Here are some odds and ends to close out the week

  • The Rays signed three players to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training, including catcher Craig Albernaz, outfielder Jason Bourgeois, and right-hander J.D. Martin.
  • The Rays have also extended spring training invites to current minor leaguers Marquis Fleming (RHP), Kirby Yates (RHP), Adam Liberatore (LHP), and Mark Thomas (C).
  • This year’s Hall of Fame voting was very telling for several players that have been on the ballot for at least 5 years. Here is how those players are trending. [BI Sports]
  • And oh by the way, the Hall of Fame already has one player enshrined who openly used steroids to prolong his career. And not only did the media not crucify him, they actually encouraged it. [BI Sports]
  • One baseball writer says it is his job as “judge and jury” when it comes to Hall of Fame candidates who may have used steroids. [BI Sports]
  • About 20 years after the NFL started putting wireless communication into the helmets of quarterbacks, Major League Baseball will now have cell phones in the dugout in order to communicate with the bullpen. [ESPN]
  • And because some baseball fans are so scared of change, many actually think cell phones in the dugouts is a terrible thing. Those same people don’t realize that baseball’s refusal to modernize is why football is kicking its ass. [PopTip]
  • “Jake McGee’s fastball has turned into one of the league’s best pitches.” [Fangraphs]
  • BRaysball Talk says the Rays “need” Matt Morse. [BRaysball Talk]
  • Lynn Austin did a lengthy sit-down with Todd Kalas. [98.7 The Fan]
  • The bucs lost an assistant coach. [JoeBucsFan]




  1. Don says:

    I feel there ought to be Two Baseball hall of fames:
    1) for those who never took drugs, steroids or gambled (we think)
    2) for those who took drugs, steroids,and who bet (we think)

    Judge, Jury and hangman for these exceptional baseball players: SPORTS WRITERS......your kidding me right?

  2. Gus says:

    Cork: i disagree with your sentiments here.

    1. Baseball should continue to modernize, but the NFL's refusal to modernize when it comes to player safety will be the kind of backward thinking that will ultimately be the NFL's undoing.

    Football is looking at the abyss if its players are dying because of lax player safety rules and lax drug testing. Baseball is growing its fanbase. Football is looking a lot like boxing in 1975.

    2. The baseball writers (as a group) did mostly the right thing in not allowing those whose actions or stats show they were likely cheating. Make those guys tell us why they are clean. No longer can guys get inducted on numbers alone (in part because their own player's union fought drug testing every step of the way, to the detriment of player health). You have to make the case. McGriff has made his case and should be in. I'd like to hear Mike Piazza explain how he went from a high school scrub to the No. 1 offensive catcher of all time. He may be clean, but I'd like the case to be fully aired before he's placed next to Bench and Berra. Not too much to ask.

  3. Dave L says:

    Baseball players of every era have stretched the rules anyway they could. Getting an edge anyway possible. Amphetimines were rampant in the 60's and 70's MLB. Drinking was illegal during Prohibition. Illegal as pot and cocaine and black market roids are today.

    Thus each era's arbiter's of moral and ethical purity, the sportswriters who follow the players the closest finally get to get on thier high horse and vote against obvious Hall of Famers. They are all frustrated atheletes as most of us are. They pride themselves 'by gosh if I had their talent I jeopardize or waste it like they did!"

    Then the next generation of sportwriters look back on those same atheletes (that thier predecessors took so long to enshrine) as epic folk heroes of sterling character.

    Todays roid riddled ball players dont compare to those giants of yesteryear they proclaim sanctimoniously!!

    Bull crap.

    Face it baseball fans, in the late 90's to early oughts, the majority of MLB ballplayers used some substances roids or whatever which they would never admit today. When Jose Canseco first floated that 70% he was mocked. Well guess what, he was right all along. Now its probably down to less than 10%.

    The great Bob Gibson said if roids were available in his day and he thought they would help he would have taken them. Case closed for me.

  4. Beth says:

    I continue to feel torn about the PED issue and how we should evaluate players of that era. I somewhat disagree with Dave L in comparing PED use with use of pot, cocaine or abuse of alcohol. Sure, players may drink to excess, but no one would ever claim that gives them a competitive edge in baseball. The issue with PEDs is not that athletes have done something illegal, but that they've broken the rules in order to get an edge against the competition. PED use, in this sense, or more akin to corking the bat or throwing a spitball than it is to drinking during Prohibition.

    On the other hand, I'm not comfortable completely wiping out the accomplishments of all players from the steroid era. Gus, I really disgree with you in saying that players who have never tested positive or been clearly accused of doping need to explain their success before we will admire their efforts. How would a Mike Piazza, for example, prove a negative -- that he became a better hitter and it wasn't due to steroids? Surely there are players who were marginal prospects in high school and went on to be effective power hitters. (Heck, a few years ago Ben Zobrist was a light-hitting, mid-list short stop prospect and now he's Zorilla.Not everyone has shown his full potential by age 18).

    • Dave L says:

      True Beth. Compared to drinking or pot it doesn't effect performance. So it is a more salient baseball issue. But its the illegality that is often cited,

      As far as "but that they’ve broken the rules in order to get an edge against the competition" , very true, but guess what? The competition didnt care because most of them were doing it too! The players association fought testing tooth and nail and it wasn't even illegal during its early use.

      IF PEDS were really at a 10% level do you really think the ENTIRE remaining 90% would have gone along with a 'few cheaters' trying to take thier jobs? Name one MLB Player of the era who stood up and said, this is crazy and it has to stop now! Im clean and Im not losing my job to roid freak.

      The elite rich players just did it better than anyone else because they had the resources.

      Watch whenever recently retired players of that era discuss the topic-- they condemn it, say they never used it (if asked) say they werent even aware but heard rumors, their eyes dart around and they are never the ones in roundtables who extend the topic any longer than they need to. Only gas bags like Shilling have spoken out. I dont believe any of them are clean.

      Th only outspoken former players who get offended are ones who retired before the mid 90's.

      Just think about it? To me its obvious.

  5. Don says:

    The "best" baseball players should be in the hall of fame,period! to give the weasels of sports writing the authority to keep them out,
    is almost beyond belief, and certainly puts a cast of a farce on the "Hall of Fame"

  6. David says:

    How about we do away with the entirely arbitrary idea? Get rid of the HOF. Problem solved. Move on so we can talk about other things. Other things such as the actual game.

  7. Burn H. says:

    I believe that the average fan was unaware of how much P.E.D. abuse was going on until it started to show up in the entry levels of the game. Once you're in the majors players had the ability to get and hide there use. The need to keep up with the big boys would have eventually filtered down to the little league. God only knows how many parents have given their child HGH or something else so that he or she could "make it to the Big Time!"


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