USATSI_7783958_154511044_lowresOdds and ends

  • Wilson Betemit has finally reported. Juan Carlos Oviedo is still dealing with his visa problems.
  • Cesar Ramos is now a candidate for the final spot in the rotation. He gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 2.2 innings. He struck out 2.
  • The Rays signed pitcher Sergio Perez to a minor league deal and he will be in big league camp. Perez has spent 8 seasons in the minors and was in single-A and double-A for the A’s last year as well as some time in the Mexican League. [Marc Topkin]
  • Jake Odorizzi is learning to throw Alex Cobb’s changeup, “The Thing.” []
  • The Rays will have 4 starting outfielders this season and a big reason is the turf at The Trop. Desmond Jennings: “It kills you.” []
  • Desmond Jennings is 8-10 pounds heavier and wants to be a power hitter. []
  • Marc Topkin writes about the battle for the 3rd catcher spot, a position held by Chris Gimenez last season. []
  • Cal Ripken Jr will throw out the first pitch at next Thursday’s game. He will also sign books during the game.
  • Logan Forsythe has never played first base in the minors or majors. But this is the Rays and they are managed by Joe Maddon, so… []
  • Marc Topkin was guest on Buster Olney’s podcast. [ESPN]
  • Erik Bedard talked about the Rays clubhouse and what he is trying to do in spring training. []
  • Here’s a look at attendance during games with post-game concerts. [TB Baseball Market]
  • Here’s a crazy spring training photo. [BI Sports]





  1. Rob says:

    I don’t understand the commitment the Rays have toward Ramos.

    • Ken says:

      JoMa does seem to have his favorites. In the past I’ve felt the same way about EJ, Howell, Briggy, Pena, Upton and feel the same as you now about Ramos. SRod as well for that matter, maybe it’s a loyalty thing, or a staying too late at the bar thing. I’m rooting for Odorizzi to nail down the fifth spot and Bedard to replace Ramos in the lefty specialist role.
      I can’t remember a spring where the Rays have had so much competition for so few roster spots. Pretty exciting…

    • Dave L says:

      I think this move is less of a vote of confidence in lefty Ramos showing the makings of a starter and more of a default move due to the lack of confidence in what they have seen of lefty Bedard so far.

      Also you could take it as a last ditch effort to find a role for him since the other relievers either have found a role as an effective bullpen man or are simply too old to try this.

      Remember, if you ask JoeMa if he serves chocolate ice cream he will answer by extolling the fabulous vanilla he serves. He turns every necessity into a virtue.

  2. Chis Wise says:

    I’d love to be reading more of Marc Topkin’s work. But the Tampa Bay Times has moved behind a pay wall. Too bad. He’s a decent reporter and I have enjoyed reading his work. But for a reader in North Carolina is he worth $144 a year? You tell me.

    • Ken says:

      Very pricey, even for a Pinellas County resident. The Times isn’t worth it, never mind Topkin. Rays fans get the hose again.

    • BCFL says:

      Topkin and the Times have the best Rays coverage around. And you get 15 free stories a month before you have to pay.

    • Beth says:

      So, the Tampa Bay Times needs to pay reporters, photographers, and all the folks who keep the website going, but we should all enjoy the results for free? As BCFL notes you can get a certain number of articles free per month; if you are reading more than 15 a month then yes, you should be paying. Imagine if we applied your logic to other businesses: “My favorite restaurant provides free samples of appetizers, but they want me to pay for a full meal!”

      That $144 translates to about $0.35 a day.

      • Ken says:

        That’s $.35 cents a Rays article…if you don’t read the entire paper…I guess you favor buying a paper each day. Screw the trees right? Wonder how much this site is worth to you? Would you pay if Cork started charging Beth? How about all the other sports sites? Should they all charge?

      • Chis Wise says:

        Well, it’s closer to $.40 per day, but who’s counting? And since Marc posts about three times a day the 15 “free” clicks (he tweets, I click thru to a transaction report, one down) are taken up in about 5 days. On the other hand, I would be a very narrowly targeted audience and many web sites have figured that out and the “click thrus” for a Rays fan should easily pay the bill. Rays Index,, Tampa Tribune, and all the bloggers seem to have figured this out. Plus, my modest blog has (up to now) featured a prominent link to the Tampa Bay Times. And I frequently linked to TBT. But how can I do that now? But that wasn’t my question. My question was, is Marc Topkin’s writing worth $144 a year or not?

        • Sarah says:

          No doubt our news and entertainment media are going to need to find better models for collecting revenues from targetted audiences. Ideally, and perhaps eventually, newspapers like the Times will be able to sell a Rays package for those who just want to read Rays coverage online, or a Bucs package, or food and entertainment package, etc. But the “I don’t want to pay” crowd seems to both misunderstand and devalue what “real” journalists give us. Most blogs consist largely of links to the products of journalists who get paid for what they do, and as long as they are getting paid we need to find ways to pay them for their efforts. Alternatively, we’d all need to quit our day jobs and watch every game ourselves. Personally, I find the cost of a few subscriptions cheaper.

      • BCFL says:

        Beth – thanks for backing me but people don’t understand the difference. Sorry, bloggers, deep respect for all that you do. But the Times sends Topkin to Port Charlotte full time during ST. He also follows on most road trips. He has most of the scoop that lots of you end up quoting later. That costs money. Without the full professional media, bloggers would have less to blog about. Is it worth $144 a year? To some yes, to others no. I guess to those it is not, they can let Chris Wise and Cork continue to blog and link. And only click on those links that are of interest enough to read within their 15 page limit. Another value you guys bring. Of course it’s your choice to not link to the Times. But the simple fact is that they have the best Rays coverage around. To me, that’s worth money. Is it worth $144/yr ? Well, it’s a little narrow minded to think that Rays fans would only be interested in Rays news. So it’s really not $144. But that’s why we have choices. Different strokes for different folks. Sometimes you do get what you pay for, though, in my opinion.

    • Dave L says:

      It is paid for with advertising revenue from ads posted on the site like TV commercials..Thats how Rays Index and 99% of the internet works in 2014.

      Only increasingly rare Premium sites with Premium unique content unavailable anywhere else can get away with charging fees.

      Is Mark Tompkins reports interesting? Yes

      But is it Premium so as to pay for up and above the reams of free Rays info available on free media?

      For me no way.

      Much of Tompkins work is regurgitated through other outlets.

      • Sarah says:

        But Dave, Cork and other bloggers depend on people like Topkins, or Olney, to do the actual reporting. If you say that you don’t need to pay for the reporting because you can read it through other outlets you are missing the point, which is that SOMEONE needs to pay him to be there everyday. Ad revenue alone might cover the time of a blogger who spends a few hours a day on this and then goes to his day job. But the apparatus needed to fully report on the team — salaries, travel costs, etc — requires more than ad revenue.

        Ultimately, you are seeking to get something of value for nothing and in the long run that is unsustainable.

        • Dave L says:

          Television and radio have worked with that model of advertising fueled revenue for decades.

          Why should the internet be any different?

          If you want HBO pay for it, but I am happy with what I get for “free” by putting up with annoying ads for decades.

          So if you pay for Tompkin will it be totally advertising free content? It will be HBO + ADS — No thanks

          • BCFL says:

            So just like with TV, there are premium and 100% free networks. The Times feel, as do their digital subscribers, that theirs is a premium content. That’s the beautiful thing. You don’t agree, don’t pay. But this whole thread was opened with someone saying they wish they could read Topkin more. BTW –
            Here’s some more premium content coming from The Times:


            I’d certainly enjoy the opportunity to ask questions directly of Joe Maddon and others, and I would hope that would not be free. That way I have chance to actually get my question asked without having to compete with all of the riff raff to get noticed.

  3. Alex says:

    Incognito window. That is all

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