Maybe the most interesting part of the Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon signings is that the Rays would not sign one if the other said “no” as reported by Ken Rosenthal. This suggests that Manny and Damon were the key to whether or not the Rays would make a push in 2011 or just wait until 2012.
The Rays may have had the feeling that just one of the pair would not have been enough of a difference in the AL East, so they may not have considered just one of the players worthy of the investment. However, with both, the Rays may now be a team that can win 90+ games. And with a break or two, maybe they could get to the magical number of 94 wins.
Now if the Rays could just add one more late inning reliever, we would sleep a little better at night.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Bloom has a new blog that will cover the Rays and Durham Bulls. Go take a look. [Rays Baseball Factory]
- Jake McGee will enter Spring Training as a starting pitcher, but Jim Hickey says he is still a good candidate to fill one of the bullpen openings. [TampaBay.com]
- So the Angels are willing to give Vernon Wells $21.5M per year over the next four seasons, but they wouldn’t give Carl Crawford $20.3M for seven? [WEEI]
- Dirk Hayhurst says “hello” to The Rayshead Army. [Dirk Hayhurst]
- Jake Larsen interviewed Sam Fuld, one of 37 fourth-outfielders the Rays will have in camp this spring. [Deep Dish]
- This was written before the Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon signings went public, but it is still an interesting take on the Rays from the one person that might have an ear inside the door. [MLB.com]
- Manny Ramirez was an important piece in a defining moment of Dirk Hayhurst’s career. [Dirk Hayhurst]
- Creative Loafing writes about their own experience with Manny Ramirez. The ending may surprise you. [Creative Loafing]
- Sports Casualties is starting to get excited about the 2011 Rays. [Sports Casualties]
- This is funny…”2011 Red Sox will challenge 1927 Yankees for title of greatest team in Major League history”…Wait, he is serious? [NESN]