Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

MLB Previews: Cardinals, Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays, Nationals

The Rangers look like the best in the AL West by a slender margin. The Cardinals are close enough that they could win the NL Central. The Rays and Jays are taking different approaches, while the Nationals are bad. Very bad. Continue reading

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The Manny Ramirez Signing

HOWARD MEGDAL: No exaggeration: Manny Ramirez, at one year and $2 million, is the biggest bargain of the offseason. It’s not particularly close.

CHRIS PUMMER: Intellectually, I have to agree with Howard. Emotionally, it’s a little harder. It’s not secret that Ramirez elicits a lot of strong, sometimes irrational reactions from fans — both for and against. I have to admit that I’m in the against group after watching a Sunday night game between the White Sox and Tigers in September of last year. Continue reading

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The Matt Garza Trade

HOWARD MEGDAL: While the focus of the Matt Garza trade, naturally, will be on Matt Garza first and the prospects Chicago is parting with second, it is a relative afterthought I’d like to discuss: Sam Fuld. This is an outfielder who can help a major league team, the Jewish Endy Chavez, if not Scott Podsednik. Continue reading

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MLB Divisional Series Preview

HOWARD MEGDAL Here’s the secret about the Yankees: none of their biggest names had star-like seasons. Robinson Cano was the clear offensive leader, with his 142 OPS+, and guess who was second? Not A-Rod, not Teixeira, not Jeter certainly: Nick Swisher. And while he had a good season, his 130 OPS+ would have ranked sixth on the 2009 Yankees, just ahead of 2009 Swisher and 2009 Hideki Matsui.

MIKE CUMMINGS: My whole point about all this, and the only reason I got into this discussion in the first place, was to say that the entire Major League Baseball postseason is little more than a crapshoot. There, I said it. As such, I hereby defer my power of prognostication to my dog, Callie, who will pick the winner of each series based on which treat she picks out of which hand. Continue reading

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MLB Salary Floor

HOWARD MEGDAL: I don’t see a salary floor as anything other than a good thing for baseball, with a pair of resulting economic pressures leading to improved competitive balance.

CHRIS PUMMER: There’s no question that some teams are spending too little on their payrolls. That was evident even before financial information was leaked that showed some teams pocketing revenue-sharing money instead of reinvesting it in their product.

But a hard salary floor just isn’t the way to go. Continue reading

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Should the Rays Move?

SHANNON MCCARTHY: The Tampa Bay ownership has worked hard to build its success. The re-branding that took place in 2008, dropping the “Devil” and giving the team’s logo and uniforms a collective face lift, coincided fortuitously with the annually dreadful ball club’s first postseason run. This went a long way in changing the away-game atmosphere prevalent at most Rays home games. Nowadays, it’s a far cry from the handful of Rays fans you’d see peppered among the opposing team’s faithful.

It’s also important to remember that the franchise is still relatively infantile in baseball terms, a mere 12 years old. Now that the team has become a relevant and respectable force in the AL East, the fan base has strengthened and grown both in numbers and enthusiasm.

The team deserves a chance to mature and develop that cowbell-crazy base, and those fans who have bought in deserve to see the Rays get their proper chance to succeed in Tampa Bay, too.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It can’t be claimed that the Tampa Bay Rays haven’t seen an upward movement in their attendance since 2007. Each season has included an improvement, from less than 1.4 million in 2007 to 1.87 in 2009.

But sadly, that will represent the high-water mark for the franchise. Tampa is at 1.73 million in 2010 with six home dates left. And when the team is moved, as it must be, a failure to draw even two million fans will be to blame: as owner Andre Friedman made clear, next year’s payroll is going to be slashed to around $60 million, since a winning team is not sustainable under these conditions. Continue reading

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Yankee Pitching: Enough for October?

HOWARD MEGDAL: With the extent to which the baseball playoffs are a sample-size nightmare, it is possible that the Yankees will use their offense to run over the competition. But to me, this team looks far more like the editions that fell short in October last decade, rather than last year’s world champions. And the reason for this is a simple one: lack of decent starting pitching.

CHRIS PUMMER: That a couple Yankee starters are posting inflated ERAs over the last two months is no reason for panic to set in before the playoffs. The situation is simply not that dire. Continue reading

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Perpetual Post AL East Preview

STEPHON JOHNSON: While I tire of the “American League is better than the National League” talk, there’s no denying how good the American League East is.

EMMA SPAN: The 2010 AL East race in a nutshell: Continue reading

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AL East Discourse

LUCAS O’NEILL: Boston has the best overall pitching staff, and while its rotation might not win as many games as that of the Yanks during the regular season, the Sox have perhaps the best 1-2-3 in the game…

HOWARD MEGDAL: While I think Lucas dramatically overstates the devastation inherent in the Yankee offense, I do agree that New York will win this three-team dogfight. Continue reading

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