com]
  • Jordi Scrubbings interviewed The Cowbell Kid. [JordiScrubbings.com]
  • Randy Choate and Joe Maddon speak about Choate’s transformation from lefty-specialist to a reliever that can be used at any time. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Marc Topkin writes about how Lance Cormier will be called upon in more high-leverage situations with JP Howell on the shelf. [St. Pete Times]
  • Wade Townsend was released by the Blue Jays. [Rays Prospects]
  • Jason Cromer and Alex Cobb will both miss the start of the season. [Biscuit Crumbs]

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6 Comments

  1. Brian H says:

    yes, because it is definetley selling out.

  2. KyleS says:

    Your second link says Navi and “Aybar” should be ready for Opening Day, and that Joyce’s status is still in question.

    I still get the feeling Willy will start the year on the DL though, giving way to Blalock to start the season.

    • Oops. It’s fixed now. Thanks! And I have a feeling you are right about Aybar. Rays always err on the side of the DL when it comes to these situations.

      • Kevin says:

        I’ve been wondering about this…so you think Joyce and Aybar to the DL. Kapler RF platoon and backup CF. Navi, Rodriguez, Brignac and Blalock on the bench.

        I’m not sure anyone who is going to make the team has played much CF this spring (S-Rod over the weekend made me think of that) so Kapler is staying long term in my opinion. Not sure what happens as these guys get healthy…rotating DL trips from the position players this year maybe.

  3. John says:

    Yes, I still think you overreacted last week.

  4. Em says:

    This is a couple days late, but my dad, who works on the editorial board of a newspaper in the Tampa area, wrote me this in an email:

    “… [T]here’s trouble brewing here. We had a meeting yesterday with the coalition that studied the stadium issue and how to draw more corporate and fan support. The prognosis isn’t good for the Rays. For the first time, they’re projecting significant revenue losses this season, which explains why Sternberg plans to cut payroll. If they or somebody doesn’t agree to build them a new stadium, and it’s not being built by at least 2016 (when the Trop is fully paid for), we’re going to lose them.

    I left the meeting very depressed. It is not good, and it’s all due to location, to where the Trop is located. They have some very compelling evidence about that. I’m writing about it for Sunday, urging community support.”

    They seem pretty serious about this. I am worried. I’d still follow the team if they went elsewhere, but the move would be crushing. Like a lot of other people around here, I’ve been following the team from the beginning, since I was nine years old. Actually, the only reason I began following baseball in the first place is because I lived in Tarpon Springs and we finally got a local team.

    So, if I still lived in that area, I’d start writing letters to anybody and everybody in a position to do anything about it. The Hartford Rays just doesn’t sound the same, you know?

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