Blog Entry

Getting to know the Rays

Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:23 pm
 
TEAM MVP

With several key departures, Evan Longoria is going to be called upon to shoulder the burden more than ever. The 25-year-old third baseman is plenty capable. His two gold gloves, offensive pedigree and leadership skills -- notice the dugout spat last year with B.J. Upton began when Longoria quietly told Upton to hustle. It's time now for Longoria to take another step toward becoming more than just a team MVP. He finished fourth in league MVP voting last year. And he dipped to 22 home runs.

PLAYER ORACLE
-- Quinton McCracken to B.J. Upton

McCracken played with Grant Balfour for the 2001 Minnesota Twins

Balfour played with Upton on the 2010 Rays

[Note: We were severely hampered here with the Rays coming into existence in 1998 and Mike DiFelice and Dan Wheeler being on both early and late incarnations of the Rays]

POP CULTURE


The Rays were largely ignored for their early years, as they struggled to get the win total past the mid-60s. Lately, though, we've seen an increased presence -- namely Longoria's Jason Bourne-like tracking of his cap in the New Era commercial . But we've all seen that. Let's go with a cartoon called "Defenders of the Game," starring the voices of several Rays players and manager Joe Maddon. Check out season two, episode one below.



-- Matt Snyder

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Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:49 am
 

Getting to know the Rays

I see a real regression for the Rays this year, yes, they have some strong young pitching, but an injury to Price would all but destroy there season.  There line-up has plenty of Holes, and you never know what Manny and Damon might bring to the table.  The biggest reason for their regression this year will be their bullpen, the resaon why they were so strong the last couple of years was their depth in the pen.  I think the Orioles will push the Rays for 4th.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:50 pm
 

Getting to know the Rays

I'll concede boston is top dogs right now but Nyy and tampa will battle for the second spot.  Nyy didn't make any significant additions this offseason and while the Rays did lose out on a few players, they have tons of young talent to come in.  The bullpen though, I do agree is going to be a trouble spot unless a lot of over achieving goes on.
Manny and Damon, I don't see to much as a bid of desperation......especially Manny.  He is cheap as can be and if he gets his pop back then it will be a steal. 
Maddon might not be Drew Carey, but he does know how to work his team up and motivate them and get the most out of them. IE: carlos pena.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:37 pm
 

Getting to know the Rays

No bullpen, a shaky middle infield sans Longoria and an outfield missing Crawford. Their rotation could be good if Shields bounces back. In a division with Boston and the evil empire, they're at best a 3rd place team because of all their losses. Adding Damon and Ramirez was pure desperation and they'll flounder. Ramirez will have as bad an effect on their young players as Damon will have a positive effect. Their manager also fancies himself some sort of Aristotle. In my opinion, he's more like Drew Carrey minus the charm or wit. I see a team that will go 85-77 or thereabouts. They'll also draw about 11,000 a game unless Boston and NY are in town.


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