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

RAYS 11, Tigers 5 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Luke Scott. Another home run for Scott, who now has three this spring in limited action. And it is not just the home runs. He has 9 hits in 9 games. But more importantly, 7 of those hits are for extra bases. He also has 2 walks and just 2 strikeouts. This lineup needs power. But that thirst will be less if Scott is healthy and swinging the bat well…Stephen Vogt. I just love that picture of Vogt to the right. He always just looks so uncomfortable no matter what he is doing.

THE BAD: WBC. The good news is the WBC is finally over. The bad news is, the Dominicans only won 3-0 in the final, so Fernando Rodney was needed for the SEVENTH STRAIGHT GAME. Not cool. You can see the celebration HEREDavid Price. It’s not clear who David Price was mad at, but he was mad at somebody for making him pitch in the rain on Monday. He did sound better on Tuesday. But man, he was ticked on Monday.

THE TELLING: Jeff Niemann will be pushed back three days and will start on Friday. This still makes him the only starting pitcher not on normal rest for a regular season start with just three turns through the rotation remaining in the spring…If Jeff Niemann is traded, Brandon Gomes would seem to be the favorite for the final bullpen spot. And Joe Maddon said he may be having the “best spring” of anybody in camp according to Marc TopkinBen Zobrist played shortstop for the first time this spring…Remember when Sam Fuld was supposed to play last week, and earlier this week, and then the end of this week. Now it is “Friday or Saturday.”


  • Some people just don’t want to hear about how well Josh Lueke is performing based on his troubled past. On the one hand, I doubt the author meant his post to come off the way Craig Calcaterra took it. But on the other hand, if you are going to write about anything having to do with rape, you’ve got to choose your words very carefully. [HardballTalk]
  • The Rays are trying to convince St. Pete to let them out of their contract by arguing that the land is more valuable if it is not being used for baseball. []
  • The Rays have unveiled their marketing strategy for 2013. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • Marc Topkin discusses the remaining questions with the roster. We’ll have more on this in a little bit. []
  • This headline made me giggle: “Carl Crawford shows off arm.” []
  • Luke Scott is apparently the face of MLB gun owners (thanks, Dre). [BuzzFeed]
  • Some important info to keep in mind if you are still filling out your brackets. [BI Sports]




  1. Bill says:

    re: Lueke and the article and all of the haters—

    So they would all rather a person who made mistakes in life just stay at that position in life and continue to make those same mistakes? Same people deify Josh Hamilton for shaking his demons – allegedly. He basically stole from the Rays. Not saying what Lueke did was right or escusable, but must people judging him just read the headline and think he grabbed some random girl, duct taped her up, drug her home and forcibly raped her. The police aren’t even clear on what happened. The DA said they would never get a rape conviction.

    Lots of folks make those mistakes and it leads to a life as a career criminal. It is a bad story a out bad judgment and bad actions. It is a good story about putting that behind you. It will be a great story if he makes the bigs, signs a big contract, and contributes significantly to a foundation for rape victims or something.

    Final thought , Ray Lewis lied to police and certainly has more knowledge of, if not participation in a murder. A 4 yr old lost her father. Yet we deify him. He mislead investigators and admitted that. He hid or destroyed his blood stained suit. But it’s Ray Lewis, so we forget it even happened. Ray and Josh – success stories. Lueke – scum ?

    • Brandon Rays Fan says:

      Who worships Ray Lewis? Ravens fans? Sure. ESPN? They were about to hire the guy so of course they kissed his ass. But you severely underestimate how many people still hate Ray Lewis. As for Hamilton, most look at what he did as a victimless crime. Who cares if he “stole” from a billionaire.

      And from what I understand, the only reason prosecutors thought they couldn’t get a conviction was because she didn’t want to testify. Otherwise he denied even having sex. And yet they found his DNA in her and on her. So yeah, he’s scum.

      • Lane Meyer says:

        Hamilton’s transgressions aren’t exactly victimless as each time he falls off the wagon he manages to cheat on his wife in addition to drinking or taking drugs again. They he conveniently finds his way back to Jesus.

      • Bill says:

        Every media outlet worships Ray Lewis. I don’t underestimate how many people hate him. I didn’t reference that in any way. I referenced that many deify him, and they do.

        Sorry that you feel theft is OK as long as it is from someone who can afford it. But don’t you find it interesting that you’re willing to take that angle on that topic, but you accept every scenario that paints Lueke as if he was the rapist version of Hanibal Lecter? No chance the DA examined the evidence and found some possibility the girl had some culpability? If there is the slightest chance, we can’t as a society hang the guy without clear evidence beyond the shadow of doubt. Yet you all are willing to do what the courts, who spoke to them all directly and examined the evidence, could not do. Everyone who gets lesser charges is not a guilty scum who got off on technicalities. Some are actually innocent. How do you know which ones? Unfortunately for her, we can’t undo what happened either.

        • Brandon Rays Fan says:

          ” No chance the DA examined the evidence and found some possibility the girl had some culpability?”

          This is the problem with society. This is why there are people that feel sorry for the Steubenville football players.

          There was absolutely ZERO evidence that the woman did something that made it ok to be raped. And yet there was evidence that he raped her. And yet you sit and wonder if she did something wrong.



          You want to say the prosecution couldn’t convict, fine. Why did he plea to anything then? He is a convicted criminal that may have done something even worse and you want to sit here and put blame on the victim? You sir, have a serious problem. And sadly, too many people in society are as dumb as you.

          • Bill says:

            Sadly many people spend time judging as you do. I did not judge the victim or put blame on her. I said we owe to the accused exactly that which our constitution does. Per our legal system he is not a rapist. I’m glad for you that you think you are better and more knowledgable than everyone whose job it was to charge and convict. Yes he’s a convicted criminal. But not a rapist. And the whole point, again, is, that he is focusing on baseball instead of still doing crime. It’s sad that you can’t see anything at all good in that. I’m not “dumb” as you put it. I can speak. I think you meant unintelligent. And I never stopped to insulting you personally. I don’t know you. But I do envy your apparent omniscience.

    • Brandon Rays Fan says:

      But to be clear, I’m fine with him earning a living and don’t even care if he does it with the Rays. But that doesn’t mean I have to like him or admire what he’s supposedly overcome.

    • Kellyann says:

      Lueke raped a woman in her anus…that’s a horrific crime, not a mistake. The DA did not believe they could get a rape conviction because the woman had passed out and could not remember what happened. She did not give consent to being violated by this animal. If Lueke makes the major league team I will never set foot in the Trop again.

      • Bill says:

        Regardless of what he did, the point of the article was he is not out there doing it again, or doing other despicable things. He is focusing on baseball and doing well at it. What did was despicable. But none of you have all of the facts, because they are not available. And I’d like to believe our legal system is better than to let a guy slip who is just blatant, violent rapist.

        You have the right to judge and have your own opinions. But I submit that if it was your own brother, you’d be ashamed of what he did, but proud to see him moving on from it in a positive way. Go ahead and hate if that is how you deal with it. I am far from a Christrian, and closer to an atheist. But when it comes to judging people, I look at what they are doing now and certainly prefer the attidude Christ had when he said, “father forgive them, for they know not…”. I’ve made mistakes and bad judgements too. Nothing close to this or even illegal. But I’mthankful the people in my life judge me more for who I am today than for the mistakes I made yesterday. And I’m proud to be a Rays fan, because it seems they are doing this with this young man. We all need second chances. And I hope Lueke, for his sake, not the Rays’, continues to make the most of his.

        • Kellyann says:

          Wow, lets throw Leuke a parade! He’s not out raping women anymore! Must be tough for him. And once again, it wasn’t a mistake, a mistake is when you buy the wrong brand of paper towels. He commited a heinous crime that is one step below murder.
          Also, again, he got a reduced sentence because the victim was so incapacitated that she couldn’t remember all the events of that night. This does not mean the rape did not occur since there was plenty of evidence that it did, such as his DNA inside of her. Not everybody gets what they deserve in our legal system.
          If this guy was my brother…it just makes me sick even thinking about it and what does he have to move on from? You’re acting like he’s the victim. The real victim has to live with being raped every day of her life…that is something that she can never move on from.

          • Bill says:

            You’re right. He should be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of his life. No person is ever redeemable. I stand corrected.

        • Kellyann says:

          Yes, you are right, he should be thrown in a dungeon. Why are you this guy’s champion? And where do you draw the line as far as criminals playing a professional sport? How about murderers? Is that ok, too? Obviously, it’s fine and dandy to you to allow convicted rapists to play a game in front of millions of people, many of which are children. Playing this game should be considered a privilege and not something played by exconvicts, especially excons that committed such violent crimes.

  2. Don says:

    Scott being pushed by Duncan…healthy competition for a Job Scott was handed last year..and he Failed, I say keep both if nothing else but for power, whens the last time Fuld played a meaningful game for the Rays….do they really need him (for outfield defense) or do the Rays need power hitting…
    Easy Answer…

    • Lane Meyer says:

      Sorry Donny Doom but Duncan is garbage. He’s Mr. March and manages to have some great springs that never translate to regular season success demonstrated by his career .229 average and inability to hit any kind of breaking ball. Add that to a temper and bad clubhouse demeanor and you can print Shirley a ticket to Durham at best or more likely a flat out release.

  3. AJNO says:

    Luke Scott feats off of Spring Training fastballs. You people ALL know that by now…

    • KT says:

      Feats?? I guess they are feats.

    • Bill says:

      I’m worried you are correct. But I do see, watching him, some real differences in his swing and his attitude at the plate. All we can do is hope that it translates to the regular season. The good news is, this late in ST, pitchers usually have their full repertoire going, yet he is still stroking.

      • Bill says:

        First pitch pop up with runners on following a walk today. Not pretty. Guess he thought a fastball was coming after a 4 pitch walk. Not sure what it was.

  4. reeni645 says:

    Maybe he should have gotten a state prison sentence.Then his cellmate and his buddies would show him what happens to men in prison that hurt women or children.He would have experienced anal rape firsthand!

    Working with prosecutors in past jobs, unless you brought them an airthight case wrapped up in gold ribbon, they didn’t take the case and try it. That didn’t make the crime not happen nor did this lack of committment by the prosecutors make the criminal/perp less of a perp.

    • Bill says:

      It didn’t make the crime happen either. Based upon our constitution I’m right and all you Lueke haters are wrong. That’s why he’s still playing ball and you’re all whining. Lueke rocks and I hope you all remember this when he’s component to a strong September !

      I’m right. Lueke is kicking butt. Whine all you want. See if it changes.

      • Kellyann says:

        I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. It seems from your responses that you’re young…middle school, maybe high school age. You obviously don’t know anything about our legal system when it comes to rape cases and you definitely don’t know anything about the Constitution. And another thing, Lueke is a terrible pitcher. The only reason he hasn’t been released is that the Rays don’t want to make that trade of Jaso (something I will never understand) look any worse than it already does.

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