Bill Chastain has an excellent write-up on Desmond Jennings and his appreciation for African-Americans that came before him in Major League Baseball.

“You can’t really explain what the people before me did coming up,” Jennings said. “The opportunity that they’ve given us because of what they’ve done, you can’t really explain it, you can only imagine what they went through.”

Later on, Joe Maddon was asked if Jennings will be the next Carl Crawford: “No, he’ll be the first Desmond Jennings.” Of course, with Johnny Damon in the mix for 2011, we might not get to see Jennings full capabilities until 2012.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Have you checked out the debut of “JoeBucsFan TV” yet? [Joe Bucs Fan]
  • Tropicana Field was the most pitcher-friendly park in baseball last year. [Rays Baseball Factory]
  • Several former Rays are working out in the Bay Area hoping to get another shot at the big leagues. Among them is Toby Hall, who once referred to the Rays as a “minor league team.” We wonder if he would accept a minor league deal now? [TampaBay.com]
  • The Rays spring training complex has a bat problem. [ABC Action News]
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9 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Regarding the "pitcher friendly" qualities of Tropicana Field -- how do you decide whether the park itself or the team that plays in it accounts for low run production? That is, do we see fewer runs scored at the Trop because the team that plays in it has good pitching and poor hitting? Or does the team appear to have good pitching and poor hitting because the park itself is "pitcher friendly?" I guess you'd have to review several years of data to determine whether the park itself is a factor.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      The calculation is not this simple, but basically it compares how many runs are scored at home versus on the road and then compares that to league averages. For example, maybe the Rays were an average offense on the road, but were well-below average at home. Same for visiting teams.

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  2. Gus says:

    One more thing for management to blame on the poor Trop.

    That, and the fact that the Rays had a lineup of 5 guys batting under .200 late in the season, that swung and missed like a bunch of blind men at times and a pitching staff filled with witchcraft. When you never put the ball in play and pray for a walk, I have a tough time blaming it on the ballpark and would cite the unusual offensive theories at the plate employed by the Rays as a contributing factor to the park effects. It isn't Seattle or San Diego.

    On the Joyce thing, I guess the Brad Hawpe grand slam off of a lefty in Toronto has me thinking maybe Maddon is on to something with the lefty tougher on righties stats. But I kind of feel like they need to take the training wheels off of him and see what they have right now.

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    • Tom says:

      "Pitching Staff Filled with Witchcraft" Please explain this.

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      • Don says:

        Sorr. & Benoit are from the "islands" and play with dolls, they told Maddon if he ever took them out of a game they would get his out....to stick a few pins in....

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      • Gus says:

        How else to explain the health of the starters and the wizardry of the reclamation projects in the bullpen. That 2010 pitching staff was awesome*. If it comes down to Maddon's witchcraft or Friedman's pitch counting, I'm going with the witchcraft as the more likely explanation for that pitching staff.

        *Shields' late season implosion notwithstanding.

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    • Derek says:

      There was a book that came out in 2002 i think? called moneyball. Read it, learn that nine years later you still dont know enough about baseball.

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