Tampa Bay Rays (18 days until Opening Day)

This morning we included a few links to the Yankees Blogospere in reaction to Shirley Duncan’s cheap shot yesterday on Akinori Iwamura. Now let’s take a look at what other people are saying, including some Rays blogs, in case you missed them.

I am sure we are going to get pounded for this, because apparently all we do is attack other blogs…but we are a little disappointed in the Rays Blogospere today. There was very little reaction from the other Rays sites. Some might say we overreacted. And we are not saying that everybody needed to take Shirley and the Yankees to the woodshed, but we got little in the way of viewpoints on the incident. This is a national story and Rays fans and non-Rays fans are flocking to our sites. They are not looking for a play-by-play. They want to know what we think and what we feel and how we are reacting. They are looking for us to be representative of Rays fans and the views, thoughts and emotions of Rays fans.

We also sprinkled in a few other afternoon links in case you are tired of reading about this mess.


  • Scott Kazmir threw 33 pitches this morning in batting practice and is all set to make his spring debut on Sunday. He will throw one inning against the Tigers. [Tampa Bay Rays]

“For me, he looked really good,” Maddon said. “I was watching from the side, I wanted to see if he was cutting himself off at all, he was not. His fastball was really alive. So was the slider, the slider had some nice bite to it, and a changeup, so he looked good overall.”

  • Brittany Ghiroli takes a look at the hot spring that Evan Longoria is having. [MLB]

What Longoria has made clear, in arguably the most important spring of his young career, is this: He can flat-out play…Longoria has seen action in eight games and is batting .368 with five RBIs and a .520 on-base percentage. He has marveled fans, impressed teammates and done everything possible to convince the Rays staff that he belongs.

  • Dan Shanoff of The Sporting News makes a great point that makes us giggle. [The Sporting News]

Here’s the crazy part: No matter what, the Rays win. A few seasons ago, you couldn’t get the Yankees to acknowledge the Rays even existed; now the Yankees are treating them as if their name was the “Ray Sox.”

The Rays recognized the first rule of feuding: Always punch up a weight class. (Admittedly, they only had one direction to go, but they chose well in picking baseball’s most storied franchise.)

  • Shirley Duncan doesn’t understand what the fuss is about…No? Well we now understand why it took Shirley seven years to reach the majors…He obviously has no idea how to play baseball properly…Meanwhile Joe Maddon stuck to his initial assessment of the play and said that punishment is out of his hands and up to the league. [Rays Report]
  • Rays of Light doesn’t think the Yankees as a whole should be held responsible for the acts of one player. They note that “its mostly just one hot-headed career minor leaguer who decided to act like a tough guy”. [Rays of Light]
  • Rays Digest called Shirley Duncan’s play “premeditated” and says it is “Time to take the Yankees blue dresses off and let’s play some baseball.” [Rays Digest]
  • Outs Per Swing provide an even-handed description without passing judgment. [Outs Per Swing]
  • Sports Indeed offers a very simple “don’t mess with Jonny Gomes” [Sports Indeed]
  • DRays Bay actually did have a few choice words saying that somebody apparently had to be a “hard ass” however reminding Shirley Duncan that Jonny Gomes has wrestling experience gave the post more of a silly edge as opposed to coming down hard on the Yankees…However, HUGE hat tip to DRays Bay for being the first with the actual video. [DRays Bay]
  • Bugs & Cranks? Well, they just got some quote from a Rays Town official that is clearly emotionally on edge. Somebody needs to get that guy a stressball. [Bugs & Cranks]
  • One Yankees blog was harder on Shirley Duncan than most of the Rays blogs. [River Ave. Blues]

There’s a difference between sliding with your spikes high and sending your sole towards another man’s family jewels (I’ve always loved that euphemism, family jewels). So I pretty much agree with what B.J. Upton said: “Just a flat-out dirty play. Period.”



  1. Larry B. says:

    I'll admit. I read this site first yesterday and thought it was a little over the top and almost dreaded reading 4 or 5 other accounts that sounded exactly the same. but then i was surprised that i read just the opposite. almost no emotion from the other sites. DRays Bay had it about right, but it mostly just the video and the pictures with a few words. their comment section was probably the best written part of any of the blogs

  2. Sean Wittingham says:

    i think the other sites were being professional and even-handed, but i have no problem with the emotion shown here. from the people i have talked to, this was more representative of how rays fans felt and even some non-rays. of course some used a few more f-bombs. some used a few less

  3. Tommy Vercetti says:

    I had a balance POV on OPS because I was working on a roundtable piece about the whole feud on Rays Anatomy where I unzipped my pants and let my Rays bias hang out.

  4. Scott says:

    You're probably right - I probably should have done a little bit more about it, but I'm already so tired of the whole story that I was ready to move on by the time this morning rolled around.

  5. The Professor says:

    i am really not meaning to pass judgment on any of the sites mentioned. they are all solid sites. they do wonderful jobs (especially DRays Bay, whom everybody thinks we hate). This was just a onetime thing. And I am speaking more as a fan in this post. As a fan I would have like a little more emotion. It is not bad that there wasn't much. I think fans just expected a little more yesterday. It is tough line to negotiate. most days we try to leave emotion out of the equation or else we sound too much like homers for the Rays. My personal opinion is that this is the type of situation in which it is OK to roll up the sleeves. sometimes, Rays fans need us to be Jonny Gomes.

  6. Possum Avenger says:

    I enjoyed your immediate reaction piece Prof. Of course, I'm an unabashed Rays homer. It also saved me from having to write something similar. Instead I got to put all my emotion into hating tie games.


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