Here are the giveaway promotions the Rays already have scheduled. The big ones will be the Astro bobblehead (see below), the Joe Maddon Gnome (see below), the Evan Longoria retro bobblehead, and the Raymond bobblebelly. And why is the flower pot for women only? I spend more time in our garden then my wife does. Am I not allowed to like flowers?

Astroweb

Tues., April 2 (Orioles) Schedule Magnet – All Fans
Sat., April 6 (Indians) David Price Cy Young Figurine – First 20,000 fans
Sun., April 7 (Indians) Evan Longoria Wall Cling Match – Kids 14 & under
Sat., April 20 (A’s) Drawstring Bag – First 15,000 fans
Sun., April 21 (A’s) Astro Bobblehead – Kids 14 & under
Wed., April 24 (Yankees) Joe Maddon Gnome – First 10,000 fans
Sun., May 12 (Padres) Rays Flower Pot – First 10,000 women
Sun., May 26 (Yankees) Rays Snap Watch – Kids 14 & under
Sun., June 9 (Orioles) Rays Rope Necklace – Kids 14 & under
Sun., June 16 (Royals) Jeremy Hellickson Headhpones – Kids 14 & under
Wed., June 26 (Blue Jays) Cheer Stix – Kids 14 & under
Sun., June 30 (Tigers) Matt Joyce Race Car – Kids 14 & under
Sat., July 6 (White Sox) Evan Longoria Retro Bobblehead – First 20,000 fans
Sun., July 7 (White Sox) Super Zo Utility Belt – Kids 14 & under
Thurs., July 11 (Twins) Cheer Stix – Kids 14 & under
Sun., July 14 (Astros) DJ Kitty Confetti Globe – Kids 14 & under
Sun., Aug 4 (Giants) Rays Backpack – Kids 14 & under
Sun., Aug 18 (Blue Jays) Rays Lunchbox – Kids 14 & under
Sat., Aug 24 (Yankees) Moore Cowbell – First 10,000 fans
Sun., Aug 25 (Yankees) Jennings the Jet Action Figure – Kids 14 & under
Sun., Sep 22 (Orioles) Raymond Bobblebelly – Kids 14 & under

 

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33 Comments

  1. Greg says:

    "I spend more time in our garden then my wife does. Am I not allowed to like flowers?"

    Me, too. Women only? I'm making my own.

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  2. Beazy says:

    Seems like I gotta find a kid under 14 to take to the games to get the cool gifts! lol

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  3. Beazy says:

    No T-shirt Friday???

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  4. Raysfan137 says:

    No love for Molina? Can we change that last one to a Molina Bobbelybelly ?

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    • Mr.Smith 1980 says:

      I hope that by Sept 22 we aren't seeing much (if any) of Bobble-bellied Molina, the laziest catcher around.

      Ump:
      "PAST BALL!"

      MOLINA:
      "Crap! You mind getting that for me?... No?... Dang it!"... (begrudgingly gets up off his knees and jogs after the ball as Pedroia hustles from 1st to 3rd)

      PRICE (covering home plate at this point):
      "What the heck, man?!?"
      MOLINA:
      "Screw you dude, you gotta put it right in my glove! I'm a catcher for God's sake not a sprinter!"

      PRICE:
      "UGH!" (thinks to himself: I never thought I'd see the day where I wished Navarro was behind the plate)

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      • Don says:

        Yea, but he can "FRAME", that alone is worth 50 games, MLB or somebody(i Forget) did a whole story on it, and our loyal fans and this blog site... went for it
        Just got Back from the biggest Rays give away of the Whole season .."Rays Fun Fest" it was a ball...Rays can market their product when they want to...but it cost money, the Fans would come to games if the Rays could show them "FUN"... forget location and building... SELL YOUR PRODUCT...... RAYS..
        and the Wings and Bud light at Fergs makes it a great day..

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        • Beazy says:

          J-Mo is one of the biggest reasons why the Rays hold the record for the most K's in a season by turning balls into strikes, gunning down base runners, and teaching the 3 young catchers...

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          • Beazy says:

            Oha, and he knows hitters in the league, and how to strike'em out...

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          • Dave L says:

            Without question you are correct.

            I think this year when Moore, Cobb, Archer and to some extent Helli were were in with JoMo the plan was let Molina do the thinking, just concentrate on making your pitches and trust him.

            Thats why Cobb blew up in that little temporary tempest in a teapot. Pitch selection nothing more nothing less and it blew over like a Gulf coast sunset summer storm

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          • Mr.Smith 1980 says:

            Did you watch the same team as me last year? I watched all but a handful of games (maybe 6-10), and can tell you with some degree of certainty that you're observation is certifiably nuts...

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          • Mr.Smith 1980 says:

            No doubt his experience lent itself to the young pitchers, but if you think he was out there "gunning down runners" or framing strike-outs to a level even remotely close to what they advertised you're drinking the Kool-Aid.

            His place should have been as a plan B who could work with the young guys on the bench or during bullpen sessions; injuries are the only thing that forced JoMa to play JoMo.

            You're taking a HUGE leap in overstating the fact that he's "one of the biggest reasons" the Rays got the K/season title... let's not get carried away.

            Oh, and for fun- since he was so valuable behind the plate I thought you'd like to know that his WAR was .9

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      • Dave L says:

        Want to hear some crazy stats?

        We all crap on Molina for passed balls. He seems to lead the league right?

        Guess what?

        He only had 6 in 2012. 21st worst in MLB. Only 6 qualifying catchers had less.

        His framing is so legendary he not only fools umps but he fools official scorers.

        I could have sworn I saw 20 personally and I watch maybe 3/4 of all Rays innings all year.

        Same rate as Suziki and Salty. Way less than our old buddies Jaso and Shoppach proportionally.

        Caught wild pitches? Hes 13th worst.

        Fielding percentage? Hold on to your hats.

        He's 7th best in MLB among qualifiers.

        Finally range factor. The sabermatricians have nabbed him!Among qualifying catchers Molina is next to last at 22nd. The Pirates have some poor soul regular catcher who is worse.

        But amongst all 100 or so catchers Molina is only 65th in Range factor. But still ahead of last years duo....

        Go figure

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        • Chris G. says:

          I'll agree that Molina is not as bad of a catcher as many think but he is bad at passed balls. I seem to recall Cork mentioning on here last season that our pitchers had more passed balls/wild pitches with Molina than with the other catchers by a wide margin. a lot of those wild pitches should be blocked. Also, a lot of "passed balls" are actually pitchers missing their spots by a wide margin. a pitch might not go in the dirt, but it is still hard to catch and the catcher gets blamed. Molina might not have as many compared to catchers on other teams, but that might mean our pitchers just dont throw wild as often as other pitchers, something that would not be surprising.

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          • Dave L says:

            Yeah Molina had all 6 passed balls the other guys had zero combined.

            But Molina was there for 30 WP in 709 innings and Lobaton had 20 WP in 467 innings so its comparable.

            Every time the Rays made a defensive substitution at catcher, who came in for whom?

            He's not as bad as he looks thats all I'm saying. the stats bear it out. And the Cobb dustup was over pitch location IMO not passed balls.

            As fans we cant judge his value as a signal caller and staff handler

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        • Bill says:

          Unfortunately they don't have a stat for "Saved Wild Pitches". Great framing and knowledge of hitters not withstanding, JoMo does not hustle. He gave up on that years ago. Many balls get by that shouldn't. In contrast, he's not as experienced or knowledgeable, but Giminez is a pure hustler back there. He practically dives to stop balls. Lazy backhands and reaches don't happen. And when it gets by, his whole body language shows he owns it, passed ball or wild pitch, both are on him. He plays like it matters on every pitch. Molina just simply doesn't.

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        • Alex says:

          Yes but passed balls are subjective. There were numerous times last year that the official score called something a wild pitch that was clearly a passed ball because Molina was too lazy to get to it. I was a bit surprised to see that Molina actually threw 33% of runners out last year. That shocked me. Well above league average.

          Did you really bring up fielding percentage for a catcher? No, just no.
          Jarred Saltalamachia and Kurt Suzuki are not good fielding catchers so comparing Molina to them is not a good argument.

          Molina has positives and negatives.
          Positives: Frames well, calls a good game, decent arm, mentor
          Negatives: Lazy behind the plate, terrible movement

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      • Bill says:

        ROFLMAO.

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  5. Tom says:

    Rays pitchers had a 3.22 ERA when Molina was catching and a 3.19 ERA overall. I would think that if he actually saved 50 runs with his pitch framing the team would have a lower ERA when Molina was catching.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      I think Molina is incredible at framing pitches. I also think that 50 number is a bit exaggerated. I think Molina also needs to worry about his reputation amongst umpires. As this "talent" becomes more well-known, umps will adjust. They also hate being duped by players.

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  6. Alex says:

    How did this turn into a Molina argument? Lol

    And Jaso was the same way out there are Gimenez. He acted like he gave a damn out there when balls were in the dirt at the very least.

    I've never understood why the Rays make some of the trades that they do. For instance the Jaso trade. Here is a guy that was not a good catcher but he obviously had some hitting talent. His walk to strike out ratio bared that out. And yet after one sub par year they trade him for a (alleged) rapist who was awful. Low and behold Jaso returns to being a decent hitter. Same thing with Gomes. I think at times the Rays value pitching way too much when they trade some of their guys away that can actually hit.

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    • Dave L says:

      Welcome to the arguement!

      Giminez and Lobaton are way better than Jaso in all defensive areas of the game. I never care to see a player that bad wearing a Rays mask ever again regardless of how well he hits.

      If you wish to make the arguement that Jaso should have been our DH in hindsight certainly a case could be made.

      But nothing about his 2011 season indicated he would be a good bet to be a DH quality hitter in 2012.

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      • Alex says:

        Jaso's 2010 stats disagree. Hit .263 with a .372 obp in 404 Pa.
        His minor league stats bare the same story. 299 walks and 309 strike outs in 2550 pa.

        And after one bad year, his second in the majors, we trade him for a crappy reliever and he hits well again. The Rays just cannot evaluate hitting at all. Our front office has been amazing when it comes to pitching and defense but we have some of the worst hitting scouts out there. Their draft history bares this out as well.

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        • Dave L says:

          Sorry but I don't want Jaso as a backstop regardless of his hitting. He was an unmitigated disaster, possibly the worst defensive catcher in Rays history

          If you can imagine that Jaso would have been part of a catching group that caught the best statistical pitching staff in the last 25 years you have quite a an optimistic imagination.

          Lobaton and Giminez were incredible as JoMo's young disciples.

          Zero passed balls. Implementing his framing techniques, not as smoothly but well. Learning the craft and showing it. Did you forget Jaso's catching with the Rays? Sometimes it was demoralizing. 100 times worse than anything JoMo did. Earnest effort wise he was better for sure but end result wise he was horrible. If your rose colored glasses get cloudy just review the metrics.

          John Jaso is a nice kid and a decent hitter but he is not an MLB catcher, plain and simple.

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  7. Don says:

    Never heard one Pitcher on the Staff say in public or to the media, "oh that Molina is great, wish he could catch me everytime, he gets me strikes all the time" never, never heard anything like that... but I seen one Rays Pitcher about punch his ass out....because of his performance, so take what we DO know and go from there...

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  8. Andy says:

    Back to the Promotional Stuff!! :D I think the Maddon Gnome should be "adults only" b/c it's right Scary!!! I made the mistake of tapping the pic & hitting my mousepad once more immediately thereafter. What I got was the Gnome enlarged twice; it looked like it was coming after me!! Yikes, almost knocked me off my chair :-D

    Well, at least they're not giving away any "I Love Longo" shirts to the women only!!! I wanted 1 so badly last year that I almost dressed in drag to get one! Changed my mind when I realized they probably didn't have 1 big enough for me since they were ladies' shirts :-(

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  9. Dave L says:

    Yes Bill they do have a stat Caught Wild Pitches or C_WIP

    JoMo 709 innings 30 C_WIP 6 passed balls
    Lobaton 467 innings 20 C_WIP NO passed balls
    Giminez 266 innings 8 C_WIP NO passed balls
    Jaso 343 innings 16 C_WIP 4 passed balls
    Shoppach 566 innings 16 C-WIP 8 passed balls

    So admittedly Molina’s passed balls and C_WIP that are really on him are due to laziness and an unwillingness to move his body while the others are more on overall less skill.

    Shoppach would be thought to be the best seasoned catcher in plate blocking but the stats aren’t that glaringly better.

    But the results are similar.

    So in the one area where JoMo is horrible he really isn’t statistically that bad but certainly he isn’t one of the better plate blockers. But sometimes we place undue emphasis on that aspect of his game.

    What Team led the AL in least number of passed balls?

    Guess who???

    The Rays led by Jabba the Hut backstop.

    But the Rays were 5th highest in Team C_WIP

    So old Molina and his disciples frame not only the home plate ump but the official scorers as well.

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    • Bill says:

      That's a bit of a BS stat. The scorer doesn't know what's going to happen to a ball if it doesn't get caught. It might go to the backstop. It might spin 8 imches away. And again, it doesn't matter what the Rays and their Jabbastop led in. As another poster pointed out, the Rays pitchers likely show more control than other staffs. It would be really hard to truly compare catchers who catch different staffs.

      But none of that matters. The real point is, The Human Slug, AKA Sluggo AKA JoMo does not hustle. Fans know and speak out about it. Players know it too, but it affects them differently. I'd rather see a guy back there who can't frame his kid's school pictures, but hustles his a$$ off.

      And for the record, never meant this to turn into a Molina debate. Really was making fun of his belly. Although he still hasn't caught Bengie.

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      • Dave L says:

        I really liked the Molina bobble belly for the record.

        But its Feb so what else do we have to do?

        Sometimes stats can be uncomfortable no doubt when they contradict our notions of the kind of baseball we like.

        But they are what they are. No one has offered a specific rebuttal to any of the stats I have provided. I just pulled them off the MLB website.

        If a catcher doesnt corral the ball pretty quick and something bad happens its either a passed ball or wild pitch, thats pretty simple. We as fans and purists want everybody to be charlie hustle and howl when guys arent. I get that. I have crapped on Molina throughout 2012 as much as anyone here in print. But Im trying to offer a retrospective on what it all meant in terms of real negative effects and frankly they arent that bad and the alternatives we had after 2011 werent any better as some suggest, thats my point.

        But don't assume there is some great simmering groundswell of resentment towards lazy Molina amongst the Rays and his teammates, I dont think its there.

        Plus the man had a .263 avg , .323 OBP and .717 OPS after the AS break when it got serious

        Maybe the stat in the Rays leading the AL in passed balls was meaningless to you but not me sorry. Our two young guys with zero passed was a great testament to them personally compared to a relative human sieve like Jaso. I think our developing catchers (including Chirinos in practice), learned immeasurably from Molina’s handling of the pitchers, calling games and yes framing. If he saved 50 runs over the average catcher the stats show he didnt lose more than a fraction of that to being a bad backstop.

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        • Mr.Smith 1980 says:

          Well said. Stats don't lie in and of themselves, but people do tend to manipulate arguments by presenting only the stats that are convenient to their cause- we've all done it.

          Here's where my problem with Molina lies: Sure his lazy ways behind the plate may be countered by his ability to call a game or frame a pitch, but (and that's a huge but) laziness is an absolute team destroyer if it becomes contagious. If you let one marginally good player get away with laziness it can subconsciously grab the rest of the team and you end up with a clubhouse that no longer feels the need to work hard. I'd much rather have a real hustler like Giminez back there and have my palm meet my face when he occasionally screws up than to deal with laziness.

          (Do not misread that as saying that I want Giminez to be the long-term solution at catcher.)

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  10. angrybuddha says:

    "Moore Cowbell"

    Brilliance.

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