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

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RANDOM THOUGHTS: Look for Jose Lobaton to be the backup catcher if John Jaso must start the season on the DL (bruised family jewels)…Stuart Sternberg on a new stadium: “It’s three years plus and it will be plus”…

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon says he has likely settled on the last 3 relievers. Marc Topkin speculates it will be Juan Cruz, Jake McGee and Cesar Ramos (not Rob Delaney). Maddon also acknowledged that the Rays may trade Cesar Cabral. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Rays are second in Baseball America’s farm system rankings. [HardballTalk]
  • Most managers might be afraid to try to correct the swing of a future Hall-of-Famer. Not Joe Maddon. And now Manny Ramirez has more bat speed. [TBO.com]
  • Roy Oswalt wishes Manny Ramirez had a little less bat speed after taking a line drive yesterday off the side of his head. [TampaBay.com]
  • Evan Longoria has one of the 20 best-selling jerseys. [MLB]
  • This is from a fantasy perspective, but it is good look at why there is hope for a James Shields rebound this season. [SI.com]
  • “Evaluators” are high on Juan Cruz so far this spring. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Last week we mentioned that Rhode Island University had stolen the Rays jersey design. Well, so did Riverview High School in Sarasota (via Uniwatch). [Riverview High School]
  • Martin Fennelly wonders which Ben Zobrist the Rays will get this year. [TBO.com]
  • Buck Showalter on Theo Epstein: “I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay [Rays] payroll…You got Carl Crawford ’cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter? That’s why I like whipping their butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?” [ESPN]


This is so craptastic. Just no other words. 

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19 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Hey Andrew, this, at least on paper looks like a good pen. Heres to hoping Russell figures it when the season starts.

  2. Sublime says:

    I like Buck already! I saw that last night and cried laughing! The bit he said about Jeter was funny too.

  3. nate says:

    Who knew Martin Fennelly was such a big John Romano fan?? Imitation is the highest form of flattery

    http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/was-2009-or-2010-the-real-aberration-for-tampa-bay-rays-ben-zobrist/1157249

  4. Hans says:

    Mark Topkin said Ekstrom had a decent chance, two weeks in spring training. He’s a reporter, not a baseball analyst it seems.

    • Joe says:

      Agreed that Topkin probably knows nothing but it’s down to 6 arms for 3 spots and common sense gives you a pretty good idea.

      They will want 2 lefties and you really think they are going to carry Cabrel? That means McGee and Ramos

      The only battle I see somewhat is Cruz vs Delaney, I think Wade gives up too many homers and Maddon keeps saying how impressed he is with Cruz.

      It’s McGee, Ramos and Cruz unless they make a trade.

      • werD says:

        I think you could pkg Cabral and Ekstrom and get back a decent middle reliever. AF cant really trade wade, delaney, or bootcheck b/c they are all FA’s free to sign w/ another team, if they dont make the 40man roster (which right now looks unlikely). By pkging Cabral with another reliever, you dont have to worry about giving up another player, if the team you traded him to end up dropping him from the roster, and having to send him back to Boston.

        Another thing to keep in mind, Ive heard alot of rumors swirling about some stiffness in A Russell’s shoulder that may land him on the DL to start the season. Just the kind of injury that requires working out, and throwing in some extended Spring Training games…

  5. Mike says:

    That Pink Sox video made me throw up in my mouth.

  6. MJ says:

    Does anyone know what new Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn’s stand on the stadium issue is?

    • Brixology says:

      From a debate a few weeks ago:

      “We are looking forward to being a partner with them in the event that they can’t resolve their differences in St. Petersburg,” mayoral candidate Bob Buckhorn said on Monday.

      • Gus says:

        Was there any explanation for why a NCAA regional populated with Kentucky and Florida and falling on spring break weekend had the upper deck at the Forum so empty? For the “geographic center of the population”, that was a very disappointing turnout. When the Trop held NCAA tournament games (1997-1999), they drew much better, 25-30K for weekday games in 1997, filled with Kentucky fans. For anybody who thinks stadium location is the primary factor in the Rays attendance, I’d like to see some explanation of that discrepancy. Same opening weekend, same national team (Kentucky) and the Tampa site has the local state favorite (Florida) and the attendance is half. I don’t get that.

        • MJ says:

          Easy answer might be economy of 1997-99 compared to economy of 2011. Tampa isn’t really a basketball town either. Channelside/Tampa is the geographic center of the Bay area and, therefore, most likely Rays fans. It’s not the geographic center of college basketball fans. Apples and oranges.

          • Gus says:

            What would be the difference between college hoop fans and baseball fans anyway? Tampa (currently) isn’t much of a basketball town or based on the Bucs pathetic attendance this year, a football town either. It, like the rest of the area, is a broke town.

            I do think the economy is the elephant in the room. But shouldn’t that be a mitigating factor when evaluating the Trop? 10 worst seasons of any expansion franchise ever then go into the the three worst economic years Florida has experienced in the last 80 years. And yet the Rays are still trending up (slowly) in attendance.

            My guess is that the Trop is probably going to come close to living out its lease as the host of Rays baseball. 2019-2020 would be the earliest I could see any new stadium coming on line given the state of local government budgets.

        • leningan says:

          ummm… Florida and kentucky expect to advance and their fans saved the money for travel to the later round games. It’s spring break, student-fans are gallavanting around in Cozumel or Cabo. I’m sure there are more reasons but, since it is impossible to hold an identical event in both tampa and st. pete at the same time, I guess we will all just have to continue to come up with our own assumptions.

          • Beth says:

            This is actually a reply to Gus….I don’t see how the attendance for an NCAA event is at all relevant to the question of Rays attendance. The issue for the Rays is finding a location at which you can build a fan base of people who live in the area. Why do you think attendance at an NCAA tournament featuring no home-town teams has any bearing on that question?

            I’m not saying this because I think the Rays ought to move to Tampa, mind you. But are you really going to track every under-attended event in Tampa and claim that proves Tampa won’t support the Rays? OK, if you want to play that game – Legends Field sells out every Yankees spring training game. That’s certainly as relevant to this debate as is NCAA attendance.

  7. Beth says:

    I also loved Showalter’s quotation. But in defense of Epstein – there are many GMs with a ton of money to spend who still manage to field lousy teams year after year. So, to be sure, he’s no Andrew Friedman, but he’s doing a lot better than his counterparts, say, with the Mets, or either Chicago team.

    • MJ says:

      I think he is simply sending a message to his team that they aren’t afraid of anyone. Kind of a Rex Ryan/Johnny Gomes preseason thing.

  8. Gus says:

    In the Boston video with the fake standings on the Green Monster, showing the Rays 27 and Yanks 28 games out is an indication that we are in their heads.

    My favorite thing of 2008-2010 is watching Rays games from Boston with the Rays at the top of the standings on the Monster after being dead last for 10 years. A reminder of how things have changed.

  9. MJ says:

    Watched video highlights of the game. Nice to see BJ rip a low and inside fastball. Can’t count how many times he swung through that last year.

  10. Don says:

    SHowalter and team (Orioles) are going to have to be contended with this year..He is fearless…and passes it on..One of his players was bitching about his playing time to Him and He told the player “to start playing better then more time”…..Priceless

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