Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon Sign with Rays?

Manny Ramirez Rays

I say……good for them! I don’t like this move because it obviously makes the Rays much more competitive than they would be without these guys. That’s a very solid lead-off hitter and an all-time great clean-up hitter. Sure, they are old, but I don’t want to hear it. Both of these guys are great players and have plenty left in the tank, although Manny is also an all-star head case. It’s good to see that the Rays aren’t simply dumping all of their players and are making moves to remain competitive in the AL East.

Both players signed one year deals, Damon for $5.25 mil plus incentives and Manny for $2 mil. In my book, both of those deals are straight up bargains. You can’t tell me that signing Manny Ramirez to the Red Sox for $2 mil wouldn’t have been a great move. Well played, Rays.

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Carl Crawford To Boston? You Kiddin’ Me?

Carl Crawford

Theo Epstein made a statement yesterday, saying loud and clear — “We’re here to win in 2011.” You gotta give it to the guy, every time I start to question him he answers. You also got to love his sneakiness, stating after signing Gonzalez that his focus was now on the bullpen. He made moves in a major way, and he made them early. Gotta love it. After signing Crawford to a 7-year $142 million deal, the Red Sox have the best team in the Bigs. Here’s a look at my new proposed line-up for the Sox.

1) Carl Crawford, L, LF

2) Dustin Pedroia, R, 2B

3) David Ortiz, L, DH

4) Kevin Youkilis, R, 3B

5) Adian Gonzalez, L, 1B

6) JD Drew, L, RF

7) Marco Scutaro, SS, R

8)Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, S

9) Jacoby Ellsbury, L, CF

Yes, that is going to be 6 left-handed hitters if need be. This line-up has it all in my opinion, minus a good catcher (which is the second most important position in baseball). That said we’ve got a gold glove infield, an incredibly fast outfield, power, and two of the best on the base paths in the league. Coupled with our starting pitching and a bullpen that Theo is trying to add to — watch out.

Now now now. Shut up for a moment Yankees fans. I’ve already started to hear it. “The Red Sox sold out, the Red Sox are the Yankees.” Frankly, New Yorkers, you’re just making yourself look pathetic by saying these things. Your showing us Boston people that our comments get to you. Because if you sit back and look at the numbers, well, how about we do that?

Players making over $30 million in 2011 — Yankees 1 (A-Rod), Red Sox 0

Players making over $20 million in 2011 — Yankees 3 (CC, A-Rod, Tex), Sox 0 (Crawford may, but his contract likely increases by year)

Players making over $15 million in 2011 — Yankees 6 (AJ, Mo, CC, Jeter, A-Rod, Tex), Red Sox 2 (Lackey, Crawford)

As far as signing players to long-term, big deals I gave the Yankees hell for signing AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia, and Mark Texiera in the same offseason to the tune of $441 million. The Red Sox have really only signed Crawford, although it does seem very likely they will give Adrian Gonzalez a contract extension early in the season. Even if they pay his 150+ million over many seasons, that brings Crawford and Gonzalez’s signings to about 2/3 of the Yankees spending that off-season.  Which seems about right. Boston’s payroll will be less than the Yankees, significantly, as it always is.

Oh, and that’s not to mention the deal the Yankees will likely sign Cliff Lee too. That makes those numbers look even worse. Frankly, they have no option other than to get him now — they’ll need another lefty arm to pitch the Red Sox lefty-happy line-up.

Bring on the spring.

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Yo Adrian (Gonzalez)! Welcome to Boston

Adrian Gonzalez Boston Red Sox

Theo Epstein has made me very happy, as the Red Sox have a 11:00am press conference today to officially announce that they have traded for San Diego Padres’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. This move is the single move I most wanted the Red Sox to fulfill this offseason, as they have been targeting Gonzalez for some time. Although Gonzalez has yet to sign a long-term deal, the Red Sox have offered him 6 years for $120 million. He is reportedly looking for 8 years, paying about $23-$25 million per season, and according to several sources it looks probable that he will eventually sign for a 7 year deal at $22 million per season. Simply put, Adrian Gonzalez is our new Mark Texiera.

I like this deal for many reasons — Gonzalez is young (29), a Gold Glove winning defensive player, and a perennial 30 home run 100 RBI hitter. Although his career batting average is .284, his on base percentage numbers are excellent — he had a .396 OBP last season. Perhaps most overlooked is the fact that Gonzalez posted these numbers in an extremely hitter-unfriendly ballpark with no protection in the Padres’ lineup — as a left-handed hitter his power numbers will likely pop in Fenway Park. This move also sures up a fantastic infield defense, specifically at the corners with Kevin Youkilis’ move to third base.

So what’s the bad news? He’s going to require a big money, long-term deal. If he’s able to agree to such a deal, the Red Sox will then have a core of Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia signed for several seasons — which is great. However, Jason Werth’s signing with the Washington Nationals for 7 seasons at $126 million really hurts the Red Sox’s chances of landing Carl Crawford, who is represented by Scott Boras and is younger than Werth. He’s likely out of reach financially for the Sox now, although if we did manage to sign him it would an unbeleivable lineup.  All of that said, the real reason to be excited is a look towards my proposed opening day lineup for the Sox — they still need to add some depth, but this lineup is undeniably good.

1) Jacoby Ellsbury (L)

2) Dustin Pedroia (R)

3) David Ortiz (L)

4) Kevin Youkilis (R)

5) Adrian Gonzalez (L)

6) JD Drew (L)

7) Ryan Kallish (L)

8)Jason Varitek or Jarrod Saltalamacchia (R) or (R)

9) Marco Scutaro (R)

Starting Pitcher: John Lester

That’s a huge reason to get excited, although I still think we need one more significant bat (yes, Crawford would be perfect). Regardless, it’s great to see the Red Sox take such a huge step in the right direction.

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The Red Sox Handle Their Business, The US Ryder Cup Team Does Not

Rays win AL East

The Boston Red Sox handled their business this weekend, winning some pride points by taking 2 out of 3 games from the New York Yankees thus denying them the AL East Crown. After losing 6-5 in a 10 inning game on Friday night, the Sox won another 10 inning game 7-6 before beating the Yankees 8-4 in the final game of the season. In the final game Jed Lowrie went 2-3 with 2 home  runs, John Lackey pitched 7+ innings allowing 2 earned runs, and David Ortiz went 3-3 to bring his average up to .270 — quite a feat considering his horrific start to this season. The Rays should send the Red Sox a fruitcake, thanking them for their efforts. It’s good to see them win, considering the team will be dismantled after this season. While I’m happy the Sox helped ensure the division stayed out of the Yankees hands, I’d be pleased if I were a Yankees fan. The Yankees will now face the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the playoffs, a match-up I consider much easier than the Texas Rangers who will now play the Rays.  howiGit’s prediction — spot on.

As for the national league,…..well who cares it’s the national league.

In other news, the US Ryder Cup team stormed back today after going down 9.5-6.5 to the European team. The matches were eventually knotted at 13.5-13.5 with one match left on the course. American Hunter Mahan then proceeded to out-choke Graeme McDowell, and Europe won the Cup. I predicted a European victory, although I predicted a big win, so my prediction was only half right.

Pats-Dolphins tonight, I can’t wait.

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Red Sox 2010 Playoffs Are Now — Weekend Notes

The Red Sox aren’t going to win anything this year, but they can at least still screw over the Yankees with a couple of wins this weekend as well as in the last series of the season. They did a great job last night, beating the Yankees 10-8 despite 2 home runs a piece from Mark Texiera and A-Rod (who passed fellow cheat Sammy Sosa on the all-time HR list). The win catapulted the Rays past the Yankees into first place in the AL East. The Sox have Jon Lester on the mound today at 4:10pm, so I like their chances.
In other news, the Pats should roll the Bills on Sunday. Could be a good weekend for New England sports.

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Yankees “Fans” — Shame on You

Yankees Empty Seats Baseball

Empty seats with the AL East crown on the line?

Shame on you, Yankees “fans.” Let’s start by making one thing clear — this is not a boo-hoo post, I long ago declared the Red Sox done for the year. Although I don’t like it, I’ve come to terms with the reality of the situation. A baseball fan at heart, I was still excited to watch the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays battle it out last night. And battle it out they did — this was a great game until it got blown open at the end and the Rays won 7-2. Sure, there was a long rain delay. But the division is on the line people — act accordingly.

Now I know from experience how much Yankees fans hate to hear from Bostonians how the Red Sox have the best fans in baseball and the Yankees are a bunch of snotty front-runner wannabe fans. Well, you did a pretty good job of backing up Boston fans’ sentiments last night, and even your own players are noticing. “To me, it was a totally different feel,” Yankees slugger Lance Berkman said. “The crowd was gone, the electricity that was there the first two games was gone.” Way to help out your team, New York.

The stadium at the beginning of this game was about 46,000 fans deep — only 90% of the stadium’s capacity to begin with, which is shocking. After the rain delay, about half of that number remained, and watching on TV the last few innings the stands looked bare — despite the game being knotted at 2-1. I understand that there was a rain delay, and it was a Wednesday night, but I thought that New York was the city that never sleeps — this game ended at 12:30am people. Furthermore, I know that Fenway park is tiny and can only handle about 35,000 fans. This excuse doesn’t work either. The New York metropolitan population is 19 million people, whereas the Boston metropolitan are is home to 4.5 million people.

This would never happen in Boston — I can very comfortably say that — not during a heated divisional race when you are playing against the team right on your heals. New Yorkers should be ashamed — don’t try to tell me how great your fans are any longer. What’s your excuse this time? How can you possibly defend this? C.C. Sabathia is going against David Price tonight in a rematch of the pitching gem these two put on this September 13th. I’ll be watching, but will anyone in New York?

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Bold AL East Predictions and Tom Brady Gets Signed

Tom Brady

First and foremost, I will now have a new category of blog posts — weekend notes — of which this is the first installment. These will simply be a few opinions or tidbits of knowledge for you to mull over while you don’t read my blog — come on, it’s the weekend.

We gotta start with the big news: The New England Patriots have officially locked down quarterback Tom Brady for the next four years. Absolutely huge, and I can assure you New England is rejoicing. Having the best player at the most important position on the field for the rest of his prime years couldn’t be better. I expect Brady to play longer than four more years, but I would think his drive and ability will begin to diminish after that. After all, what more does this guy have to prove? Kudos to both Brady and the Patriots for being patient, not throwing a hissy fit, and getting this deal right. Four years at $72 million is exactly what this guy should be getting, with $48.5 million gauranteed. I like it on all accounts. Now lets see what they can do with Randy Moss.

Additionally, I’m throwing a bold prediction on the table. The Tampa Bay Rays will win the AL East this year. I have my reasons for thinking this, which I will not reveal — I’ll look much more intelligent if it “miraculously” happens. It would be extra sweet if the Red Sox had something to do with it the last series of the season against New York.

Finally, I’m not one to pray, vigil, or the such — but thinking of those who 9/11 affected today.

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