Tag:Rays
Posted on: August 6, 2010 8:17 pm
 

Maddon wants catwalk rules changed for postseason

Joe Maddon The catwalk at Tropicana Field cost the Rays one game, manager Joe Maddon doesn't want to cost the team more.

Maddon told reporters before Friday's game in Toronto that he believes the ground rules could be changed before the postseason.

"I honestly believe that if we were to get to the playoffs you might see some real strong consideration or more thought given to changing something now," Maddon said. "I think that's possible. I do. Truly, just think about a game being won or lost -- just say it were the seventh game -- and say that game was impacted by that, both sides would be yelling bloody murder."

As a solution, Maddon suggested the ever-popular "do-over" -- and also added that if a car came down the street while the ball is in play, it's a dead ball and there's also a "do-over." However, if a ball goes through Old Man Brown's window and he won't give it back, the hitter's team forfeits the game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Joe Maddon, Rays
 
Posted on: August 6, 2010 7:36 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 7:38 pm
 

Rays put Pena on DL

Carlos Pena Another day, another AL East first baseman on the disabled list. This time it's Tampa's Carlos Pena.

Pena, who hasn't played since last Saturday, was put on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fascists in his right foot and retroactive to Sunday.

Pena said he thought he could play through the pain.

"I wasn't too happy, to be honest, because I want to be out there playing," Pena told MLB.com . "I felt confident I would be able to [recover] in a short amount of time, within a couple of days. I thought maybe tomorrow I would be able to play. But after talking to the doctors and to [Joe Maddon], we looked at it in a different way."

Pena, a free agent after the season, is having a down year, hitting .212/.332/.441 with 23 home runs and 68 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Tags: Carlos Pena, Rays
 
Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:32 pm
 

Maddon: 'This is why we need real baseball field'

Joe Maddon
Can you imagine how this one will haunt the Rays if they miss the playoffs by a game? They score six times, including a Jason Bartlett grand slam, to tie the game against the Twins on Thursday, only to lose when a ninth-inning popup by Jason Kubel hits the upper catwalk at Tropicana Field and drops for the go-ahead hit.

 It was only the second time a ball had hit the highest "A" ring on the ceiling in a game.

The heartbreaker was bad for the Rays but might be good for the argument to build a new ballpark. Manager Joe Maddon certainly thinks so, according to his postgame comments:

"That was probably the perfect commercial advertisement, reason to have a new ballpark. There's no better reason than that. I know it works both ways, but to lose a game in a pennant situation like that because of the roof totally indicates why there's a crying need for a new ballpark in this area, regardless of where they put it. It just needs to be a real baseball field, where if you were to lose the pennant by one game and look back on a game like that becasue the roof got in the way, you’d be very upset. There's no better reason than that.''
-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 5, 2010 2:43 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 3:10 pm
 

Guillen DFA; trade probably in works


According to a Twitter post by Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals have designated Jose Guillen for assignment, which would indicate they have a trade in the works for the designated hitter/outfielder.

The DFA designation means the Royals have 10 days to trade or release Guillen, and there's no reason for the Royals to release him and eat the salary unless they're that committed to making a place for prospect Kila Ka'aihue to play the rest of the season. Guillen, an impending free agent, is owed more than $7 million for the rest of the season, and the Royals will probably have to send money to cover part of his salary in a trade, so he'll surely clear waivers.

Guillen is batting .255/.314/.429 with 16 homers and 62 RBI, so he could be a nice addition for someone. But it's going to be someone with some money and a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Obvious matches might include the White Sox and Giants, possibly the Rays or Braves. Guillen has bad knees, so it would be a risk for an NL team to count on him to play defense every day.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: August 5, 2010 11:37 am
 

Revolting report: Rays served beer in used cups

Concession beer
Need another reason to be the designated driver next time you go to a game? Here's a stomach-turning story that should help convince you.

You might have seen the recent ESPN report on health department violations at major sports venues. Its findings included the curious fact that of the eight facilities in which at least 75 percent of vendors were found in violation, seven were in Florida. Worst of the worst? Tropicana Field, the only place where 100 percent of vendors had a "critical" violation.

Now comes a report from well-known Rays blog raysindex.com, in which a concession worker alleges that employees were told to wash used beer cups and put them back with the unused stock. It seems at the end of the night the amount of cups used and the amount of beer used didn't reconcile, so the solution was to put used cups back into circulation.

The Rays declined to comment on the story.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Tags: Rays
 
Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:48 am
 

Add Rays reliever to list of freak injuries


Grant Balfour It seems 2010 is the year of the freak injury -- first Kendry Morales breaks his leg jumping into home plate, then Chris Coghlan injured his knee in a post-game shaving cream pie accident and now Rays reliever Grant Balfour has gone on the DL after "wrestling" with his pitching coach.

Balfour is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a left rib strain and was placed on the disabled list this weekend. His injury was one of the reasons the Rays acquired a reliever, Chad Qualls, rather than a bat at the deadline, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times writes .

Balfour had a 2.08 ERA and had struck out 44 batters in 43 1/3 innings.

The injury occurred Friday before batting practice when Balfour was "messing around" with Jim Hickey.

"[It was] just kind of a freaking thing," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "[It's] something that guys do almost every day in these situations. Nothing ever happens. It happened."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: August 1, 2010 12:32 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Rodriguez gets day off from 600 chase

Alex Rodriguez Alex Rodriguez is getting a day off and so are we.

On his quest for his 600th home run, Yankee manager Joe Girardi is sitting his third baseman in today's game in Tampa. Ramiro Pena is starting at third base for the Yankees, batting ninth against James Shields.

Since hitting his 599th career home run on July 22, Rodriguez has gone 8 for 36 (.222) in the next nine games, with two doubles and seven RBI. Rodriguez's wait is already the longest for any of the 600 club members after hitting career homer No. 599. Willie Mays went 21 at-bats between 599 and 600.

"The way I'm swinging now, it's probably going to take a while -- everybody get comfortable," Rodriguez told reporters, including MLB.com's Spencer Fordin following Saturday's game. "I'm just glad to be out there helping the team somehow. I scored a run. People are asking me about home runs. I'm asking for a hit-by-pitch, infield hit, bunt single, error. I'll get on base anyhow. The home run will come."

For those of us watching games and getting the live cut-ins on ESPN or MLB Network, we sure hope so. Unless this is some kind of Sisyphean punishment for Rodriguez and baseball's tacit approval of the steroid era. If so, it's a pretty good joke.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Posted on: July 31, 2010 7:11 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 4:19 pm
 

Winners/losers of trading deadline

Now that the non-waiver trading deadline is past, it's time to take a look back at the winners and losers. While players aren't done switching teams and plenty more will find new zip codes on their mailing addresses in August via the waiver process, it becomes far harder to pull trades off.

Grades are relative to the team's window of contention, goals at the deadline and outcome -- not to other teams.

Angels: L.A. imported Alberto Callaspo from the Royals to plug the dike that was the third-base gaping hole, then absolutely pilfered Dan Haren away from the Diamondbacks. They promptly lost Joel Pineiro to injury, but do have a greater chance at competing this season, even as the Rangers improved themselves. For 2011 and 2012, they kept themselves right in contention to be division champions. With money coming off the books the next season and two, they should be players in free agency and now can trumpet Haren as a front-line pitcher for free agents to play with. Grade: B+

J.A. Happ Astros: The Astros did well in the idea of trading away Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt to begin the trading process. The return for Oswalt from Philadelphia met with a few raised eyebrows. The team is high on J.A. Happ (pictured, left) even though no one else is. The deal was salvaged by flipping Anthony Gose from Brett Wallace. The Lance Berkman trade was tough to swallow. They traded a face of the franchise to the Yankees, picking up salary along the way for retread prospects. This was a deal strictly about money, not about helping the team -- although it did free up a spot for Wallace. Grade: C+

Athletics: The Billy Beane-led A's did nothing at the deadline, which wasn't the wrong choice. Texas and Los Angeles made too many steps to outpace a team that was going to have a hard time keeping pace anyways. What didn't make sense was their adamant position that they wanted to keep Ben Sheets and not trade him. But whoops -- a torn flexor tendon that knocks Sheets out for about a year and causes $10 million to go down the drain in Oakland happened. Grade: D

Blue Jays: Toronto had to give up intriguing prospects Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky to ship out Alex Gonzalez to the Braves, but got back young shortstop Yunel Escobar and pitching depth in Jo-Jo Reyes. Gonzalez was a great flier for the rebuilding Jays rather than the short-term Gonzalez -- There's tons of upside with Yunel. Demerits are assessed by a reportedly high price to trade Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg or Scott Downs. None of them will help Toronto contend anytime soon, and the fact that Jesus Montero and Casey Kelly were prices for Downs is outrageous. They should have done everything they could to move Frasor, and probably could have gotten nice value for Gregg. The only defensible non-trade is Downs, who probably will be a Type-A free agent. Grade: C+

Braves: The Braves made moves for this year, but severely damaged their long-term chances in the process. Selling Yunel Escobar off for Gonzalez, Collins and Pastornicky was questionable enough, but then turned Collins, fungible reliever Jesse Chavez and outfielder Gregor Blanco. Huh? Grade: C- ... and it's not a D because they did at least improve their chances this year.

Brewers: The Brewers did nothing except try to improve their pitching and determine whether it was time to trade Prince Fielder or not. Fielder is likely a goner in the offseason or next season's trade deadline, but there's nothing wrong with hanging onto him. There wasn't much Milwaukee was in a position to do. Jim Edmonds reportedly didn't want to ship out, and past that they didn't have much in the way of valuable trade chips. Grade: N/A

Cardinals: The Cardinals brought in Jake Westbrook. That was good. They traded Ryan Ludwick. Not so good. There are hints that the Ludwick dealing was financially motivated to keep Albert Pujols in town. That's well and good, but Ludwick-to-Westbrook is largely a lateral move, even factoring in more playing time for Colby Rasmus. Grade: C

Cubs: It's tough to begin a rebuilding process once again, but Ted Lilly was a free agent so there was no overwhelming reason to keep him. Ryan Theriot has become punchless at the plate, and they upgrade with Blake DeWitt from the Dodgers anyways. Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach -- two young, minor-league pitchers -- are decent arms. They tried to deal Derrek Lee, but Lee nixed it with his no-trade clause. Can't penalize GM Jim Hendry for that. Grade: B-

Diamondbacks: The Dan Haren trade was odd, no two ways about it. Yes, Joe Saunders won quite a few games in Los Angeles, but so what? He's a No. 4 starter who has a shot at being a No. 3 by virtue of being in the NL, but that's about it. The prospects acquired were underwhelming, although the expected acquisition of Tyler Skaggs will soothe jilted D-Backs fans somewhat. Snyder was a pure cash dump -- but not indefensible. If the team's not contending, why pay a backup catcher millions? Even without receiving anyone of true value, except perhaps D.J. Carrasco, it was high time for Arizona to move on from Snyder. They won out on Edwin Jackson big time, shedding salary for an underperforming starter and getting a young, cost-controllable starter (Daniel Hudson) along with prospect David Holmberg.

Dodgers: The Dodgers gave up quite a bit for Octavio Dotel, even if Dotel is cost-controllable through 2011 on a team option. That trade may come back to bite them hard, even if they needed Dotel to challenge for the division. The Ted Lilly acquisition was nice, and if you concede that Blake DeWitt was the price for Lilly, then Ryan Theriot wasn't a bad grab either. They definitely put the pieces together to contend, but is it too little, too late? Grade: C+

Giants: San Francisco tried to bring in a bat. They really did. They tried for Adam Dunn, David DeJesus (and if he hadn't gotten hurt for K.C., might be in San Fran right now), Scott Podsednik... but nothing came together. They instead settled for two middle relievers: Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez. Giving up John Bowker and Joe Martinez for Lopez is a curious move, even if they have strong outfield depth. Jonathan Sanchez was a popular name in talks for a bat, but S.F. was understandably leery of dealing the lefty. The Ramirez trade cost them an average middle relief prospect. They'll continue mixing-and-matching on offense, and the bullpen is definitely better off for the adds. Grade: B

Jake Westbrook Indians: The Indians wanted to get rid of people they didn't want and had no need for. The millions they saved in shipping Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns off -- even without getting any players of consequence in return -- were worth it. Westbrook (pictured, right) finally was shipped out as well, and while prospect Corey Kluber isn't an exciting name, he's enough of an intriguing player that the Indians clearly came out ahead in this season's trade deadline, which was all about shedding irrelevant pieces. Would have been nice for a rebuilding team to get a good prospect, though. Grade: B

Mariners: The Mariners dealt Cliff Lee to get Justin Smoak and a bevy of prospects. That was a solid deal, even if Smoak has just been demoted to Triple-A. That was it, however. While Seattle is in a different place than most rebuilding clubs because they are contenders just struggling through an awful season (advice to GM Jack Zduriencik: bring in some bats next year for a change). Still, it's surprising they weren't more active. The reason Russ Branyan was acquired and then not flipped is... heck, I don't know. Grade: C

Marlins: The Marlins shipped off Jorge Cantu, who was playing third base. That temporary lack of depth at third hurts, although Chris Coghlan will man the hot corner once he returns from injury. It was nice to see the Marlins bring in Will Ohman to contribute out of the bullpen, however. Florida was in a tough place: a team good enough to contend, but not quite good enough to be true buyers. They essentially held serve here while saving a bit of money and importing Evan Reed from the Cantu trade, who has a chance to develop into a nice arm. Grade: B-

Mets: The Mets did nothing here, even though they would have loved to get rid of Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and Jeff Francouer. No one was having any of it, though, and New York was adamant in not trading its top prospects. You can argue they should have loosened the purse strings a bit to bring in someone, but there was no one overwhelming that made sense for a team slipping out of the division race. A middle-of-the-rotation starter would have been a lateral move, while only a major hitter could have been considered an upgrade -- and then you're back to having to deal top prospects. One problem: their window of contention is now. Grade: C-

Nationals: The Nationals failed to trade Adam Dunn. There is zero reason why they shouldn't have. Grade: F

Orioles: The Orioles are once again a team with no plan, trading away reliever Will Ohman for a fringe major-league reliever. For a squad headed to one of the worst finishes in team history, why exactly they weren't more aggressive sellers is baffling. Ty Wigginton is still on this team... why? The one saving grace is shipping Miguel Tejada off for Wynn Pelzer, who might turn into quite a relief arm. Grade: D+

Ryan Ludwick Padres: I think this Jed Hoyer guy is going to end up a nice GM. The Miguel Tejada trade was OK -- nothing special, but didn't exactly cost much either and the Padres had a real need for someone with decent pop who can play the infield. The Ryan Ludwick (pictured, right) trade was incredible -- he immediately becomes the team's second-best hitter, trading away no one of consequence. Grade: B+

Phillies: The Phillies gave up J.A. Happ and two far-away prospects for Roy Oswalt, emphatically closing the book on the idiotic idea to trade Cliff Lee in the offseason. It would have been nice if they could have imported a utility player like Ty Wigginton or Willie Bloomquist for the stretch run, as Chase Utley isn't exactly on the verge of returning and the depth on the bench is thin. However, after the initial trade for Lee and later the Oswalt deal, the Phillies are near tapped out on money and prospects. Bottom line: they did what they could. Grade: B+

Pirates: The Bucs were quiet then exploded in a frenzy, acquiring Chris Snyder in a buy-low move that saw them give up absolutely no one of consequence . Ryan Church is a backup outfielder, D.J. Carrasco is a solid middle reliever and not much else and backup infielder Bobby Crosby. If he plays full-time, Snyder has a real chance to reclaim the value that made Arizona sign him to a contract extension in the first place -- which 'Zona will help pay. Pittsburgh then shipped out a lefty reliever best used against just lefties for a swingman in Joe Martinez and a solid outfielder who can give them years of cheap production, even if he never morphs into a starting regular. The Octavio Dotel trade to L.A was sublime , getting a viable starter who could end up a strong reliever and one of the Dodgers' best prospects in Andrew Lambo. Grade: A

Rangers: Boy howdy, was Texas busy. They bit the bullet to bring in Cliff Lee, which instantly made it viable World Series contenders, then continued to supplement with Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman. Obviously, the Rangers are going for it this year and it's hard to fault them when they have such a strong team. It hurts to lose Smoak, but there are questions about his long-term success anyways, and first-base is not exactly impossible a void to fill. Cantu and Guzman cost them a few average prospects, ones that can easily be mortgaged for a chance like this to win a ring. Grade: A

Rays: Tampa Bay brought in a reliever with an ERA over 8, and that was it. (Okay, so Chad Qualls has a chance to be a solid reliever for the team.) The team desperately needs a thumper, although Matt Joyce is currently making everyone smile since being recalled from Triple-A. Tampa is in an interesting position: able to take on payroll for a playoff push, but which is slashing payroll to around $60 million next year. Adam Dunn would have been a great fit, but Tampa can't concede future seasons just for one "win-now" year -- that would be irresponsible. Grade: C+

Red Sox: The Red Sox were largely quiet until the very end, when they shipped off Ramon Ramirez to San Francisco for an average middle-relief prospect. This trade was more about opening space for intriguing names at Triple-A. The team then struck for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, long coveted by the team, for an average first-base prospect and intriguing, but raw, Class A arm. They were unable to make anything come together to supplement the major-league roster, but figure to be active in waiver trading. For a team falling out of the race, besieged by injuries, it was probably prudent not to do anything drastic and instead build until next year while integrating its returning players and seeing who pops up in August. Grade: C

Reds: Cincy is in the hunt for the division but may have benefited by seeing the Cardinals trade away Ryan Ludwick. They have Aroldis Chapman presumably coming up to help the bullpen shortly and no overwhelming holes. Making a trade would have smacked of making a deal for deal's sake. It would not be surprising to learn that they shot high with their targets and couldn't make anything come together. They could stand to add a middle reliever, but also have Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey on the recovery trail. Staying pat was probably smart. Grade: B

Rockies: The Rockies couldn't make anything happen despite a team falling out of the race which had a really good shot at the division. They couldn't trade Brad Hawpe with Todd Helton's struggles. When Troy Tulowitzki went on the disabled list two months ago, it was very disappointing that Colorado decided to stand pat and see how the team played without Tulowitzki to determine whether to be buyers or sellers. They were already planning to buy to help the team with Tulowitzki, so it should be no surprise Colorado found itself out of the race. They should have done more. Grade: D

Rick Ankiel Royals: It's not often there are good things to say about the Royals, but there's a time for everything. Kansas City did fantastic in shedding Rick Ankiel (pictured, left) and Kyle Farnsworth to Atlanta. Farns is a strong middle reliever, but that's all he is while Ankiel was blocking other players with a better impact at helping K.C. contend in 2012. The return for Callaspo wasn't terrible, but not great. Grade: B-

Tigers: Detroit had far too many holes to do much of anything. They lost Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge all to the disabled list in a short span of time. They bought low on Jhonny Peralta who hammered two home-runs in his Tiger debut. You would have liked to see the Tigers be a bit more aggressive with the AL Central division crown available, but it's hard to blame them for holding onto their major prospects. There is no silver bullet available to make up for all the losses. Grade: C +

Twins: The Twins really love saves, as they traded one of the best prospects in Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps of Washington. Take the saves out, and Capps is an approaching-overpriced solid middle reliever. Even though Ramos had lost his luster somewhat, it's still a confusing move. They didn't get the starting pitcher they coveted either. Grade: D

White Sox: The ChiSox did everything they could and more to bring in Adam Dunn, but refused to sacrifice their future in Gordon Beckham. They acquired Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson and a minor leaguer, perhaps hoping to flip Jackson to the Nationals. That's a no-go, so while the White Sox did technically upgrade their rotation, it's unclear whether they would have done so if they knew they wouldn't get Dunn. Plus, Jackson makes $8.35 million next year. Grade: C

Yankees: The Bronx Bombers wielded their financial might to bring in Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood at minimal cost. Berkman has the most chance to make an impact, taking on the role the Yankees thought Nick Johnson would. Kearns and Wood are supplemental pieces to the bench and bullpen, respectively, and won't be a huge loss if they don't work out. Overall, they gave up next-to-nothing in talent and cash they could burn anyways. The team made an aggressive push for Cliff Lee, but fell apart. In a market with no other clear upgrade than Lee, the Yankees decided to play it safe and keep their minor-league chips. Grade: B

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
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