Tagged: Tampa Bay

David Price still hasn’t heard from MLB

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. 

Sources:

Marc Topkin Price hasn’t heard from MLB yet, still upset at ump’s language  Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Battles Back and Beats Baltimore

So, I thought the Rays lineup was interesting, surprised to see Sean Rodriguez batting second. The lefties were out of the game – disappointed at that because I believe lefties can hit no matter if the pitcher is a lefty or a righty. I’m also looking forward to the Rays’ offense since Jeremy Hellickson’s average run support was 3.86, the 3rd worst in the league in 2012.

Rays Lineup:

  • Desmond Jennings CF
  • Sean Rodriguez LF
  • Ben Zobrist RF
  • Evan Longoria 3B
  • Shelley Duncan DH
  • Yunel Escobar SS
  • Ryan Roberts 2B
  • Jose Lobaton C
  • Kelley Johnson 1B
  • Jeremy Hellickson P

Orioles Lineup:

  • Nate McLouth LF
  • Manny Machado 3B
  • Nick Markakis RF
  • Adam Jones CF
  • Chris Davis 1B
  • Matt Wieters C
  • J.J. Hardy SS
  • Nolan Reimold DH
  • Brian Roberts 2B
  • Wei-Yin Chen P

Game Recap:

The Orioles quickly took a lead in the top of the 1st after Chris Davis hit a 3-HR – after Hellickson was able to get the first two batters out. Desmond Jennings led off with a single, but Sean Rodriguez hit into a double play. In the 2nd, Evan Longoria singled and then Shelley Duncan hit into a double play. In the 3rd, Jose Lobaton singled and then Jennings hit into a double play – yes, a lot of double plays today. Meanwhile, Hellickson had been pitching well. Up to this point, all 11 Orioles runs this series came with 2 outs. The Orioles extended their lead in the 6th when Davis singled, driving in Manny Machado. Chris Davis drove in 4 RBIs at this moment.

Rays answered back when Jennings doubled and Ben Zobrist drove him in. These two did the most damage in Game 1 and as usual, are the most dependable players on the game. After a pitching change by the Orioles, Longoria singled and then Shelley Duncan hit a homerun, tying the game. Ducan was supposed to be in the minors but was called up when Luke Scott started the season on the DL. Sadly, the game would not remain tied for long because Hellickson walked Nolan Reimold, Brian Roberts singled, and then Nate McClouth singled to drive in the run. Jose Lobaton almost tagged him out. Kyle Farnsworth replaced Hellickson and got Machago to ground into a double play, ending the threat. Orioles now lead 5-4.

In the 7th, Matt Joyce singled on a bunt (beautiful bunt) and then Kelly Johnson singled; with Jennings battering, a wild pitch by Pedro Strop allowed Joyce to score. James Loney replaces Rodriguez and hits a double, making it 6-6, and then Zobrist singled, driving in Loney to make it 7-5. Now, its up to the bullpen to win the game.

In the 8th, Joel Peralta gets two quick outs before allowing a double to Davis (I hate this guy) and then Matt Wieters singles, making it 7-6. Peralta strikes out J. Hardy. After 3 quick outs for the Rays in the 8th, its Fernando Rodney’s job to end the game. Rodney walks Nolan Reimold – though it should have been strike 3. Brian Roberts doubles, tying the game. Rodney’s first blown save of the year in 2012 was May 26 against Boston Red Sox, he blew only 2 saves last year, and it’s the 1st run he allowed since August 18, a string of 19 scoreless innings. Rodney gets the next two outs, giving the Rays batters one more time to win the game before going into extra innings. Matt Joyce steps up to the bat and swings, hitting a HIGH homerun. This was his first walk-off career. Rays win 8-7.

Summary:

What a great game between the Orioles and Rays. Though pitching wasn’t the best, it wasn’t too bad. Great to see Kyle Farnsworth end a threatening inning and there was no way Rodney could be better than last year, so at least he got his blown save out of the way now and not later on. I really wish coach Joe Maddon would let the lefties play, since Loney and Joyce helped win the game when they were allowed to play. Sorry, I just think lefties can play no matter who the pitcher is. Random fact: Rays only won 2 games in 2012 when they allowed 7+ runs.

Around the League:

  • Texas Rangers Yu Darvish was one out away from completing a perfect game against the Houston Astros.
  • New York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda exits in the 2nd inning after a ball hit his hand. Red Sox have been killing the bullpen throughout the game.
  • Former Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir will not be making his pitching debut against the Rays on Saturday.

Tampa Bay Rays lose Opening Day

Happy Opening Day!!!!

The Tampa Bay Rays started the 2013 Baseball Season against the Baltimore Orioles. After the anthem by saxophonist B.K. Jackson and Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer throwing out the first pitch (Evan Longoria catching) Cy Young Pitcher David Price took the mound. Nearly all sports journalists believe the Toronto Blue Jays will win the A.L. East with the Rays finishing second – Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will be at the bottom. I, of course, predict the Rays will be back in the playoffs IF they can remain healthy and improve their offense.

Rays Lineup:

  • Desmond Jennings CF
  • Sam Fuld RF
  • Ben Zobrist 2B
  • Evan Longoria 3B
  • Matt Joyce LF
  • Yunel Escobar SS
  • James Loney 1B
  • Kelly Johnson DH (Luke Scott is on DL)
  • David Price P

Orioles Lineup:

  • Nick Markakis RF
  • Manny Machado 3B
  • Adam Jones CF
  • Matt Wieters C
  • Chris Davis 1B
  • J.J. Hardy SS
  • Nolan Reimold LF
  • Steve Pearce DH
  • Brian Roberts 2B
  • Jason Hammel P

Game Recap

The Orioles took the lead in the 1st after a double and a homerun made is 2-0. Ben Zobrist had the first hit of the year for the Rays in the 1st inning – always a great day in Tampa when the Rays don’t give up a perfect game. In the 2nd inning, Nolan Reimold was picked off and caught stealing 2nd base by Price to Zobrist. Price ran into trouble in the 3rd inning by loading the bases with one out. After a 13-pitch outing to Matt Wieters, Chris Davis grounds into a double play, ending the inning.

After three quick innings by the Rays’ offense, Ben Zobrist hit a homerun, making it 2-1. After the rough 3rd inning, Price becomes his usual Cy Young Winning Self, since he will need to be like that if the Rays fail to hit runs again this season. In the bottom of the 6th, Kelly Johnson led-off with a walk and then scored on Desmond Jennings’ double. Sam Fuld then moved Jennings to third on a bunt and Zobrist brought him home on a sac-fly, making it 3-2 in favor of the Rays.

Jake McGee entered the 7th inning after Price allowed 2 runs in 6 innings, throwing 100 pitches. McGee allowed two singles, a double, and a homerun to make it 7-3 in favor of the Orioles. Jamey Wright replaces McGee to get the final third out to end that horrible ending. When the Rays were up to bat, Ryan Roberts (replacing Mayy Joyce) singled, but Shelly Duncan (replacing James Loney) flied out and Jose Molina struck out. In the 8th, Jennings singles then with Fuld batting, he steals 2nd base and advances to 3rd base on a throwing error by Matt Wieters. When Fuld grounds out, Jennings scores, making it 7-4 in favor of the Orioles. Rays lose 7-4.

Summary

Well, the Rays may have lost but it is only the first day. David Price was able to settle down after a couple of rough innings and McGee wasn’t the best, but he has been a very dependable pitcher the past few years so it could have just been first-day jitters. The Rays’ defense was outstanding – Longoria and Fuld both made great catches throughout the day and the rest of the team handled the ball with ease. Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings continue to be the most consistent players on the Rays since they drove in and scored the runs today. The Baltimore Orioles looked like they don’t like all the attention the Toronto Blue Jays are receiving. Opening Day Attendance: 34,078. *Sellout*

 

Mumblings Around the Baseball:

  • Evan Longoria said “the scarring that James Shields and B.J. Upton endured in the rough Devil Rays days remained a clubhouse issue, and the current team is in ‘a better mental state’ with them gone.” Eh- that was a little harsh in my opinion since Shields and Upton were HUGE parts of the Rays’ past and current success.
  • Speaking of former Rays players, James Shields gave up one homerun on Opening Day; Kansas City Royals lost 1-0 against the Chicago White Sox. B.J. Upton went 0-4 for the Atlanta Braves (Braves won 7-5 over Philadelphia Phillies) and Carlos Pena went 1-4, scoring a run for the Houston Astros (Astros beat Texas Rangers 8-2).
  • One of the Rays first great pitcher, Scott Kazmir, will be pitching for the Cleveland Indians against the Rays on Saturday, April 6. Kazmir strained his ab during workout, may go on DL and therefore miss Saturday’s game.

Rays beat the Red Sox, Again

The Rays have played four games (including a split squad on opening day) and already they have beaten their arch nemesis, the Boston Red Sox, twice. Unlike previous spring training games so far, the Rays lineup is similar to an actual lineup during baseball season, one in which Evan Longoria is hurt…

Rays Lineup

  • Ben Zobrist (RF)
  • Desmond Jennings (CF)
  • Matt Joyce (Left Field)
  • Yunel Escobar (SS)
  • Luke Scott (DH)
  • Kelly Johnson (2B)
  • Jose Molina (C)
  • James Loney (1B)
  • Ryan Roberts (3B)
  • Alex Cobb (P)

Red Sox Lineup

  • Jason Ellsbury (CF)
  • Dustin Pedroia (2B)
  • Shane Victorino (RF)
  • Jonny Gomes (LF)
  • Stephen Drew (SS)
  • Ryan Sweeney (DH)
  • Drew Sutton (3B)
  • Mike Carp (1B)
  • David Ross (C)
  • Alfredo Aceves (P)
Alex Cobb

Alex Cobb (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Today marked Alex Cobb’s spring training starter debut. Cobb was told last week that he is starting pitcher number four, which means he won’t be competing with four other pitchers for the limited starting positions. Cobb allowed four hits and two runs. “I was trying to throw a little too hard, keeping the ball up, rushing a little bit. When I did control myself, I had good results. Obviously the home run isn’t very good, and the RBI double isn’t very good. But I got a lot of ground balls, which is what I’m looking for, and it shows me I’m getting the angle I’m looking for” said Cobb. Another pitcher contending for a spot on the roster was Jamey Wright. The 38-year-old is looking for a spot in the Rays bullpen.

The Red Sox quickly took a lead in the 1st inning when Dustin Pedroia hit a homerun. The Rays answered back after Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce drew walks, followed by newcomer Yunel Escobar hitting a double to score two runs. The Red Sox tied the game up in the 2nd due to Mike Carp hitting a double, bringing Ryan Sweeney home. The Rays did most of their damage in the 4th thanks to Ryan Roberts hitting a double, driving Jose Molina and James Loney home.  Ben Zobrist hit a single, causing Roberts to score and making the score 5-2. In the 7th, the Rays score their last run of the game after Cole Figueroa scores on Jose Lobaton’s groundout. The Red Sox manage a run in the 8th, but lose 6-3.

Side Notes:

  • Red Sox had a split squad today; the other half of the team beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2.
  • David Price makes his pitching debut Tuesday February 26 against the Houston Astros.
  • Evan Longoria will be making his debut  Tuesday February 26 against the Houston Astros.
  • In five years since becoming the Rays in 2008, Tampa Bay owns the third-best record in the Major Leagues behind the Yankees and Phillies. Also during this span, the Rays have won five major Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards, more than any other team. David Price (2012 AL Cy Young Award), Joe Maddon (’08, ’11 AL Manager of the Year Awards), Evan Longoria (’08 AL Rookie of the Year Award) and Jeremy Hellickson (’11 AL Rookie of the Year Award).

Rays Spring Training Update: February 21

  • Five Tampa Bay Players are competing in the World Baseball Classic: Alex Torres (Venezuela), Fernando Rodney (Dominican Republic), Cesar Ramos (Mexico), Jose Molina (Puerto Rico), and Ben Zobrist (United States).
  • There is now a boar’s head mounted on Luke Scott’s locker. Scott is known as being a hunter, but he has now taken up spear hunting instead of shooting . Only in Florida…

  • New Rays pitcher Juan Sandoval is making a name for himself in Tampa Bay after fans found out that he is blind in one eye. Sandoval is a 32 years-old, right-handed pitcher competing for a spot in the Rays’ organization. In 2006, a shooting incident between a security guard and a customer at a restaurant in the Dominican Republic resulted in Sandoval loosing his eyesight in one eye. When this shooting incident happened, Sandoval was in the Seattle Mariners organization. After bouncing from the Mariners to the Brewers and to the Phillies, Sandoval landed in the Mexico League. In 2011, he made 67 appearances in 103 games last year, had a 7-3 record and a 2.97 ERA. During winter 2012, he went to the Dominican Winter League where he met Rays relief pitcher Joel Peralta. Peralta recommended him to the Rays and now Sandoval is back in the United States. “I’ve worked hard but it’s not about the eye,” he says. “I don’t think about that. I have three kids now. I support my mom and dad. These are key things that are at the center of my life, the ones that make me work harder. These kids are maybe why I got better. I have to support them. Not because I want to prove to the world.”
  • MLB has named “Astro bobblehead” as the best give away this year in baseball season. Astro is David Price’s dog.
  • Joe Maddon says Alex Cobb will have a spot in the starting rotation,  along with David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson. That means only one spot is left in the starting rotation.
  • Desmond Jennings is ready to become center-fielder. Though he knows that B.J. Upton has a better arm, he is ready to take over since center-field feels more natural to him.
  • First game of Spring Training: Saturday 23, Split Squad against the Pirates at 1:05 pm.

 

David Price prefers his Beard over the Yankees

 

David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays doing first ...

David Price (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an interview with Fox Sports, Cy Young Award winner David Price discussed the possibility of being with a new team in the next few years and how much he will miss his current team, the Tampa Bay Rays. O, he also talked about how he wouldn’t play for certain teams due to their strict rules. “It’s a joke to me, that I had less rules in college than I would on some major league teams. That’s not my style, man. I couldn’t do it on some of these teams I hear about. I couldn’t do it. I’m a grown man” says Price. When told that he would have to shave his beard if the Yankees traded for him, Price stated “I wouldn’t stay there very long then. I wouldn’t sign a long-term deal there. Those rules, that’s old-school baseball. I was born in ’85. That’s not for me. That’s not something I want to be a part of.” Price went on to praise Rays coach Joe Maddon’s care-free environment in the club house, where players can play any type of music in the locker room and wear any type of hair (or beard) style.

Yankees fans (and probably the Yankee Organization) did not like what Price said about the strict rules over at New York. On Thursday February 21, Price began doing damage control with the Yankees by calling them the best organization in sports, saying anything could happen by 2016, “My hair might fall out by then.” But Price stuck to his principles, saying that he “never aspired to be a New York Yankee” while growing up. Price says though money is a factor, he wants to be comfortable where he plays, “The last thing I want to think is that I’m signing a long-term deal — regardless of the money — and not having the feeling I have here.” Though money is always important in signing a contract, Price makes an excellent point on feeling comfortable spending years with one team. Former Ray Carl Crawford signed an expensive contract with the Boston Red Sox and ended up hating his time there, admitting he regretted his decision to play there several times. Luckily for Crawford, the Los Angeles Dodgers could afford to cover Crawford’s contract. If Price becomes the most expensive pitcher in baseball history, that means he can’t count on another team to bail him out but will have to remain with the team. The chance that a team would not like Price is slim though since he brings laughter to the Tampa Bay area.

According to Price, the Rays’ club house is a special place in all of major league baseball. It isn’t just recently traded pitcher James Shields that will miss the Rays, “It’s everybody that’s been traded or hit free agency from here and left and got their millions of dollars. They all miss it. We do things differently over here. We have freedom. We’re treated like grown men. Other places, it’s a penitentiary.” The Rays fans know that while the players love playing in Tampa, it is common to see players leave due to money issues. Center-fielder B.J. Upton signed with the Atlantic Braves this past off-season since the Rays could not afford him, and Price knows he probably will not be a Ray forever. Price’s contract with a new team could be worst almost $200 million, a price that the Rays cannot compete with. Though Price is a Ray for the next two years, there is a possibility that he will be traded before then; some even speculate that as soon as the All-Star break 2013. Price refuses to think about it and to spend the rest of his time here having fun while playing baseball. As with Upton, Crawford, and several other former Rays, the fans will continue to speculate how long Price will remain a Ray.

Who to Follow on Twitter: Tampa Bay Rays Edition

I mainly use Twitter for the latest sports news, especially Tampa Bay Rays baseball news. Here are the players/coaches to follow on Twitter.

@RaysBaseball Official Twitter of the Tampa Bay Rays

@SunSportsFOXFL Fox Sports Florida Television Station: Covers Florida Teams

Players/Coaches

@RaysJoeMaddon Rays Coach Joe Maddon

@jamesloney_7 First Baseman James Loney

@TheZobrists Second baseman Ben Zobrist (shares account with his wife)

@Evan3Longoria Third baseman Evan Longoria

@d_jennings8 Center Fielder Desmond Jennings

@sweetswingin20 Right Fielder Matt Joyce

@DAVIDprice14 Cy Young Pitcher David Price

@JHell58 Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson

@mattymoe55 Pitcher Matt Moore

@Acobb53 Pitcher Alex Cobb

@Joeycatch8 Catcher Jose Molina

@SamFuld5 Outfielder Sam Fuld

@Alex21Torres Pitcher Alex Torres

@ChrisArcher42 Pitcher Chris Archer

@wilmyers Outfielder Wil Myers

@SVogt1229 Utility Player Stephen Vogt

@SeanJRodriguez1 Utility Player Sean Rodriguez

@robinson28ch Catcher Robinson Chirinos

@rroberts19 Ryan Roberts Utility Player

@ChrisGimenez5 Catcher Chris Gimenez

@JLobaton21 Catcher Jose Lobaton

@BrandonGuyer Outfielder Brandon Guyer

@Josh_Lueke Pitcher Josh Lueke

Twitter of Past Rays:

 Centerfielder BJ Upton 

@reidbrignac Shortstop Reid Brignac

@ElliotJohnson9 Utility Player Elliot Johnson

@Gdeuceswild Pitcher Matt Garza

@JKeppinger Third Baseman Jeff Keppinger

@AdamRussell36 Pitcher Adam Russell

@ShopHouse10 Kelly Shoppach