Rays whip the Yankees with a ninth inning 3-run dinger by Matt Joyce

by Jim Collier
Rays whip the Yankees with a ninth inning 3-run dinger by Matt Joyce

Last nights game seem to be a pitching duel of sorts between the Rays’ Jeff Niemann and Yankee newcomer, David Phelps. With the combination of the “good stuff” pitching by Niemann and the “never-say-never” attitude of the Rays, the ninth inning would prove to be more power-packed than the previous eight innings combined.

Jeff Niemann tossed seven innings in Wednesday’s no-decision, with just six hits (6 H), one walk (1 BB), striking out five (5 K), and limiting the Yankees to only one run (1 R).

May 14 2012

Tampa Bay Rays sign Luke Scott!

by Jim Collier
Tampa Bay Rays sign Luke Scott!

Free agent Luke Scott has agreed to a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 33-year-old first baseman/outfielder likely will serve as the team’s primary designated hitter.

Scott’s one-year deal is worth $5 million and also has performance bonuses built in based on plate appearances, a source told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney. The Rays hold a $6 million option for 2013, with a $1 million buyout, the source said.

Scott is a .264 career hitter who spent the past four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. He hit .220 with nine home runs and 22 RBIs in 64 games before having season-ending surgery in July to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Jan 12 2012

Rafael Soriano signs with… The Yankees!

by Jim Collier
Rafael Soriano signs with… The Yankees!

After what has seemed to be an eternity, news from New York has Rafael Soriano signing a three year deal worth $35M.

The beauty of this contract is that it calls for Soriano to make $10 million in 2011, $11 million in 2012, and $14 million in 2013. With the final two years as player options, which means that Soriano can opt-out after this season. Or after 2012.

Mariano Rivera has reportedly “gone to bat” for MFIKY, convincing the Yankee Front Office of Soriano’s role as an eighth inning set up man.

Jan 14 2011

Carl Crawford is going to… the Boston Red Sox???

by Jim Collier
Carl Crawford is going to… the Boston Red Sox???

Amid speculation in recent days that his team wouldn’t be a player for Carl Crawford after a blockbuster trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, all Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein would say is that he wouldn’t rule anything in and wouldn’t rule anything out. Now, you can rule it in.

Crawford, arguably the top position player on the free-agent market, has been secured by the Red Sox with a seven-year, $142 million deal, two Major League sources have confirmed. That will make him the second-highest-paid outfielder in history, both in average annual salary and overall contract value.

“I can’t acknowledge any signings at this time,” Epstein said on Thursday morning. “I don’t want to talk about specifics about the negotiation — about any negotiation — really, until the signing is officially made. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be working [on things]. If there were agreements that were reached at the Winter Meetings, we’ll be working in the 48 hours after the Winter Meetings trying to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.”

Dec 09 2010

Rays Spring Training Schedule Announced!

by Jim Collier
Rays Spring Training Schedule Announced!

2011 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Schedule DAY DATE OPPONENT SITE TIME Sat Feb. 26 Pittsburgh; Charlotte Sports Park 1:05 p.m. Sun Feb. 27 @Pittsburgh; Bradenton 1:05 p.m. Mon Feb 28 Pittsburgh; Charlotte Sports park 1:05 p.m. Tue March 1 @Baltimore; Sarasota 1:05 p.m. Wed March 2 @Toronto; Dunedin 1:05 p.m. Thu March 3 NY [...]

Nov 12 2010

Departures Make Bullpen Crucial for Rays

by Jim Collier
Departures Make Bullpen Crucial for Rays

Free agency could affect the Rays in the coming off season like never before in franchise history. All players not signed by their 2010 teams by midnight on Saturday automatically become free agents — there is no “filing” for free agency as in years past. Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and Rafael Soriano are the big [...]

Nov 04 2010

The Future of Instant Replay in MLB?

by Jim Collier
The Future of Instant Replay in MLB?

As the Postseason is in full swing, there is a lot of talk of what the future of instant replay will be in Major League Baseball? Will it change the rate of play, who will control the stop of play, and what will happen upon the overturn of an Umpire’s call? Bud Selig says there is not much support for this technology in this venue and during a radio interview on Mike and Mike of ESPN Radio, Selig stated that the umpires were correct in 98 to 99 percent of the controversial calls during the 2010 MLB season.

There are quite a few calls in which I would consider controversial from the 2010 MLB Season. What MLB needs to figure out is, what type of call is worth taking a second look. I can tell you right now that they are not going to be able to call balls and strikes. With the advent of “PitchTrac”, the fans are in tune with what pitches should have been and should not have been called a ball or a strike. Everyone needs to keep in mind that these pitches are traveling anywhere from 65 – 104 MPH. It is physically impossible to tell where a given pitch is exactly, unless you are a laser guided camera. My only complaint in this area is consistency. If an umpire to going to call an down and out pitch a ball, do it every time in that game.

Oct 10 2010

Win Simply Icing on Cake as Rays Clinch East

by Jim Collier
Win Simply Icing on Cake as Rays Clinch East

The Rays are the American League East champions.

And they didn’t have to rely on the Red Sox to beat the Yankees, as they took a 3-2 win in 12 innings over the Royals on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium with 20,936 watching.

By winning, the Rays (96-66) finished the season with the best record in the American League, which earned them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in addition to the division title.

Pinch-hitter Rocco Baldelli singled with one out in the 12th and stole second base. With two outs, Kelly Shoppach hit a shot to third off Royals right-hander Greg Holland that Wilson Betemit booted to allow Baldelli to race home with the go-ahead run.

Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless 12th to preserve the win and earn his 45th save of the season.

“To win in extra innings on the road, I talk about it all the time,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s a great measure of your team, the character of your group — under these circumstances, that really demonstrates it.

“We knew the Yankees had not won. The win didn’t really mean a whole lot at that point, but it meant a whole lot to us, to win it and do it this way.”

The Rays trailed for most of the game before rallying for a pair in the ninth, which coincided with the Red Sox finishing off the Yankees, 8-4, at Fenway Park. At 4:47 p.m. ET, the Rays knew they were champions, but not until one hour and two minutes passed did they become champions in the manner they wanted to win their second AL East title in three years.

Oct 04 2010

Rays Players Want to Slam Their Fans? BRING IT!

by Jim Collier
Rays Players Want to Slam Their Fans? BRING IT!

What better way to try and stimulate your fanbase, than to publicly insult them!?!

Evan Longoria and David Price chose last night to speak out on the ever-growing debate of attendance at Tropicana Field. I can not express how much I disagree with both comments.

First… Evan Longoria, the Rays hot-shot third baseman.

“We go out there and play hard for 162 games,” Longoria said, “and for the fans to show the kind of support they’re showing right now, you kind of wonder what else you have to do as a player.”

Really? You decided to make a comment about playing hard on a night where the Rays are shut out and only get three (3) hits? I would perhaps understand the verbal lashing had the Rays won in contrast to the bleak attendance, but to blame the loss on how many fans attended the game is… well, a cop-out. You failed to clinch to a team that has lost almost as many games as the Rays have won. What does that say about the level of excitement given off by the team? Everyone is talking about batting averages, and the Rays Hitting Coach (Derek Shelton) said during a Sun Sports interview on Saturday that this is “an archaic stat”. This coming from a coach that his sole responsibility is getting team hits.

Sep 28 2010

Rafael Soriano sets Team Record in Saves!

by Jim Collier
Rafael Soriano sets Team Record in Saves!

Rafael Soriano picked up his 44th save of the season in the Rays’ 5-3 win over the Mariners on Friday night to set a club record.
Soriano had been tied with Roberto Hernandez, who earned 43 in 1999, when he got the final three outs to notch the record-breaker.

“I am so happy with that,” Soriano said. “I didn’t come here to break or tie the [saves] record. They brought me here to win. That’s what I’m here for.”

Soriano is now 22-for-22 in save chances at Tropicana Field this season, and he has been a huge addition to a bullpen that lacked a true closer in 2009.

Sep 25 2010
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