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

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: Kelly Shoppach. Shoppach hit a grand slam off of Jeremy Hellickson.

THE BAD: Future Stars. We like the idea of the Rays playing exhibition games at the parks of their minor league affiliates. It’s great for the local fans. But instead of playing the Mets at The Trop on Friday, why not do what the Yankees did yesterday? The Yankees played an exhibition game against a team composed of their top prospects. For a franchise like the Rays that is so dependent on their farm system, wouldn’t this be a big draw for fans at The Trop the weekend before the regular season starts?

THE TELLING: Kelly Shoppach caught Jeff NiemannSean Rodriguez started in right field and batted 9th.


  • Several tidbits from Marc Topkin: Elliot Johnson cleared waivers and will go to triple-A…Joaquin Benoit doesn’t sound pleased with his demotion saying “Am I supposed to prove I can pitch in the minors? We’ll see what happens in three-four weeks”…Sean Rodriguez may start at second base on Tuesday…Like Desmond Jennings, Tim Beckham will miss the start of the regular season. [St. Pete Times]
  • Scott Kazmir will start the season on the DL. [ESPN]
  • Marc Topkin writes about some of the key decisions that were made during the spring and why they were made. [St. Pete Times]
  • Art Levy spoke with Don Zimmer about his 62 years in baseball. Great read. [St. Pete Times]
  • Roger Mooney lists the players Raysheads should watch closely in 2010. [Tampa Tribune]




  1. Beth says:

    I don't know if that grand slam is "the good." we all have a lot more riding on Hellickson's future than Shoppach's so in some ways the "good" would have been Hellickson dominating a major league line-up!

  2. DRR says:

    First of all, as a Bulls fan first and a Rays fan second, the game yesterday's was a lot of fun. Secondly, to Beth's point it is tough to blame Hellickson. There was a dropped line drive at 3rd, a bad throw on an attempted double play and a drop on a diving play in the outfield (which would have been a great play if Rashad could have held on to it). The homerun looked like a fly ball that kept drifting and drifting.

  3. Matt says:

    I think they might have played the game in Durham because A) It might not draw well or B) It costs money to open up the trop, more than a durham game. It still didn't make sense to fly the team to Durham.

  4. Matt says:

    I was looking, wouldn't Brignac start Tuesday, cause Millwood is a righty so Brignac would start against RH pitching.

  5. td says:

    "Kelly Shoppach. Shoppach hit his first home run with the Rays, a grand slam off of Jeremy Hellickson"

    I'm a bit confused... wasn't that his 4th HR of the spring?

  6. Professor,
    I love that idea of having a game played by the current Rays squad against a Rays prospect squad.
    I remember a few years ago the Rays Triple-A team played the Couble-A team at Tropicanan Field, but it quickly became a blow out as Double-A had more talent and more explosive players at that time.
    But that is one of the reason I also love to go to Spring games is the meshing of the regular squad and the few prospects or question marks from the minor league system who sometimes get into the game after the first few Matthew Hall, the Rays 3B Prospect who got a nice triple in the game yesterday.

  7. Razzlegator says:

    Is it Tuesday night yet? That's when any of this will matter.

  8. Don says:

    I don't hear much from those Kazmir remember "How could the Rays trade our ($12mil) pitcher .....Well Rays mgt. look pretty smart now
    as Alex Jr. produces early in the year and Kazmir doesn't feel well....
    Thank you Angels!

    • Gus says:

      Dumping Kazmir's contract was always a smart thing. Not sure if they could have accomplished that trade in the off-season, however, and the timing of the Kazmir trade was the only question. They cassed in the 2008 season by trading Kaz and that was the only concern on my part.

      Essentially Kazmir's 2010 money went to Soriano and covering arbitration raises. Most of us would have agreed that was the way to go, assuming Soriano can stay healthy and effective.

  9. Justin says:

    Hey, Prof--one of my favorite features is when you highlight some of the other games going on, and tell us who you think we should be rooting for.

    We have a three game series with NY in Boston--pick your poison?

    • Well, if you subscribe to the theory that second place in the East is "good enough" then I am rooting for the Yankees. They seem pretty stacked if they stay healthy. on the other hand the Sox look beatable this year. So from here on out every loss by the Sox is one game closer to the playoffs for the Rays.

      But really I am just rooting for a lot of pulled hamstrings, for both teams.

  10. Michael says:

    Yahoo has the New Era commercial starring Evan Longoria. Extremely awesome if you ask me:,231983


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