Tagged: Johnny Damon

Rays welcome Astros to the American League

Waterspout photo in Downtown Tampa taken by Robert Siegel

Today the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros in Port Charlotte.   After being one of the worst teams in the National League for years, the  Astros hope a move to the American League will turn things around. Good  thing the game was not being played in Tampa because Tampa spent the morning in a Tornado Warning. Today was the Spring Training debut of third baseman Evan Longoria and pitcher David Price.

Rays Lineup

  • Ben Zobrist (SS)
  • Ryan Roberts (2B)
  • Evan Longoria (3B)
  • Leslie Anderson (LF)
  • Shelley Duncan (1B)
  • Wil Myers (RF)
  • Jack Cust (DH)
  • Sam Fuld (CF)
  • Jose Lobaton (C)
  • David Price (P)

Astros Lineup

  • Marwin Gonzales (SS)
  • Brandon Barnes (LF)
  • Justin Maxwell (CF)
  • Chris Carter (1B)
  • Nate Freiman (DH)
  • Matt Dominguez (3B)
  • Jimmy Paredes (RF)
  • Jason Jaramillo (C)
  • Jake Elmore (2B)
  • Jordan Lyles (P)

David Price had a 19-pitch inning, 10 of which were strikes. When Price reached for a ground ball with his bare hand, the ball hit his wrist but luckily he was fine. At the bottom of the 1st, Shelley Duncan hit a single, bringing Ryan Roberts home while Evan Longoria was called out at home. Longoria, who singled at his first at-bat of spring training, was not running at full speed and was trying to score from second base. After missing at least half of the 2012 season due to his hamstring, Rays fans are hoping the hamstring will not be a problem this year.

At the bottom of the 2nd, the Rays scored five runs, making the game 6-0. One of baseball’s top prospects, Wil Myers, singled to start the inning. Though a few singles and a sac-fly scored a few runs, it was the triple by Leslie Anderson that scored two runs. At the moment, Anderson is the top RBI leader in the Grapefruit League (with 7, ahead of Miguel Cabrera’s 4)  and is currently batting a .556. Anderson has had a hit in every Spring Training game he has played in so far.

In the 4th, Ryan Roberts hit a homerun to make the game 7-0. The Astros manage to put 2 runs up on the scoreboard in the 6th inning, but the game is called right after the inning ends due to the heavy rain. The other Rays pitchers invovled in the game were: Fernando Rodney, Brandon Gomes, Josh Lueke, Matt Buschmann, and Alex Colome.

Side Notes:

  • Jeff Niemann will now be starting Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates instead of Jeremy Hellickson.  Hellickson will still be pitching. 
  • Alex Rodriquez’s Yankees 2009 World Series Ring is being cold by his cousin. Must be to pay off a certain doctor…
  • Manny Ramirez will play for a team in Taiwan if no Major League Baseball team offers him a job this year.
  • Johnny Damon doesn’t understand why the Rays re-signed Luke Scott instead of him.

Rays DESTROY Red Sox

Today, April 11th, 2011, the Rays defeated the Red Sox 16-5. If the Rays had a home opener against the Red Sox, the Rays would be at 8-1 instead of 1-8. Stupid Espn and their stupid writers writing about much the Rays suck and will suck all year. Ha! Red Sox suck. At least the Rays are off to a slow start b/c they lost 75% of their players due to money issues and Manny quit retired from baseball (after the Rays finally had a DH for the first time in years). 

Johnny Damon hit a homerun the first time he saw a pitch and in the second, the Rays blew the game up. They scored a total of 6 runs in the 2nd, making the game 7-0. In the 7th, Red Sox had bases loaded with Youkilis up at bat and Zobrist made an amazing catch and tossed it to Brignac to get the runner out at second.  Espn’s hopes that the Red Sox were going to win died right then. Speaking of amazing catches, Sam Fuld did it again, but in left field this time. I hope Crawford saw that. Haha. I admit, I was SUPER nervous when the bullpen was up. They gave up 2 runs, but it was very tense. Hellickson wasn’t amazing, but he did pretty well against his first start in Fenway (I think…don’t quote me). 
Random Tidbits
  • Only Dan Johnson did not have a hit tonight. (On the starting line up). 
  • Sam Fuld went for the cycle and fell a single short. (Yes, a single- he’d rather hit another double)
  • Ortiz hit a triple today (crazy!) 
  • Former Ray Dan Wheeler pitched today. He’s also Rays’ announcer Dewayne Staat’s son-in-law. 
  • Rays have a better away record than home record (2-0) 
Dear Espn announcers, 
 You guys are beyond boring. I’m sorry that your team, the Red Sux  Sox lost badly tonight, but that does not mean you have to be so boring. Can your voices get even more monotone?  The whole world already knows how much you enjoy the Red Sox and praise them non-stop, unless they are playing the Yankees; in which you then praise the Yankees non-stop. I thought it was rather pathetic showing Wakefield striking out Damon in slow motion after a commercial break- I always thought homeruns were more interesting in slow motion in the first place. Actually, Damon hitting a homerun is >>>>>> than Damon striking out. I’m just happy I was able to turn to the local coverage of the Rays.so I could actually watch real announcers. I’m sure the local Boston channel is less biased than you. I just heard you say how it took 9 innings for a Rays 1st baseman to score a RBI, so they won’t win the A.L East. Why does a 1st baseman matter? Sorry if all other 8 positions scored in the 2nd. 
Rays Players of the Day
  1. The Whole Team 
  2. Sam Fuld 
  3. Johnny Damon 

Damon & Manny: Will they help the Rays this year????


In fact, they already have. From November 2010-January 2011, us Rays fans were stuck witnessing the destruction of the 2008 Cinderella-story team; the team who took down the Red Sox & Yankees, the team that was supposed to bring the World Series title to Tampa Bay. Sadly, one by one, the Players left: Carlos Pena & Matt Garza to the Cubs, C.C. to the Red Sox (trader), Jason Bartlett to Padres, Soriano to the Yankees, the Bullpen to this-and-that-away. Meanwhile, the Rays were getting NO ONE. 2011 looked like it was going to be the worst year ever. Then on January 21st, 2011, my father texted me “Manny and Johnny Damon signed with the Rays.” 


Manny? The “Manny-just-being-Manny” who was suspended 2 years ago b/c of steroids?
Damon? Red Sox -> Yankee who could barely throw farther than me? 

The old Red Sux players I grew up hating? 

Yet, I could not help but smile. I knew both Manny & Damon were coming off a crappy season, but their crappy seasons were still better than most Rays better seasons. And the Rays needed Big Names in order to lift the hope of the loyal fans. 
Manny Ramirez: 2010 Batting average .311, 8 HR, 40 RBIs in 66 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. (You know you’re a Rays fan when you’ve never seen a batter who is not Longo or CC batting above .300). The Rays have been missing a DH for the past few years, so if Manny keeps up the high batting average, the Rays will finally have a middle-of-the-batting-order-threat. Any anyone hitting the ball is better than Pat Burrell. There has much talk in the last couple of years about how Pat Burrell could not bat because he also wanted to be in the outfield, so it is a relief to see Manny say, when asked if he plans on playing in the outfield,  “I don’t know. Anyway I can help the team, it’s good for me.” So far, Manny is not being Manny. 
Johnny Damon: 2010 Batting average .271, 8 HR, 51 RBIs last season for the Detroit Tigers. Damon has been viewed as “getting old” as his numbers have been dropping, but I think with him being back in the A.L. East going against 2 of his old teams should put some spark back into him. Besides, his numbers are still impressive. Though it will be weird not seeing CC in a Rays jersey in left field on the highlight reel every night, Damon offers a veteran presence to a very young baseball team. 

Rays 2011 Line-Up Predictions

The fact that ALOT of the Rays players were lost this past off-season due to money (or lack of) issues has many Rays Fans betting on who is going to make it on the roster and who is going to be starting. Hopefully Maddon doesn’t have 252 different lineups and 3 different shortstops this year, since consistency is pretty important. Here are my predictions:

1st: Dan Johnson. (saw 1st base last year)
2nd: Sean Rodriguez (did rather well last year) 
SS: Reid Brignac (made several amazing catches last year)
3rd: Evan Longoria (that’s a given) 
Catcher: John Jaso (break out star of last year)
LF: Johnny Damon (CC who? Damon wants to prove that he’s not old and washed up)
CF: BJ Upton (always making crazy catches) 
RF: Ben Zobrist (he can throw)
DH: Manny Ramirez (has to show that he still gots it)