Tagged: Manny Ramirez

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.

Where are they Now? Chad Bradford

Chadwick “Chad” Bradford was a relief pitcher who went to Southern Mississippi and debuted in the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox in 1998.

2008
Before joining the Rays, Bradford spent several years with the Baltimore Orioles. He was a very successful pitcher, though he did allow Manny Ramirez’s 500th home run on May 31, 2008. Bradford was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays from Baltimore Orioles in August 2008 for cash. He made his first appearance with the Rays August 9th in Seattle. That nigt, he worked the 9th and 10th inning, winning the game. In 2008 with the Rays, Bradford made a total of 21 relief appearances, working mostly the 7th and 8th innings. With the Rays in 2008, his record was 1-0, his ERA was 1.42, and he pitched a total of 19 innings, giving up only 1 HR. Bradford was known for having a slow but successful fastball.

In 2009, he spent the majority of the year on the disabled list due to injuring his elbow during spring training. On February 5, 2009, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. When he went off the disabled list in June 2009, he injured his back and was sent back to the disabled list. In 2009, he made a total of 20 appearances with the Rays and became a free agent at the end of the year.

Now
Bradford retired from baseball at the end of 2009  and is currently rumored to be coaching baseball. He was invited to play himself in the movie Moneyball, a movie about the 2002 Oakland Athletics. Due to scheduling, he is being portrayed by Casey Bond.

Sources

Moneyball

Chad Bradford

Manny Being Manny

Before the days I religiously followed baseball, I knew who Manny was. Manny played for the Red Sox. Manny wouldn’t run to first base if he knew he wasn’t going to make it. Manny would show up late to spring training. Manny would pee inside the Green Monster while the baseball game was going on.  “Many was just being Manny” He was famous for his big ego and attitude, and even the Red Sox fans, who also have big egos and attitudes, grew tired of him. Manny won world series titles with the Red Sox, but that was not enough to stay with the Red Sox. Through several trades over the years, Manny arrived at the Rays’ doorstep in January. 

The Rays lacked big shot players with big attitudes and egos- the player with the biggest attitude on the team was Bj Upton, and his biggest crime was not hustling to first base a few times and getting into a public fight with his BFF Evan Longoria. Its hard to forgive a guy who has disrespected baseball for years and has been caught 2x with steroids (2003 & 2009)*. But over time, the Rays accepted him. He showed up early to batting practice, had discussions with Maddon, and wanted to sign up for away games. Manny seemed to be wanting to prove to everyone that he changed and loved the sport of baseball over the love of money. 
Then the day before opening day, Manny took a personal day. Over the next few games, Manny, who was batting over 300 in spring training, went 1 for 17. On Thursday, Manny took another personal day. On Friday, my father texted me “Manny quit rays, drugs.” 
Manny tested positive for prohibited drugs and instead of trying to fight the claim or serve the 100 day suspension, he quit retired from baseball. Manny- a guy with numerous records and world series titles and even a MVP world series champ- went down like a loser. His big last year of proving to everyone and himself that he was still one of the best baseball players in history, was over before the season began. 
The Rays will move on (Though they aren’t exactly winning at the moment). Johnny Damon will move (has already passed Manny on the hit list). Baseballs Hall of Fame voters will move on and cast their votes to someone who did not strike out. Baseball will move on.
*Manny was on the 2003 list of testing positive for steroids bu was not punished. In 2009, he was suspended for 50 games of the baseball season for testing positive for a female fertility drug used to cover up steroids. 

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

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.” 

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

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)