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

Red Sox 6, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Ben Zobrist. Zorilla went 3-5 in his first action for Team USA at the WBC. It might have been better, except Joe Torre (and his need to over-manage) had Zobrist attempt a sac bunt at one critical point in the game. Zobrist, who had just 2 sac bunts in 2012, popped up (see image below)…Chris Gimenez. Gimenez is raking with the bat, as he now has 11 hits in 22 at bats with just 2 strikeouts. Unfortunately, it probably doesn’t matter what Gimenez does in the Spring as Jose Lobabton is going to be the second catcher. Gimenez’ best hope might be if Maddon decides to carry three catchers (highly unlikely)…Sean Rodriguez. Hot Rod looked comfortable at first base where he is expected to see playing time this season (especially if Shelley Duncan doesn’t make the team).

THE BAD: Power Outage. The Rays have just 10 home runs in 16 Spring games. Only three teams have hit fewer home runs. And it feels even worse if we look at who has hit the 10 home runs. Half have been hit by players that won’t be on the opening day roster (Shelley Duncan has 2. Leslie Anderson, Chris Gimenez, and Mark Thomas each have 1). Of the other 5, 4 have been hit by players that are not likely to be starting most days (Sean Rodriguez and Ryan Roberts have each hit 2). Yunel Escobar is the only starter that has hit a home run this spring.

THE TELLING: Andrew Friedman told Todd Kalas that it “remains to be seen” if Evan Longoria will be used at DH this season…Desmond Jennings sprained his ankle on Saturday, but Joe Maddon expects him to play today or tomorrowLuke Scott is also expected back today after straining his hamstring and Sam Fuld is on track to return later this week…Tim Beckham got hit in the face with a ball during a fielding exercise. He needed stitches underneath his eye and will be out a few days…Cecil Fielder (right) was in uniform for the Rays as part of their “Adopt A Veteran” program…Fernando Rodney picked up the save for the Dominican Republic last night and his cap seemed a little less crooked than the other night (see image below).

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • One of the Hooters ballgirls had an oops in the Rays game on Saturday. [BI Sports]
  • It is odd that Jim Hickey isn’t in bigger demand with the high payroll clubs, not only based on success of Rays pitchers, but based on how the Rays can keep pitchers healthy. Even if Hickey isn’t the only reason, he knows the secrets. [TampaBay.com]
  • How is Ben Zobrist not considered one of the top 100 players in MLB? Evan Longoria (16) and David Price (12) do make the list. [Baseball Nation]
  • Joel Peralta sounds like he has a future in coaching. [TBO.com]
  • Solid look at why strikeouts are so much more common these days. [LA Times]
  • If you haven’t seen video of the ugly World Baseball Classic brawl, here it is. [BI Sports]
  • Carl Crawford called the Boston media “the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.” [CBSSports.com]
  • And of course the Boston media had a field day with this. It was almost as if they took his comments as a compliment. [Boston.com]
  • Don’t forget to check in with Joe Bucs Fan as free agency arrives in the NFL. [JoeBucsFan]

Ben Zobrist

Fernando Rodney

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12 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    The funny thing about the ball girl was that the girl on the right field line wasn’t wearing her glove (she just had it in her hand) and had no interest in getting anywhere near a baseball. I guess the girl in left field wanted to make up for her fellow waitress by making a fine catch of a hard hit ground ball.

  2. Don says:

    Brighthouse field in N. Pinellas Co. had 11,500 at spring training game with Phillies Sat, and the Rays with a chance to make a good showing, sent a team of 2nd stringers and a bunch of guys that have as much chance of making the team as I do…good marketing job Rays…Phillies Tiki Hut swarming with young people drinking and having a good time at a baseball game, paying attention Rays? doubt it..
    Shelly Duncan parked another one……looks like a power option for Rays

    • chris says:

      very good point Don.

    • Lane Meyer says:

      Molina and Zobrist are playing in the WBC, Scott and Fuld are out for minor injuries and a few of the others had a day off. The Rays still managed to put up 15 runs on a Phils team that played 3 or 4 of their starters. Not bad for scrubs. ALso if Sandy Duncan makes this team, we are in deep trouble, he’s worse than anything we had last year and a cancer in the clubhouse.

  3. Brianknowsbest says:

    Of course the boston blogger takes a shot at the Rays fans as well. basically stating that no one cares about baseball in this town…. Standard procedure by a dirty sox fan

    • Dre says:

      what is even more frustrating is his comment about getting tickets to Game 7. I was there at that game, and the problem was the date/time. It was a Sunday night and started around 8pm if I remember correctly. regardless how big the game was, it wasn’t optimal. I remember dads with their very disappointed children trying to sell their tickets because they game started too late on a school night.

  4. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Where’s the power from Myers? I really thought he’d come out gunning to show that he was as good as advertised.

    I’m not overly concerned with the lack of power from Longo and the gang because I want to believe that they are working on the intricacies of their swings as opposed to swinging for the fences… that’s what I tell myself in order to not start inching across the room toward the panic button (you know, the one that’s labeled “Here we go again with another anemic offense” and comes complete with one more grey hair for every game wherein the Rays have more K’s than hits).

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Oh, and before some smart-alec comes along poking fun because I’m talking about my imaginary panic button in March, I suppose I’ll spell it out for you… it was hyperbole.

    • Jason says:

      Where is the power from Myers you ask? Two words, Derek Shelton. :p

  5. Lane Meyer says:

    LOL at the Boston blogger as well as the derisive comments from fans. The blogger is such an expert and brave soul that he has to be anonymous to write his drivel. And even though the article is about Crawford, his comments, and his time in Boston, the blogger still spends a few paragraphs generally deriding the Rays. (His mention of the Rays finally reaching 70 wins a few years back was hilarious given the Sox didn’t reach that level last year.) The Rays should ge congratulated for realizing what the Sox found out, an aging singles hitter that played 11 years on turf is not worth $20 mil a year. Carl was a great player but his body was abused here and he got paid for what he did, not what he could still do. Next time, do your homework before signing players to this kind of deal or at least don’t blame the player for not saying no when you back up the Brinks truck.

  6. Gus says:

    Giminez could make the squad if he keeps hitting so well. I think he can also play 3b if Longo needs to be DH’ing once a week. You can DL a catcher almost any day, anyway. There may be real progress there. We saw it last season.

  7. Dave L says:

    Zobrist was tremendous in his first appearence in the 3rd game. That was actually his second bunt his first one was excellent and successful and he reached base 3 times one on a high popup misplayed near the mound. I dont think he ever got the ball out of the infield but kept getting on base. He made an incredible diving stop that he actually trapped but the runner was fooled so he got caught in between the bags and Zo made the put out

    Its funny you mention that he only had 2 good bunts all last year. After the first bunt, the announcers Kaat and Vas…ian noted that Torre was bunting Zo and not Stanton before because he is such a great bunter playing for Maddon and noted ironically noted that Stanton only bunted 2 times last year.

    Its interesting, the national perception of the Rays. We really dont bunt much and arent particularly good at it IMO but Maddon has this small ball wizard rep nationally so they just assume it.

    Cesar Ramos pitched 2 great innings against Canada then faded in the third.

    If you have MLB you should watch these games they are excellent and very entertaining the intensity level of the other teams are at a max level and if the US doesnt match it they are going to get smoked in the second round. Wright, Rollins and Adam Jones have been great. Hosmer has played an impressive 1st base.

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