Happy Opening Day!!!
I hope everyone went to the doctor and received prescriptions for high blood pressure and anxiety medication over the off-season because this season is expected to be the most exciting one in Tampa Bay Rays’ history. Several sports analysts predict the Rays will make it to the World Series. Now before Rays fans get too excited, there are 162 regular season games to be played.
Toronto Blue Jays
- Jose Reyes SS (left with hamstring tightness) –> Ryan Goins
- Melky Cabrera LF
- Jose Bautista RF
- Edwin Encarnacion
- Dioner Navarro DH (remember him? 2008 Rays All-Star catcher)
- Brett Lawrie 3B
- Colby Rasmus CF
- Maicer Izturis 2B
- Josh Thole C –> Erik Kratz
- R.A. Dickey SP
Tampa Bay Rays
- David DeJesus LF –> Brandon Guyer
- Wil Myers RF
- Ben Zobrist 2B
- Evan Longoria 3B
- James Loney 1B
- Desmond Jennings CF
- Matt Joyce DH
- Jose Molina C
- Yunel Escobar SS
- David Price SP
David Price looked ready for the 2014 baseball season as he walked to the mound. Price had a quick 1-2-3 inning by getting Jose Reyes to fly out to center, Melky Cabrera to ground out to shortstop, and Jose Bautista to strike out. Rays leadoff hitter David DeJesus popped out, but Wil Myers wasted no time showing fans what to expect of him this season by hitting a double. After Ben Zobrist struck out, Evan Longoria singled to bring Myers home. Isn’t the Myers-Longoria threat beautiful? Price repeated his awesomeness in the second inning, quickly bringing the Rays back up to bat. Both Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce are expected to be better offensively and both showed a positive sign that they were heading into that direction; Jennings doubled and Joyce walked. With two on, Jose Molina struck out, Yunel Escobar flied out to right, and DeJesus walked, bringing Myers up to bat in a bases-loaded situation. Myers being Myers, he singled to bring Jennings and Joyce home. At the end of the second inning, Rays lead 3-0.
In the third inning, Price allowed a walk to Colby Rasmus to end his 6-player retiring streak. Bautista singled, but Price was able to end the threat by getting Josh Thole to ground into a double play and Ryan Goins to ground out. The Rays added to their lead with Longoria leading off with a walk, Loney moving Longoria over by grounding out to pitcher, Longoria moving to third on a wild pitch, and scoring when Joyce hit a sacrifice fly to center. It looked as though the replay challenge was going to be used when Longoria slid into second base, but the Jays decided not to challenge it (Longoria was safe in the replays). The fourth inning was scary when Cabrera singled to center and Bautista singled to left, but Price was able to strike Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie out while getting Dioner Navarro to fly out to center.
At the bottom of the fifth inning, Zobrist led off with a walk. Longoria popped out to third (darn these infield popups), Loney walked, but then Jennings grounded out into a fielder’s choice, sending Loney back to the dugout. With two-on and two-out, Joyce doubled to right, bringing Zobrist and Jennings home. Molina flied out to center to end the inning, but the Rays now lead 6-0 over the Jays.
In the seventh inning, Loney lead off with a single and stole a base. Joyce doubled to send Loney to home plate where he was out. Molina ended the inning with a hit to shortstop (at least he hit the ball this time). Erik Kratz hits a 2-run homerun in the eighth inning. Kratz replaced pitch-hit for Thole, making his debut for his new team (so of course he hits a homerun on the first pitch against the Rays). After Price struck out Goins, Joe Maddon made the call to the bullpen and Joel Peralta was sent out. Price allowed 2 runs on 6 hits with 102 pitches. Peralta retires the next two batters to end the inning. In the bottom of the eighth, Dejesus comes out after being hit by a pitch during a pickoff at first. Brandon Guyer replaces DeJesus and waits on first as Myers approaches the plate. Myers ends up scoring both Guyer and himself due to a throwing error by pitcher Jeremy Jeffress and a throwing error by Bautista. Zobrist walks his third walk of the game, Longoria singles, and Loney hits a sacrifice fly to score Zobrist. Jennings singles to load the bases, but Molina (once again) ends the inning by grounding out. Rays now lead 9-2.
In the ninth, Brandon Gomes struck out Encarnacion, gave up a hit to Navarro, struck out Lawrie, and gets Rasmus to ground out to end the game. Rays win 9-2!
1 game down, 161 to go…
What I like:
- Offense: Almost every Ray contributed to the game today and some runs were even scored when the base runners were in scoring positions AND there were two outs. Crazy.
- Defense: Desmond Jennings make a spectacular catch in the first, a great start for the team since the defense wasn’t the best last year. Minus a ball that past Yunel Escobar’s glove, the defense looked what it is expected to be all the time.
- Pitching: David Price looked amazing – he wasn’t 100% perfect, but he looked ready to lead the team to plenty of wins his final year in Tampa Bay. Joel Peralta and Brandon Gomes.
What I didn’t like:
- Evan Longoria and Wil Myers being separated. Joe Maddon probably has some explanation, but shush and put the powerhouses next to each other.
- It’s still too early and I’m determined not to bring up the past, but certain players need to stop being an instant out (who know who I’m talking about).
- The construction on I-275 is making the usual 30-45 minute drive to St. Petersburg to a 2-hour ordeal. For any Rays fans planning on making the trip to St. Pete this season, please leave early or expect some fun times on the Howard Franklin.
Jays haven’t won a series at the Trop since April 2007.
Replay challenge was used for the first time this season during the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates game. The play was upheld and took a long time of 2 minutes to decide it… Good-bye 10 minute yelling matches between managers and umpires.
After the “he-said, he-said” incident between Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price and homeplate umpire Tom Hallion, Price and several other Rays are waiting to hear if they will be fined by Major League Baseball. In 2012, MLB created a new law that forbids baseball players and coaches from criticizing umpires to the media – not surprising considering how much MLB protects the umpires. While players can be fined and suspended for one incident, it takes three incidents for an umpire to be suspended and even if he is punished, MLB will keep it a secret. Hallion was suspended in 1999 for bumping a player and a coach; he has a history of being an instigator.
Price also believes the ESPN video clip of him leaving the field distorts what happens – which is true. When I was watching ESPN, the clip made it seem that Price was talking to the umpire when he headed back to the dugout and that the umpire ejected him, but in reality, Price was just talking to himself (which he is known to do) and Jeremy Hellickson was actually ejected. Hellickson seemed to be the scapegoat since all the Rays were upset at Hallion because several players heard Hallion use the F-word to Price. Several sports analysts seemed to believe Price started the argument, when it was Hallion.
Price believes that none of the Rays players should be fined and that he was unaware of MLB’s social media that prohibits players from posting content “that questions the impartially of or otherwise denigrates a Major League umpire.” Besides Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, and Sean Rodriquez make comments on their Twitter accounts that criticized Hallion. Even if the four players are fined, MLB may choose to not punished Hallion at all.
Marc Topkin Price hasn’t heard from MLB yet, still upset at ump’s language Tampa Bay Times
- Umpire tells David Price “to throw the ball over the F-in Plate” (mlblogstbchick2011.wordpress.com)
Before the Tampa Bay Rays played the Kansas City Royals, David Price was at the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City to receive his Bullet Rogan “Pitcher of the Year” Award. Charles Wilber “Bullet” Rogan was an American pitcher for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro baseball leagues from 1920-1938. He was considered one of the best (if not the best) pitcher in the Negro League. When Rogan wasn’t pitching, he was playing the outfield and hitting home runs. After receiving the award, Price toured the museum with first base coach George Hendrick, pitching coach Jim Hickey, and hitting coach Derek Shelton.
The game was tied 3-3 in the 7th inning when Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price stepped onto the mound. The Cy Young Winner has yet to win a game this year and he was determined to pitch a scoreless inning. After allowing a single to Conor Gillaspie, Tyler Flowers hit into a double play. After David Price threw a “strike 3” pitch to Dewayne Wise, he and Rays fans were surprised to see the ball was called a “ball” instead. Throughout the game, homeplate umpire Tom Hallion had a strict strike zone – the pitch had to be perfect for it to be called a strike. Though Price was able to get Wise to ground out to him and end the inning, he was not happy.
After the commercial break ended, Rays announcer Todd Kalas announced that Rays pitcher Jeremy was ejected from the game. According to Price and several other players, after the inning was over Price was upset at the umpire, but did not say anything. The umpire, seeing Price was mad at him, told him to “throw the ball over the f-in plate.” This caused the Rays players, especially the pitchers, to get upset so Hallion pointed to Hellickson and ejected him. As fans know, Hellickson is the stereotypical country boy; he’s quiet, polite, and well-behaved so for him to get ejected is really surprising.
After the game, it wasn’t the win that the Rays were talking about first, it was the ejection of Hellickson. Coach Joe Maddon was surprised that of all the players, it was Hellickson that was ejected. When Hellickson was interviewed, he looked as though he couldn’t even harm a fly, much less cuss at an umpire. Hellickson has never been ejected, but less been in any kind of trouble. Price took to Twitter to defend him and Hellickson’s actions – asking his followers “Someone give me the definition of a coward please.”
Meanwhile, Hallion told a reporter, “I’ll come right out bluntly and say he’s a liar… I’m denying what he said I said, pretty strongly…I said ‘Just throw the ball.” That’s all I said to him.” Hallion also claims he ejected Hellickson because “He was told to know if off, him and Moore were at the dugout rail and I told them to knock it off, and he thought it was okay for him to have his final comment, at which time he was ejected.”
Once David Price heard the umpire called him a liar…
Price is not the only Rays player on Twitter upset. Fellow pitchers Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson, plus infielder Sean Rodriquez expressed their disgust at the umpire.
This episode shows that umpires need to be held accountable for their actions. Instead of claiming Price is a liar even though other players and fans at the game heard the “F” word, the umpire should of acknowledge his mistake, apologized to Price, and accepted his punishment. Instead, he called Price a liar and took his anger out on Hellickson. Umpires are supposed to be anonymous, not the antagonist of the show.
- Umps Continue to make Bad Calls Against the Rays (mlblogstbchick2011.wordpress.com)
The first game of the series involved the Tampa Bay Rays scoring four runs in the 1st inning. Today, the Rays struggled against the Phil Hughes to score runs, resulting in a loss.
Tampa Bay Rays Lineup
- Desmond Jennings CF
- Ryan Roberts 2B
- Ben Zobrist RF
- Evan Longoria 3B
- Matt Joyce LF
- Yunel Escobar SS
- James Loney 1B
- Jose Molina C
- Kelley Johnson DH
- David Price P
New York Yankees Lineup
- Brett Gardner CF
- Eduardo Nunez SS
- Robinson Cano 2B
- Vernon Wells LF
- Ben Francisco DH
- Lyle Overbay 1B
- Chris Stewart C
- Ichiro Suzuki RF
- Jayson Nix 3B
- Phil Hughes
In the first inning, David Price struck out Brett Gardner before allowing Eduardo Nunez to single. While Robinson Cano was batting, Nunenz stole second base but is stranded there after Price strikes out Cano and gets Vernon Wells to fly out to left field. At the bottom of the 1st, Desmond Jennings walks, Ryan Roberts doubles, and then Ben Zobrist hits a sacrifice fly, allowing Jennings to score. Pitcher Phil Hughes is able to get Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce to strike out, ending the inning.
In the 4th, Nunez strikes out but is able to make it to first base due to the wild pitch. Both Robinson Cano Vernon and Wells single, allowing Nunez to score. Price is able to recover and get Ben Francisco to fly out and Lyle Overbay to hit into a double-play, ending the Yankees’ threat.
Rays took the lead in the 7th after Matt Joyce leads off with a walk and scores after a single by James Loney and Jose Molina. James Loney is called out at 3rd and Kelly Johnson strikes out, making it 2-1. Rays wouldn’t lead long because Ichiro Suzuki singles and scores when Brett Gardner grounds out. In the 9th, Price gives up a single to Cano and a call to the bullpen is made. Fernando Rodney strikes out Vernon Wells, but Cano steals second base. Rodney intentionally walks Travis Hafner and then walks Lyle Overbay, even though it looked like strike 3…. Chris Stewart pops out but Ichiro hits a single, scoring 2 runs. Evan Longoria hits a homerun in the bottom of the 9th, but it is not enough and the Yankees win 4-3.
Pretty much a pitching match between David Price and Phil Hughes. Price looked really good, so hopefully he gets his first win on his next start.
Around the League:
- Oakland was beating Boston 13-0 when the game went into rain delay in the 7th inning.
- Moore takes on Sabathia (mlblogstbchick2011.wordpress.com)
As I was looking for the Tampa Bay Rays game on television, I came across this
Obviously, the guy in charge of typing the description copied and pasted the description from Toronto Blue Jays R.A. Dickey, who also had a bad outing the same day as Price, but why does this stuff always happen to the Rays?
My sister is a University of South Florida College Nursing student and when she told me that she was going to meet Sam Fuld and then go to the Tampa Bay Rays game, I knew I had to come along. Fuld was going to talk to the nursing students about his experience with type 1 diabetes so that the nurses will know more about it and know how to take care of a child with it. At 11 a.m. on April 4, 2013, the nursing faculty and students were to meet at Gate 4 at Tropicana Field. After parking in the main parking lot, my sister and I walked through the rain to Gate 4. We took elevators down to the field, crossed home plate, and headed to a section in left field to where Fuld would be talking to us. In left field was David Price tossing a ball around, practicing before batting practice even started. After sitting in the stands, an employee announced Sam Fuld, “Or as we call him around here, Super Sam.”
Fuld took the microphone and told us about his experience with diabetes. When he was ten, he was always thirsty and using the restroom, but when he lost ten pounds, his parents knew something was wrong. After taking him to a doctor, the family was told that Fuld’s sugar blood levels were at 500 milligrams per deciliter, way above average. When his parents found out he had type 1 diabetes, they were more worried about him than than he was while his younger sister was wondering why Fuld was receiving more attention than she was. But Fuld’s family always supported him his whole life; whether it was teaching him how to use insulin injections and keep track of his food or cheering him on at little league baseball games or professional baseball.
When Fuld went to college, he realized (like all college students) that mom and dad are not there to make sure you are taking care of yourself. But baseball made him stay disciplined. At a time when some athletes become more concern about girls and parties, Fuld stayed focus on baseball which paid off when he was drafted by Chicago Clubs in 2004. Fuld is now one of the outfielders with the Rays and is known for making tough catches in the outfield, as reason why is nickname is Super Sam. Besides playing baseball, Fuld talks to children with type 1 diabetes to inspire them that they too can lead normal lives. For Sam, he is just paying-it-forward. When he was 12, he met major league pitcher Bill Gullickson. Gullickson also had type 1 diabetes, but still played a professional sport. Gullickson inspired Fuld and Fuld hopes that he will be able to inspire children by hosting “USF Diabetes Sports Camp” in February. At the camp, coaches and athletes with type 1 diabetes teach children with type 1 diabetes how to play sports. Last February, Gullickson was one of these coaches. Fuld hopes that he too can be an idol to children just like Gullickson was to him.
After Fuld was done talking, he allowed the students to ask a few questions. I raised my hand and asked him “ Did anyone ever say to you that you shouldn’t play sports?” He said he wanted to say that “Someone told me no and I showed him” but he actually had encouraging family, coaches, and doctors. But he has heard of coaches being hesitant to put kids in, but he is hoping that the stigma associated with type 1 diabetes will soon die. After the question session, Fuld was whisked away to get ready for batting practice. As he walked by, I told him “Have a great game” to which he replied “thanks!” Because of Fuld, there are now 50 nursing students that are better prepared to take care of a child with type 1 diabetes and his family.