The central fact of the Rays miserable stadium situation is that they are contractually bound to St. Pete and the mayor there has threatened suit if the Rays even talk to anyone about a possible stadium in Tampa. But there is now a glimmer of hope:
City Council member Charlie Gerdes placed a proposal on Thursday's council agenda that would give the team three years to investigate new stadium sites in either Hillsborough or Pinellas counties in exchange for a payment equal to the city's annual operating subsidy on Tropicana Field, currently about $1.42 million.
The Rays have spent some money this winter, adding Yunel Escobar for shortstop, James Loney for first base and Roberto Hernandez to the pitching staff. Their rotation is fine even with James Shields gone and the infield might be set, if Ben Zobrist plays second base, but the team still has some needs as is.
Outfield: Desmond Jennings is the only sure starter in the Tampa Bay outfield, and it's still unclear if he'll be playing left or center.
Ahhhh. Spring Training! My favorite time of year. Strange that it almost goes hand in hand with hockey this year. haha. Ok, technically hockey practice began here in Tampa Bay this week. I said almost. Usually, we go to hockey games up until the time Spring Training hits. I know this because my sister and I are baseball/hockey nuts. Her birthday is March 27th. So usually we go from hockey directly to Spring Training. This year will be different. I say, BRING IT ON!!!
After a dreary off-season, baseball comes back to life in mid February when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. Countdown is at: 27 days!!! I grew up going to Spring Training at Al Lang Stadium in St Petersburg, FL with Grampa and family watching the St. Louis Cardinals. In the old days, players really used spring training to get in shape for regular season. Now, everyone seems to arrive in great physical condition. This is a time for players to compete to make the team to avoid going to the minors.
Grampa taught me there’s not only no crying in baseball, but also that there’s no National or American League in preseason baseball. Instead there are major league teams playing in the Florida in the Grapefruit League. Out west, its known as the Cactus League.
We’re lucky enough we can go to Charlotte for Rays games.
Not a bad drive. We’ll go to a couple of New York games in Tampa (when the Rays play of course), and maybe pick up a couple Royals games in Clearwater, or even to Dunedin. However, Dunedins field seems to not have as much shade!!! Made for a hot day last year.
My favorite time of the year!!! Im sooooo excited. : ) Lets Go Rays!!
Hey, look, it's positive news about Carl Crawford:
Appearing on 710 ESPNLA Tuesday, Dodgers president Stan Kasten said he had just gotten a positive medical report, including video, and that the four-time All-Star has lost 10 pounds since last season and has started to throw.
"At no time has he felt he wouldn't be ready for Opening Day," Kasten said. "That's exactly how we feel."
"42," the Jackie Robinson biopic coming out in April, has a new trailer. Me likey.
Still, the same note of uncertainty regarding Harrison Ford's Branch Rickey. Based on what we've seen in the trailers, it's either going to be a spectacular stretch of a performance for Ford, or his most hammy bit of acting since he tried to trick the Nazis into thinking that he was at the castle to look at ze tapestries:
Right handed 1B/OF Russ Canzler is now a Yankee. Dammit! The Rays had a pair of chances to pick him up in the last few weeks, yet they dropped the proverbial ball, ahem...twice over. Canzler, arguably, would have fit the Rays needs. He is the Rays type of guy; a utility player that could have platooned in both the infield and outfield for James Loney and Matt Joyce respectively, while also handling DH duties from time to time.
WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) In 2009, Bryce Harper, at 19, hit a bomb that measured just over 500 feet, and four years later, West Covina’s David Denson broke that remarkable mark with a lucrative 515-foot home run at Marlins Park in Florida.
17-year-old Denson, who attends South Hills in West Covina, hit his world-record home run at Power Showcase Home Run Derby, where he hit 19 total bombs to win the 7th annual event.
When Bubba Trammell fell off the Big League radar in 2004, after a season with Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate, I just sort of figured he’d hit the end of the road and would spend the rest of his days bow-hunting with Matt Ginter and Rick Reed. I figured he’d be fine with that.
But it turns out that his story was more complicated than that, and that it isn’t over yet. The 35-year old is currently spending some quality time in small-town Maryland, as he goes about resuming his career in the Orioles organization. He started at the very bottom, with the Cal Ripken-owned New York-Penn League Aberdeen Ironbirds, which is where the Cecil Whig‘s Greg Dulli Mike Phelpscaught up with him.
Trammell™s mother and sister had both been diagnosed with cancer (in 2004) and on top of that, he was going through a divorce with his wife.
œI™ve always loved the game ¦ but family came first, he said. œIt was tough mentally, but I™ve always been taught that family™s first and then your career and that™s the way I did it.
œNow everything™s fine at home so I wanted to go back to my first love, and that™s baseball.
But not without yet another bump in the road.
Trammell was supposed to begin his season in Double-A Bowie, but tore his meniscus during spring training. His rehab assignment from the Baysox led him to Ripken Stadium, where the veteran is literally a man amongst boys.
Trammell is the team™s elder statesman by 11 years, but that hasn™t kept him from enjoying the experience.
œActually, that™s kept me going because I enjoy talking to these guys, Trammell said. œThey™ve taken me right in and acted like I™m just one of them. I tell them anything I see or if I can help out at any time, they ask me and I tell them what I think. It™s kind of nice to be able to do that.
The helpful advice has been well received by the crowd of 20-somethings, many of them in their first season of pro ball, and all of them, like Trammell, striving for the ultimate goal.
œIt™s awesome, IronBirds outfielder and 2007 12th-round draft pick Wally Crancer said. œTo be your first season and play in the outfield with a former big leaguer, you learn a lot. He™s been everywhere, so anything he says you kind of pick his brain and listen to what he has to say. He™s not just any old guy, he™s been through everything.
Considering Fernando Tatis’s 56 at-bats with the Orioles last year, it’s hard to say this wasn’t a good choice of organization for Bubba, but good luck to the guy.
The exact financial details haven’t been disclosed.
Price, a Super Two qualifier who’s arbitration-eligible for the second time, turned in a dominant 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 in 31 starts last season for Tampa Bay en route to capturing Cy Young Award honors in the American League. He was named an All-Star in July and wound up with a few MVP votes.
The 27-year-old southpaw is not eligible for free agency until after the 2015 campaign. He owns a 3.16 career ERA through four-plus MLB seasons.
UPDATE, 7:47 PM: According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Price will get “just over $10 million” in 2013. That’s more than double the $4.35 million he made last season in his first year of salary arbitration.