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Tag:B.J. Upton
Posted on: May 20, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Rays' Upton out with a strange injury

By C. Trent Rosecrans

B.J. UptonWell, here's a new one -- Tampa's B.J. Upton is out with a butt injury. Seriously. Sorta.

The team announced Upton left the game after the second inning of the game against the Marlins with "tightness in his left gluteal muscle."

Upton grounded out in the first and then ran down a deep fly by John Buck in the second, before he left the game. 

He was replaced by Justin Ruggiano in center field.

Upton is hitting .258/.329/.458 with seven homers and 27 RBI.

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Posted on: May 7, 2011 1:57 pm
 

B.J. Upton suspended two games for tantrum

By Evan Brunell

UptonB.J. Upton has been suspended for two games and fined $1,500, as the Tampa Tribune reports, for his temper tantrum in the ninth inning of Wednesday, May 4's game. Upton is currently appealing the penalty but will drop it once the Rays begin a three-game series with the Indians on Tuesday.

When Upton was called out on strikes in Wednesday's game to cap off an 0-for-4 night with four whiffs and three looking, he had enough and accosted home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild. He lost control to the point he had to be restrained by two coaches.

They look at it the way they want to look at it. Once it's over, it's out of my hands," Upton said of the penalty, refusing to say if he felt it was appropriate.

Upton is choosing to appeal the penalty given his success against the Orioles in Camden Park where he has a career .860 OPS in 164 plate appearances. Contrast that to Cleveland, where his OPS is a paltry .441 in 54 PA. If Upton truly wanted to, he could continue appealing the suspension and play in these games but it is extremely unlikely that appeal would have been successful. It's far better to get it over with in these circumstances and groom the suspension to fit the best possible outcome. That's Upton sitting out the first two games of the Cleveland series before returning for the final game against Justin Masterson.

"He's had a lot of success here, and that was his call," manager Joe Maddon said. "I don't want to argue with that. Two games here, two games there, who knows when the right two games are to take? So we just went with his wishes right now, and he's playing today."

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 20, 2011 11:22 pm
 

What team could acquire B.J. Upton?

Upton

By Evan Brunell

The Nationals have been scouting Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, as a source tells MLB.com. However, the source said it was simply "routine scouting," and that Washington is happy with Rick Ankiel in center.

How one can be happy with someone hitting .211/.286/.298 is strange, especially since Ankiel is no spring chicken and at this point is who he is, which is an average overall outfielder probably best suited to part-time duty. But he has a fan in GM Mike Rizzo and has patrolled the outfield grass superbly, so he's not going anywhere soon.

However, if the Nationals have a chance to get Upton at the trade deadline, you can bet their infatuation with Ankiel will dissipate really fast. The Rays are expected to deal Upton at the trade deadline as the toolsy outfielder is due to be a free agent. While his career line of .259/.345/.424 is far from impressive, Upton will begin 2012 at only age 27 and has potential oozing out of him. He's hit 24 home runs in a year before; batted .300; is hoping to extend his stolen-base streak to a fourth consecutive year with over 40 bags and is gifted in the oufield. When Upton's on, he's on -- witness his seven home runs combined between the ALDS and ALCS back in 2008 when he terrorized the White Sox and Rays. Yes, he had nothing to offer against the Phillies in the World Series and failed last season against Texas, but Upton likes to show harbinger of what he can become and teams will line up for the privilege of handing out a massive contract even if the results aren't there. (Could Tampa resign Upton? Sure, but don't bet on it.)

And Upton, with that skillset, is exactly the type of player the Nats would love to have. His young age makes it certain that his best days are likely ahead of him -- can't say that about Jayson Werth -- and is young enough to grow and evolve with the fellow Nats youngsters into a force.

But Washington won't be the only team bidding for his services. Fellow NL East rival Atlanta could also jump in on the action as Nate McLouth isn't doing such a great job.  One concern here is finances -- can the Braves afford to trade high-value pieces for Upton and then extend him? The way their finances are lined up suggest they cannot unless Liberty Media somehow agrees to raise payroll.

Last season, the Phillies requested Upton in Jayson Werth trade talks. Those talks may have provided a nice foundation to revisit talks, but here's another destination that makes less sense once you get into it as Philadelphia is already stretched financially. Yes, it will lose Raul Ibanez's contract after the year, but Ryan Howard's ludicrous extension has yet to kick in, Cliff Lee's salary nearly doubles, Cole Hamels is due for a big raise and the team will have to solve openings at closer, shortstop and other spots. They could still allocate enough dollars for Upton if they were willing to go for cheaper options at closer and short -- Brad Lidge and Jimmy Rollins are making $20.5 million combined -- but it's still far from certain. Also: will the Phils really want to empty out their farm system yet again? There's no way Tampa wouldn't demand at least one of Domonic Brown, Brody Colvin or Jonathan Singleton for Upton. Would Philly do that?

The Mariners also expressed interest in Upton, and if Jack Z feels his seat getting uncomfortably warm (as he should), Upton would be a nice piece to strike for to excite the fan base. The financials will be there to keep Upton, although B.J. would likely want to test free agency first if he got sent to what is currently baseball's Siberia. The Blue Jays, Rangers, White Sox, Twins and Marlins also have past history with Upton, as MLB Trade Rumors notes.

Upton to Toronto is intriguing, but would Tampa deal with a division rival in a similar competitive situation? Doubt it -- neither side should be terribly excited about such a high-profile intra-division trade. Texas would love Upton in center to permanently install Josh Hamilton in left field or even DH, but the Rangers need pitching, not hitting. You can't count out the White Sox because of Kenny Williams, but the bare farm system doesn't lend itself well to trade talks. Minnesota is actually an interesting target given the current offensive woes and aging hitters, and there's zero chance the Marlins have any interest now that Upton actually makes more than the league minimum.

Of those teams, Washington makes the most sense. They have the most pieces to deal, a big need to improve the team and make a splash with the fan base and the finances to retain Upton (and thereby making them comfortable with giving up so much for a potential free agent). But you also can't count out other teams like the big-monied Yankees and Red Sox (who will likely wave goodbye to J.D. Drew) along with the Angels and Cubs (especially if they lose out on Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to man first).

One thing's for sure: it's very difficult to envision Upton in a Rays uniform to start 2012, let alone end 2011. That makes him the most intriguing trade target of the year.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 

Posted on: April 20, 2011 10:27 am
 

Pepper: Greinke progressing

Zack Greinke
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Great news for the Brewers -- with the Reds' loss and Brewers' win on Tuesday, the Brewers are tied for first place in the National League Central. And Zack Greinke is on his way back.

Greinke threw three scoreless innings at Class A Brevard County on Tuesday night. Greinke retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, struck out four and threw 35 pitches. He allowed a single hit, to Tampa's Mitch Abeita, who singled with one out int he third. Greinke struck out the next two batters he faced.

According to the Brewers, Greinke said he "felt great" and threw 91-94 mph with his fastball.

Greinke's next start is expected to be Sunday for Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers want him to make at least three starts in the minor leagues, so he'd return May 4 against the Braves at Turner Field.

And hey, with the Brewers in contention, Greinke may decide to try this year, so that's nice. [MLB.com]

BASEBALL TODAY -- NESN.com's Tony Lee joins Lauren Shehadi to talk Red Sox as Boston is still looking for its first road win following Tuesday's loss in Oakland (as predicted on yesterday's Baseball Today by some wise, handsome baseball writer).

MESSAGE SENT -- Tim Hudson didn't mean to throw at Dodgers rookie Jerry Sands on Monday -- he was just throwing at his body. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

A-ROD RETURNING -- Alex Rodriguez is expected back in the Yankees' lineup tonight. He hasn't played since leaving Saturday's game with lower-back and oblique stiffness. [New York Post]

SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE -- If the Nationals win both games of their doubleheader today and the Phillies and Marlins both lose, Washington will lead the NL East. [Washington Post]

MISSING MARTINEZ -- The Tigers won't move the hobbled Magglio Ordonez to designated hitter full-time with Victor Martinez on the disabled list. Alex Aliva will catch most of the games with Martinez out, but Omir Santos, called up Tuesday, will catch some, including today. [Detroit Free Press]

UPTON HISTORY -- A cool look at the history of Upton brothers rumors -- and there's been a lot for the pair from Chesapeake, Va, the latest that the Nationals are now scouting B.J. Upton (he's the one with the Rays). [MLBTradeRumors.com]

Mets PLATOON -- The Mets will platoon Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner at second base. [New York Times]

STAND BY YOUR MAN -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has issued a vote of confidence in his closer, Jonathan Broxton. Broxton has a 6.14 ERA, but has converted all five of his save opportunities this season. [MLB.com]

SIZEMORE'S SCHEDULE -- The Indians will be watching Grady Sizemore carefully in his return. He won't play more than two games in a row during his first week back and that could be the plan for a while. [Akron Beacon Journal]

BRADEN TO SEE SPECIALIST -- A's left-hander Dallas Braden will see Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Wednesday for another opinion on his stiff left shoulder. Right-hander Tyson Ross will take Braden's spot in the rotation, starting Friday in Seattle. [MLB.com]

MOYER'S PLAN -- Philadelphia's Jamie Moyer, 48, will start his throwing work on May 1. Moyer had Tommy John surgery on Dec. 1. [Philly.com]

KINGLY DRAW? -- Do more people come to see Felix Hernandez pitch? The Seattle Times' Larry Stone breaks down the numbers and the result is -- a few. [Seattle Times]

DODGER VICE CHAIRMAN -- I think Frank McCourt is awesome and should be emperor of the universe.

Hey, we all want a good, cushy job. Writing positive things about mcCourt worked for Steve Soboroff. The Los Angels developer was hired by the Dodgers as their vice chairman and will be charged with "leading the efforts to improve the fan experience at the stadium, strengthening ties to the region's community and philanthropic organizations, and expanding conservation and sustainability programs at Dodger Stadium."

To me it sounds like you've just got to go to a ton of baseball games, complain about the lines at the bathroom, go to some parties and drink some beers and wine -- and when you're done, make sure you throw the cans and bottles into the recycling bin. And all he had to do was write a letter to the Los Angeles Times saying the Dodgers' owner is super-duper. So, yeah, Frank McCourt, over here! I think you're awesome and doing a bang-up job.

YANKEE THEFT -- A woman is accusing the Yankees of stealing their famous top-hat logo from her late uncle in 1936. [New York Post]

BYE BYE PING -- Are the new college bat rules helping or hurting scouting? [FanGraphs]

GARBAGE ON, OFF THE FIELD -- The Mariners gave away compost as a promotion -- luckily for players, it was given away after the game. [MetsGrrl]

YOUK! -- The Kevin Youkilis Photoshop contest. [Big League Stew]

ANGELIC WEDDING -- If you find a woman who will let you have your wedding at a baseball stadium? Well, that means you are a lucky, lucky man. Congrats, Matt Griffin. [Orange County Register]

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Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 11:16 am
 

Pepper: After death of child, Cordero persevering

Cordero

By Evan Brunell

WORST NIGHTMARE: After midnight the morning of Dec. 4, former Nationals closer Chad Cordero got the worst news one could get: his three-month old daughter was dead from SIDS, otherwise known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Cordero was once one of the best closers in the game, saving 47 games for the inaugural season of the Washington Nationals after coming up with the Mariners. Cordero's been a non-entity for years now, struggling with injuries amid stints with the Mariners and Mets. He is now in camp with the Blue Jays, but first had to go through a horrific experience. His daughter, Teyta, was staying with his grandparents and was put to bed to sleep, but was checked on regularly. The last checkup came around midnight before Cordero's mother, Patti, discovered Teyta had passed at 12:45 a.m.

It was, like, so hard -- for weeks," wife Jamie Cordero said. "Like you didn’t want to go to sleep, because you just felt that much further away from her, like it really happened. But looking back right now, I’m just glad those first few weeks are over, because it’s just like hell."

Cordero is slated to appear in his first major-league game on Tuesday and will do so with Teyta near him, as he had her face tattooed on his left forearm. It's not clear how realistic a shot Cordero has at the big-league roster, but there's one person in Toronto who believes in him.

"If there was anybody who would fight back, it would be him," Toronto scouting director Dana Brown said, who drafted Cordero when with Montreal. (Washington Post)

STAKE IN METS TO DEPEND ON MONEY: The reports of the Mets selling 20-25 percent of the club are technically not true. While that could end up being the percentage of the team sold, the goal for the Wilpons is to sell whatever share meshes with a specific amount the team is looking for. While this amount would be nowhere near what's needed to gain majority control, it does mean that the new owner could own as much as a third of the company, if not more. It will all come down to what the Mets are valued at. (New York Daily News)

WHO WILL START? The Brewers are having trouble finding a solution to replace Zack Greinke, but the team continues to insist that it will fill the spot internally, with Marco Estrada the latest candidate who will draw the start Tuesday. The club is keeping an eye on the open market, though, and while they won't bring in someone making significant dollars, there will be some intriguing names that could be available. If the Cubs release Carlos Silva, he could head to Milwaukee. The same goes for the Yankees and Freddy Garcia, who may have lost the No. 5 spot to Bartolo Colon. (MLB.com)

UPTON GLAD FOR SUPPORT: B.J. Upton wasn't really paying attention to racial remarks an Orioles fan yelled out during a spring-training game Sunday, but manager Joe Maddon certainly was -- and so were other members of the team who spoke up. Upton, for his part, says he hears these type of  comments constantly. "There's 30, 40,000 people in the stands; you're bound to hear it. It's 2011, you know what I mean, but it is what it is. Freedom of speech, I guess." (Tampa Tribune)

THE BEST WEAPON: Manager Terry Francona doesn't have any interest in returning to a closer by committee, which Boston tried the year before Tito arrived. However, he clearly recognizes the value of having a top set up man to deploy where needed, calling Daniel Bard "the best weapon you can have. ... Sometimes you wait to get to your closer, you’ve already lost. With guys like Bard, it’s bases loaded, seventh inning, you’re going to win or lose right there."

I JUST PLAY: Jake Peavy would love to stay on schedule and be ready for opening day, but he realizes that manager Ozzie Guillen is the man that makes the decisions. Peavy took care to make clear he wasn't interested in calling the shots and has not done so all spring. In light of Peavy's recent setback, the team will exercise caution in working the righty back into the rotation given how close he is to returning to action. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

PICK-TO-CLICK: Devin Mesoraco won't be making the Reds' roster, but he's caught the eye of manager Dusty Baker, who called the backstop his "pick-to-click" player. He could be the first option up from Triple-A if Ramon Hernandez and/or Ryan Hanigan get injured. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

ROAD TO THE BIGS: South Korea said no. Japan said no. So Tim Redding returned stateside and is now on the verge of making the major-league roster for the Dodgers as Vincente Padilla and Jon Garland have both been knocked out by injuries. You don't see that kind of story often. (Los Angeles Times)

BACK IN CENTER: Grady Sizemore will clear another hurdle Thursday when he plays center field for three innings for the first time since having microfracture surgery on his left knee in June. He served as DH in a game Sunday and will likely fill that capacity again on Thursday. (MLB.com)

LEAVING VIERA? The Nationals have been rumored to be looking for a new spring-training destination for quite some time. And now, from the mouth of owner Ted Lerner, it's confirmed that Washington is looking to move out from the east coast of Florida to cut down on travel time. While they would like to stay in Florida, Arizona is not being ruled out. (Washington Post)

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:16 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:30 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/21: Colon making his case

Bartolo Colon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

1.  Bartolo Colon, Yankees -- While many scoffed at the idea of Colon coming back after a year off and joining the Yankees' rotation, he's certainly making his case. Colon, 37, had another strong outing on Monday. Colon retired 18 of the 20 batters he faced, including five strikeouts. He allowed two hits and a run.  In 15 innings this spring, he has a 2.40 ERA, with 17 strikeouts and one walk.

2. Joe Mauer, Twins -- It's not just that Mauer had two hits and an RBI against the Pirates on Monday, but he also caught six innings. It was Mauer's second start behind the plate of spring.

3. Mets second basemen -- Now that the Luis Castillo soap opera is behind us, the Mets four remaining candidates for the second base job all contributed in a four-run ninth to lead New York past Atlanta. Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy and Luis Hernandez each had run-scoring hits, while Justin Turner was hit by a pitch.

3 DOWN

1. Arizona -- Isn't Arizona supposed to be a desert? Six Cactus League games were banged on Monday because of rain.

2. Mike Pelfrey, Mets -- The Mets' opening day starter was pounded for seven runs (four earned) and seven hits by the Braves. Pelfrey allowed six consecutive hits to start the ending and when it appeared he'd actually record an out, David Wright's error allowed another run to score. He finally retired the eight batter of the inning, only to be lifted due to a high pitch count.

3. Some fans -- Rays manager Joe Maddon had a fan tossed from Sunday's game after the fan made racial comments toward outfielder B.J. Upton. Upton said Monday that he heard the comments, but was more worried about his game. Upton said it's not the first time he's heard such comments (via MLB.com) -- "A lot of times, it happens when I'm in the outfield of a visiting stadium. Even I've heard it at home, too. I think it was just a situation where everyone heard it. Put it this way -- it's not too far-fetched to hear it." That's not surprising, but it's still sad.

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: March 9, 2011 10:48 am
 

Pepper: Davis finding his way



By Matt Snyder


Chris Davis may finally be ready.

In a straw poll of Rangers management, the Star-Telegram found Davis was easily the most impressive player thus far in camp. He's flashing power, hitting for a high average and playing solid defense. This follows a good season of winter ball, so it could be a harbinger of things to come in Texas.

We know the power he possesses. He hit 17 home runs in 295 at-bats in 2008 and then 21 in 391 in 2009. Of course, the problem is that his OBP deteriorated to a dreadful .284 in 2009 and his contact rate was embarrassing. He struck out 238 times in those two seasons -- which is a strikeout once in less than every three at-bats.

Most everything got worse last season. Davis hit only one home run in 120 at-bats. He struck out 40 times. He hit .192/.279/.571, good for a 54 OPS-plus.

The funny thing is, Davis has always destroyed minor-league pitching (.939 OPS) and is still only 24.

In terms of how the current Rangers roster is constructed, however, Davis may actually be blocked. Assuming Adrian Beltre is healthy and Michael Young doesn't get traded, there really isn't a spot. You've got Mitch Moreland at first base, Beltre at third, Young in the backup DH/1B/3B role and Mike Napoli also a DH who can fill in at first.

Maybe Davis gives the Rangers further incentive to offload Young? That might even mean eating a good portion of his remaining contract, but a powerful Chris Davis makes it easier to justify. That's just speculation, but it's entirely possible.

SOME TOMMY JOHN STATS: In an article about how the Reds are expecting Edinson Volquez to return to form this season, we're given a stat that 96 percent of the pitchers who undergo "Tommy John" surgery return to the same level of competition they were before the procedure. It makes sense. As long as the rehab and throwing programs are done properly, the newly inserted ligament should actually be stronger than the natural one was before the injury. This article notes that prior to injury, the ulnar-collateral ligament has likely been slowly deteriorated over time, so when the surgery happens, it's like a brand new ligament. There's a lot more interesting stuff in there, and it's a highly recommended click-through. (SI.com )

ON THE OTHER HAND:
Also in SI.com , Tom Verducci talked to a "leader in the field of pitching biomechanics," who said that Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg has a problematic delivery. Specifically, the contention is that Strasburg lands his front foot too early in his pitching motion, which puts in undue amount of torque on both his elbow and shoulder. When you considering how hard he throws, that's an excessive amount of pressure on those two body parts. There is also a moment in his delivery, according to the article, where Strasburg's elbow raises higher than his hand -- which switches the order of how the kinetics of a pitching motion are supposed to happen. This, again, puts a ton of pressure on his elbow. Hey, don't shoot the messenger, Nationals fans. I'm just passing along the info.

ONLY IN THE SPRING: Spring is a slow news time. You've got injuries and positional battles, sure, but otherwise it's mostly meaningless at-bats and killing time looking ahead to the regular season. Thus, Chipper Jones garnered some fan fare for bringing back and old-school look a few weeks ago when he pulled the bottoms of his pants up to knee-high. Of course, this only worked for Chipper with low-top shoes and he wasn't comfortable. So he returned to high-tops and, with those, had to bring the pants back down to ankle-length. (Atlanta-Journal Constitution )

ONLY IN THE SPRING, PART II: The Rays had a longest drive contest. Yes, with golf clubs. The four finalists were Johnny Damon, Cesar Ramos, Andy Sonnanstine and B.J. Upton. Who ya got? Go check it out, as there is video. (TampaBay.com )

SAY WHAT? Try to figure out this quote: "I don't ignore them because I've got to answer them. But I ignore them." That comes courtesy of Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who is frustrated that the MLB Network questioned his team's outfield defense -- even though he apparently ignores them, or doesn't. Whatever. Any defensive metric you see says the outfield defense for the Cardinals will be pretty atrocious. Matt Holliday is fine in left field, though not spectacular. According to Fangraphs.com's ultimate zone rating, only two center fielders were worse than Colby Rasmus last year, who is certainly better suited for a corner spot. In right, they've got Lance Berkman, who was moved to first base in Houston due to becoming too slow for the outfield. He's 35 and hasn't been completely healthy for a full season 2008. To all this, La Russa would likely give the same response he did to MLB Network, "What do people know about our outfield defense?" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )

TALKIN' BASEBALL: Willie, Mickey and the Duke. Those words were immortalized in Talkin' Baseball , a song written in 1981 by Terry Cashman. With the recent passing of the Duke, Cashman looks back on writing the song. (MLB.com )

STILL COOL CARLOS: While one Carlos on the Cubs sparred with a teammate over an error this spring, Carlos Zambrano has been a saint in Cubs camp. Tuesday, a defensive miscue allowed the leadoff man on base, but Zambrano never batted an eye. Of course, he won't say he's a changed man -- even though he said earlier in camp he was "cured" -- "Nah, I'm the same, bro," he told reporters. (Chicago Sun-Times ) Really, it's not just the spring, though. Zambrano has been a different man since re-entering the rotation last August 9. He went 8-0 with 1.41 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 11 starts and hasn't had an issue with teammates or management. The guy we're seeing this spring isn't just being good because it's spring. It's a carry over. Of course, with Zambrano, things could turn at any moment.

MEETING THE CHAMP: The White Sox met with Muhammad Ali and his Athletes for Hope foundation Tuesday. He was given a No. 40 jersey with the "Champ" on back, instead of Ali. (Chicago Tribune )

TAKE A BOTTLE, DRINK IT DOWN, PASS IT AROUND: One of the best pastimes of baseball -- for fans, that is -- is having a frothy cold one at the ballpark. Big League Stew breaks down the top 10 beers available at major-league ballparks. If you prefer a simple domestic macrobrew, well, there's something for you in every stadium.

BRADLEY HEARING WEDNESDAY: There will be a private hearing with Milton Bradley, his wife and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office to attempt to resolve their differences without taking any charges to criminal court. Bradley was arrested for alleged domestic violence and threats against his wife last month. (Seattle Times )

 

More MLB coverage
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:23 pm
 

Getting to know the Rays

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
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com