Jonah Keri asked us to pass along a note that a free preview is now available for his new book “The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First.” This is the long-anticipated book about the Rays front office. The free preview includes the foreward from Mark Cuban. []

You can pre-order the book at


  • As we near spring training, Buster Olney says that Grant Balfour’s asking price might finally be coming down. [Twitter]
  • Buster Olney thinks Grant Balfour’s best option may be to re-sign with the Rays as their closer and hit the free agency market again next year. [Twitter]
  • Buster Olney adds that the Rays could entice Grant Balfour by promising to not offer him arbitration next winter so that teams won’t have to surrender a draft pick. [Twitter]
  • Roy Peter Clark in the St. Pete Times makes a case that Tropicana Field is not the Rays problem. []




  1. Don says:

    The best thing to draw from Clark's article is that sports is NOT the Real Estate...... it is not: location, location,location....
    In Sports its: product&promotion, product&promotion,product&promotion....
    Just look at the NFL, NBA , Casino's and big time wrestling....
    They will show you how to "promote", our current local "product" is headed down the tubes...see what happens to attendance...

  2. MJ says:

    Would the FO want Balfour as their closer? Sounds like a good idea for Balfour, but Not the rays. Unless they want to keep payroll sub 50.

  3. Sarah says:

    My fear is that the follow up version of Keri's book will be:"How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First -- and then to New Jersey."

  4. Gus says:

    Better sell that book before the Nation sees that the extra 2% includes stocking the bullpen of the defending AL East champs with the legend of Kyle Farnsworth! (I'd prefer the Durham bullpen to that)

    • Derek says:

      lol, because Benoit, Balfour, Choate were all top of the line guys when they signed here.

      • Derek says:

        He has put together two very solid years now. Ill take this deal over that insane deal Benoit signed off of one solid year.

        • Gus says:

          benoit's prior good season (2008) and Balfour's time as Twins closer (2004?) at least let you know they had it in them. Has Farnsworth ever had it in him?

          If they make lemonade out of this lemon, then we should buy the 2% book and donate a copy to every business school in the country.

          I'm putting this one in the failed releiver acquisition category, joining Isringhuasen, the Japaneese guy who never made it out of the Tyrone Hooters, Percival and Qualls (not sure if Bradford belongs there also). The common thread is that all of these guys cost decent money. I hope I'm wrong.

          • Andy says:

            The only bad signing out of that group is Percival, as he's really the only one who got paid like a closer. The rest (and no Bradford does NOT belong in that group) are the price of finding the Benoits of the world. To find a Grant Balfour,to give you 58 innings of 1.54 era, you have to be willing to deal with 14.2 innings of Scott Dohman at a era...thats a fair tradeoff in my book.

            If their strategy is to throw a bunch of %^&* on the wall and see what sticks, frankly, its hard to argue with the results.

            (Though this signing doesn't really fit that mold...its closer to the re-sigining of Wheeler than any of their other recent bullpen moves)

      • Cork Gaines says:

        I forgot, which one of those guys was given $3M and was the highest paid pitcher in the 'pen?


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