Archive for the ‘Tampa Bay Rays’ category

Red Sox-Rays Brawl

June 7, 2008

Boston and Tampa Bay gave us an entertaining brawl the other night. No karate kicks or senior citizens being thrown to he ground, but fists were thrown. The Rays’ James Shields threw at Coco Crisp for his “dirty” slide into Akinori Iwamura the other night. If you were watching, you heard Rick Sutcliffe tear into Crisp, saying whatever Crisp has coming, he deserves (harsh). Crisp’s dodge at :20 and subsequent counter was dexterous.

*UPDATE 6.27.08* Replaced video. Now the fight is set to Papa Roach…sorry.

Suspensions

Red Sox

  • OF Coco Crisp: 7 games
  • P Jon Lester: 5 games
  • 1B Sean Casey (nicest guy in baseball): 3 games

Rays

  • P James Shields: 6 games
  • OF/DH Johnny Gomes: 5 games
  • P Edwin jackson: 5 games
  • OF Carl Crawford: 4 games
  • 2B Akinori Iwamura: 3 games

I understand the Rays wanting retaliation for Crisp taking out Iwamura, but this batch of suspensions hurts the Rays much more than it hurts the Red Sox. Crisp is doing ok this year, but they will live without his services for seven games. Lester will only miss a start, and Sean Casey, while he is a class act, has only appeared in 25 games this year. The Rays lose five of their best players for an extended period. Also, they just lost their AL East lead after the Red Sox swept them. Boston definitely got the best out of this, and with three games series against Seattle and Baltimore looming, look for them to increase their division lead by a few games.

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April (and some of March) in review…(AL)

May 1, 2008

The first month of the season has come to a close, so let’s hand out some hardware.

Note: These are for the baseball played since the first series in Japan in late March, through the end of April. Some of these acknowledgments will be completely irrelevant in May (if they are even relevant now)…

Best Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are tied with Oakland for the best record in the AL. However, I give the edge to the Angels because the A’s will fizzle. LA just has more star power. Their pitching staff, led by Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, both have ERAs under 3 and Jered Weaver pitched like an ace the other day against the potent Detroit offense. Santana is stepping it up while Jon Garland is sucking and Kelvim Escobar’s career could be over. K-Rod is 11 for 12 in save opportunities.

The offense is really clicking this season for the Angels. They have scored 140 runs so far with their strong lineup. Casey Kotchman is off to a great start batting .344/.406/.594. Chone Figgins is having an all-star season so far batting .313 with 8 steals. Offseason acquistion Torii Hunter is fitting in very nicely with his new squad and Vladimir Guerrero is batting .271, which is good, but will most likely rise because he is very dangerous. SS Erick Aybar is a young guy to keep an eye on batting .318 so far. He also plays a good shortstop.

Los Angeles is doing just fine without stud pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Though Escobar won’t be back, Lackey should be around soon, and he will only help the Angels pull ahead of Oakland for what looks to be another championship season. (more…)

Nate McLouth, Gabe Kapler, others grabbing all of the headlines

April 15, 2008

This always happens. Some very random players always have a hot streak in the beginning of the season, getting their hot streaks out of the way early. It happened with Chris Shelton in 2006. It happened with one of my simulated seasons of MVP Baseball 2005 with Estaban German once. Right now, Nate McLouth, a Pittsburgh Pirate, and Gabe Kapler, a player who has had a very interesting career going from a 57th round pick by the Tigers to a Minor League Player of the year, decent 15-20 home run guy to a career bench player with the Rockies, Rangers and Red Sox after his stats fell off his age 25 season, sucking in Japan, winning a WS ring in 2004, to a manager for a Red Sox to a comeback with the Brewers. I will also put Carlos Pena in here because although he is hitting under the Mendoza Line, he leads the league with 6 homers, and chicks dig the longball. I will also put in White Sox third baseman Joe Crede, who has basically told everyone to screw off with trade rumors.

Nate McLouth – Pirates

As McLouth is approaching his age-26 season, he has already hit safely in 13 games with a .383 average, continuing hot hitting from Spring Training. Players sometimes break out in their age-26 seasons, but anyone would be laughed out of Vegas if they were predicting McLouth to be one of those players before Spring Training. He was a decent hitter in the minors, hitting .292/.362/.427/.789 and probably projecting as a bench player in 2004, but, although an early prediction, McLouth could breakout for real for one or two years, like this one and his age-27 year and then fade out into .260s numbers. He will not keep up a .383 pace, but, unless he slumps or gets injured, I do expect him to be around .270s to the .280s and an OPS at where he usually is, about the .780s or so. I think that would be a reasonable prediction for him.

Gabe Kapler – Brewers

Gabe Kapler has four homers and is hitting .423 in 11 games, providing the offense for the Milwaukee Brewers, and although I do not think he will keep this up, he has definitely solidified himself in that Brewers bench, and unless he goes to the slump of life, he will stay around with the Brewers. Kapler, Jason Kendall, and Corey Hart are the only three starters hitting over .250 on that team. I have already mentioned his life story, but what he has done this year is nothing short of really, really cool, because Kapler has always been a fun player to watch, and all of us would love to see a guy like him play well. I wonder where he will be this year.

Joe Crede – White Sox

Crede has hit .313 with 4 homers and leading the majors with 16 RBI, and for now he looking like a good choice for trade bait in the midseason to a contender. It is also good to see Crede play well again, with him being a fan favorite for the White Sox. If he plays well and we see the White Sox up there by September (in which it can happen), he could be the AL Comeback Player of the year. A little lofty, but that is entire plausible.

Carlos Pena – Rays

I mean Pena is hitting an awful .191 right now, but those six home runs the lead the league cannot be ignored. Two-thirds of his 9 hits have been home runs, which is probably the craziest stat of the year by far. But he also has 18 strikeouts, which also leads the league. If you can hit them, hit them long I guess?

Rays pitcher Al Reyes is not a very good drunk

April 11, 2008

Because we find ourselves in the same old mess
Singing drunken lullabies

“Tampa Police arrested Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Al Reyes early this morning, saying the reliever was drunk and disruptive when he fell down, picked a fight and spit blood at patrons of a popular Hyde Park night spot.

Rays spokesman Rick Vaughn said this morning: “We are looking into the situation as we are just learning of it.’’

Question: why is he hanging out at the Blue Jays upper level seats? Also, “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn is their spokesman..

Rays pitcher Reyes slugged, tased, arrested at Tampa bar (Tampabay.com)

Division Preview: AL East

March 13, 2008

The AL East has been dominated by the Red Sox and Yankees for these last few years. I am not expecting this to change, but I am expecting some challenges from Tampa Bay and Toronto for the second place spot, and possibly AL Wild Card this season. This division will be closer between the second and third place teams than it was last season. The AL East is a star-studded division thanks to the bottomless pockets of the Yankees and Red Sox. Games between these two teams will be entertaining as usual and will be the only Fox Saturday baseball pairing we will see all season. (more…)