MLB: OCT 02 White Sox v RaysGrant Balfour has been inducted into the Australian Baseball Hall of Fame despite still being an active player.

According to Baseball Australia, Balfour’s “inevitable induction” was moved up so that his ailing father could witness this ceremony.

Congrats to Balf.


  • The Rays have confirmed the signings of Ronald Belisario and Alexi Casilla and have also announced the signing of lefty Robert Zarate who last pitched in the big leagues with the Blue Jays in 2008.
  • The Rays have also announced the following minor leaguers will be with the Rays during spring training: right-handed pitcher Andrew Bellatti, infielder Vince Belnome, right-handed pitcher Dylan Floro, right-handed pitcher Brandon Gomes, catcher Luke Maile, infielder/outfielder Taylor Motter, outfielder Boog Powell and shortstop Daniel Robertson.
  • Desmond Jennings says his knee is 100%. []
  • James Shields could soon be reunited with Joe Maddon as the Cubs are “kicking the tires” on the top free agent still available on the market. [David Kaplan]
  • The Mayor of St. Pete is optimistic a new deal can be reached with the Rays before opening day that the city council will approve and will allow the Rays to look for stadium sites in Tampa. []
  • One of the biggest issues with Tropicana Field is that it is not ideally located in respects to the bulk of the Bay Area population. Michael Lortz broke down the importance of the 30-minute population radius. [Fangraphs]
  • Josh Lueke to play 2015 season in Mexico. []




  1. Jim says:

    How is Lueke allowed to leave the country? He plead no contest to false imprisonment with violence. I'm somewhat surprised he is allowed international travel, is it because it is Mexico and they have lax restrictions? Or is it the no contact vs guilty.

  2. angrybuddha says:

    Leuke is like a real-life Kenny Powers... without the history of success on the field.

  3. Gus says:

    Given that the guy is citing 15 year old population data, I'm not sure that is the best study to be citing, especially with the way Florida is growing.

    I'd also note that the "30 minute" drive time seems a little squishy. What time of day you are driving would have a huge impact in most US cities and certainly in Tampa Bay with its bridges.

    The short answer is that Tampa Bay is not dense enough in any single location to have a site that would move the weeknight attendance #s enough to off-set the cost of the new stadium now. The Rays should just use supply and demand models to discount prices to incentivize people to come over on weekenights. Brandon Night -- every Tuesday night, tickets are half price if you bring a group of 4 or more from Brandon. Wednesday Night is Manatee-Sarasota night -- same discount. I think most season ticket holders would have no problem with this.

    But the Rays would rather not market that way and use poor weekday attendance to justify a new stadium.

    • FortMyersDave says:

      The # that amazes me Gus is that Tampa was the only MLB team w/o 1.0 million fans within a 30 minute drive. Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and KC all have more than 1 million within the 30 minute radius. I guess that radius must only include South Pinellas and perhaps a few neighborhoods on the Hillsborough side of the Gandy... But it illustrates one thing: that the #s would be better if the Rays were in a stadium at one of the following: the Fairgrounds/Seminole Casino site by the Ford Amphitheater out by I-4/I-75 or downtown at the ConAgra site that Vinik plans to develop in downtown Tampa off of Nebraska. Both of these sites would double the # of fans in the 30 minute radius and help increase the weekday attendance and probably bump the weekend #s as well. Your idea of a Pasco night/ Pinellas Night/ Sarasota/Ft Myers night is good as well; perhaps even a carrier could provide motorcoach service with an open bar on the ride for people who dislike the drive into Tampa (that could work with the Trop as well; some groups already charter buses from Cape Coral/Port Charlotte and Sarasota to the Trop a few nights a season and it is popular, especially with the retirees). I just want baseball to stick in Tampa bay and I wish the St Pete City Council will quit holding the team for ransom and allow them to look at alternative sites once a deal gets reached with how to split up $ when dealing with the Trop after the move... The lease insures that no one can move the Rays out of St Pete until 2027 so all the national @-holes who want baseball in Montreal can go tell Oakland fans that their team is moving and quit the planted stories about the rays IMHO; I would not be surprised if Stu floated a few of the rumors himself to stir up the pot here in Tampa.......

  4. mep645 says:

    Adios Lueke. Don't let the screen door hit you on the way to Mexico.


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