We call him The Dirtbag because of how he plays and because he played college ball at Long Beach State whose baseball team has the coolest mascot in sports…The Dirtbags.

[Queue the dramatic musical score]

No surprise here…Evan Longoria was cut today and will begin the 2008 season at AAA Durham.

Following today’s game, the Rays reassigned top prospect 3B Evan Longoria to minor-league camp. He will begin the season at Triple-A Durham….Longoria said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the decision and ‘’had a feeling’’ it might be coming.

Nobody should be surprised by the move at this point. We admit, we thought this would bother us more, but it really doesn’t. The loss of Scott Kazmir at this point hurts a lot more. Longoria could have eased that pain a bit, but let’s face it. As long as the Rays rotation includes Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel, the Rays are in trouble.

So we can officially retire the Dirtbag-O-Meter. We will continue to watch The Dirtbag’s progress closely at Durham, but we still feel fairly confident that we will not see Longoria in the majors until May 26 (Memorial Day).

Longoria sent down [Rays Report]



  1. Sean says:

    Instead of retiring it go with an old-school "Shawon-O-Meter" with his batting average in Durham.

  2. The Professor says:

    ahhhh. somebody that recognizes the inspiration for the Dirtbag-O-Meter. From back in the day when WGN was the only way to get your daily baseball fix and the morning paper was theonly way to get boxscores.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Reds did the same thing with Jay Bruce

  4. EricSanSan says:

    Once Kaz went down, this became the only choice. In time we'll all look back and realize what a smart move this was. Be patient and think about competing for a decade, not just 2008.

  5. Possum Avenger says:


    Its real easy to say that when you haven't suffered through 10 losing season.

  6. Robert Rittner says:

    I have suffered through 10 losing seasons and I say the same thing. In fact, not only is it easy, but to some extent it is because I have suffered through those 10 seasons that I am glad to have a management team that does the smart thing instead of the easy or popular one.

  7. Evan says:

    I disagree that sending Longoria down is the right decision, but I'm also a proponent of signing Barry Bonds, so I'm coming from a very different perspective.

    But, I gotta agree with the professor. Having Jackson and especially Hammel in the rotation is a major problem, the fact that management seemingly doesn't understand that Sonnanstine and Howell have performed better than those two against ML competition is worrying.

  8. Evan says:

    btw, thanks Prof, I hope you don't mind, I was a baseball orphan until I got on the Rays' bandwagon last August. This blog is awesome.

  9. Ben says:

    Do you think that Jackson and Hammel will be on a short leash for the season? I mean do you think the rays will let jackson start 0-10 again or would they not have a problem bringing up someone else.

  10. Robert Rittner says:

    Since Sonnanstine was tabbed as the #3 pitcher ahead of both Jackson and Hammel, it appears the Rays do recognize that he is pitching better against major league competition.

    As for Howell, he has been no more effective starting in the majors than either Hammel or Jackson. On the other hand, he has apparently been chosen as a long man in the bullpen which may suit his talents better than starting and which he has fully embraced. So selecting Hammel and Jackson over him is also not an issue.

    I agree that having Jackson and Hammel in the #4-5 slots is worrisome. I have little confidence in either, although each has possibilities. Their failure has not been over as extended a trial as fans seem to think. And also, once Kazmir is back, one of them will go. They are both in the rotation now because there are no other options, and I reiterate what I have said before that Niemann is probably a terrible choice to start the year in TB.

  11. The Professor says:

    Evan, thanks for the compliment. we are glad to have you. as for Jackson and Hammel...Hammel is definitely on the shorter leash. Unless Jackson completely falls on his face (not impossible) Hammel is out when Kaz is back. Jackson is a pitcher that needs a team that is going to be patient and he is very lucky he is a member of the Rays bc i think they will continue to be patient with him. Honestly, it would not surprise me if Jackson is in the rotation all year. I guess deep down, he doesn't bother me as a #5 starter. He is servicable. As far as 5th starters go in baseball, Jackson is better than most. He at least has the ability to dominate.


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