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Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season so far. Personally, I’m bored without baseball! Football is a distraction but its 1 day a week. Anyway our Rays finally made some moves we can talk about!

SP Edwin Jackson has been traded to the Detroit Tigers for home grown OF Matt Joyce. Ok, so we kinda figured E-Jax was going to be the odd man out with SP David Price looking so good after his call up. Price pitched well in some pressure packed situations and proved his future worth. Jackson struggled with his focus throughout the season and into the 2nd season. Granted he won 14 games BUT we have to remember wins and losses belong to the team. They may get credited to the SP but if he did not have the defense behind him and the BP to bail him out of a few situations he very well could have finished with a lot less than 14 wins. A victory earned by Jackson did not come without its issues usually. Jackson did not have the mental strength to come out of the BP which is unfortunate. He has the stuff to be a great closer. Personally I think Jackson will be one of those players that never can get over that hump and live up to all the potential he clearly has.

So, that being said lets look at Matt Joyce.

Joyce is a 24 year old LH OF. He had decent numbers in 92 games with Detroit (.252, 16 2B, 3 3B, 12 HR and 33 RBI). He has been blowing up his BA to a healthy .292 in the Mexican Winter League. Joyce has pop in his bat, has a gun for an arm and has a little bit of speed. Matt can play all 3 OF positions as well. And equally important is the Rays will control him for 6 years and he has options. I can see Joyce beginning the year in AAA as Gross and Perez alternate in RF until he is called up midseason. I like the outfield of Crawford, Upton and Joyce at some point in the season. I think this deal is another Andrew Freidman gem!

The only other big name item to cover is the non-tender of crowd favorite, Jonny Gomes. Ok, let’s not act surprised here. We all knew this was going to happen. Gomes may be a great team player but he is not worth $1.275mil or more. His salary would have probably gone up in arbitration even though he hit only .182 with 8 HR and 21 RBIs in 77 games this season. People love to argue that Gomes wasn’t given a fair shake, Maddon didn’t give him time, yada, yada, yada. Fact is folks – he was given plenty of opportunity and failed PERIOD. Gomes did a great job being a great teammate but between the lines he was less than spectacular. Being a poor fielder Gomes best hope is that a team may look at him for the DH role. Good Luck Jonny!

So folks…..that’s all to report as the Rays have been fairly quiet so far. But it’s still not over! They have spoken to a few potential DH – Milton Bradley (who is also being courted by the forever cursed Cubbies), Jason Giambi, and Bobby Abreu with a few others still looking for work, Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell to name a few.

So folks – keep checking back!!

Go Rays!!!

Post info: By Rays6 on December 13th, 2008
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It appeared as though the Tampa Bay Rays rolled into Texas with a chip on their shoulder.  They hit very well and Scott Kazmir pitched lights out once again.  He earned his 6th straight victory — first time a Tampa Bay Ray pitcher has ever done that.  Kazmir pitched a strong 8 innings allowing only 2 runs with 6 strike outs and 0 BB.  He also picked a runner off first base.

The bats backed up the excellent starting pitching performance from Kaz by scoring 12 runs on 13 hits and only 5 Ks and no one player had multiple Ks – a big change from the previous series!  Home runs were also a large part of their offense with Eric Hinske, BJ Upton, Evan Longoria and Dioner Navarro all connecting.  Upton also stole 2 bases off the starter. 

This offensive explosion is well overdue.  Great to see them score runs when they had runners on base.  Kaz improves his record to 6-1 and we have picked up a full game on Boston as they were shut out at home by Seattle 8-0.  Maybe they need a team brawl more often?!

Speaking of the brawl here is the suspension list as handed out buy the league front office:

James Shields – 6 games to have begun Friday (appealing)

Jonny Gomes – 5 games to have begun Friday (appealing)

Edwin Jackson – 5 games to begin June 13

Carl Crawford – 4 games to begin Wednesday

Akinori Iwamura – 3 games to begin June 17th

What ever happens with the appeals the Rays have said they will take their licks and move forward.  They began that process last night having a great night of recovery while walloping the Texas Rangers.  Great way to put the past behind and focus on now!

Go Rays!! 

Post info: By Rays6 on June 7th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays take the series from the Chicago White Sox on a walk off home run by Gabe Gross in the 10th.  The Rays win 3 out of 4 from the AL Central leading White Sox.  Andy Sonnanstine started the game a bit shaky but calmed down to ring up some key strikeouts with runners in scoring position.  The bullpen was flawless once again with no walks being issued all afternoon to go along with 8 total strikeouts.  JP Howell walks away the victor bringing his record to 4-0.

The story of this night was 3 players who spend most of their time as cheerleaders.  Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes and Shawn Riggans all came off the bench to be productive and eventually the heroes of the game.  Gabe Gross drove in 3 runs including hitting a 2-run scoring triple and hitting the game winning walk off homerun in the bottom of the 10th.   Gomes and Riggans set the table for Gross by hitting a single and double respectively in front of Gross’ triple.

The Rays ended the afternoon having collected 8 hits and 2 walks.  A diving catch by Gomes and another by Crawford (late inning replacement) highlighted the defense. 

The Trop was packed with 24,720 screaming Ray’s fans.  A small contingent of Sox supporters attempted on several occasions to being some sort of chat but were quickly drowned out by the scores of Boos from the Rays faithful.  Great atmosphere today at The Trop!  Keep it coming Tampa Bay fans – prove to the baseball community that we do have a fan base here!

My home run of the game definately goes to: Gabe Gross.  Fantastic performance!

My strike out of the game goes to:  the top of our lineup who could not score a runner from 3rd base with no one out.  Are you kidding me??!!

Rays are off Monday heading to a huge match up with the Boston Red Sox.  Check your local listings for game information Tuesday evening.

Post info: By Rays6 on June 1st, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays only recorded three hits on Wednesday as they lost to the Oakland Athletics by the score of 9-1.  The Rays were never really in this game as they got man handled the entire game at every aspect of the game.

Andy Sonnanstine pitched six innings and allowed nine hits and seven runs as he took the loss for the Rays.  Sonnanstine is now 6-2 on the season.  He couldn’t keep the ball down as he gave up two home runs in the game.

Jason Hammel pitched the seventh inning and did not fare well at all.  Hammel gave up two hits and two runs to go along with three walks.  Talk about having no control…  Trever Miller came in and pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

The only Rays run came in the eighth inning when Jonny Gomes hit a solo home run.  Other then that the Rays only had two other hits in the game.  It just wasn’t the Rays day at the plate.

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 21st, 2008
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Troy Percival gave up a home run to Hideki Matsui in the bottom of the ninth inning to blow the save, but the Rays were still able to come away with a win over the Yankees by the score of 2-1.  Gabe Gross singled in Jonny Gomes for the winning in the bottom of the eleventh inning.

The Rays first run of the game came in the fourth inning when Eric Hinske had a rbi single.

J.P. Howell improved to 3-0 on the season as he pitched in extra innings.  Edwin Jackson the starting pitcher for the Rays tossed seven innings of five hit baseball to take the no decision in the game.  Dan Wheeler pitched a scoreless inning of relief as well.

It was nice to see th Rays come back after Percival blew the game.  That is how you pick up your teammates!  Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 13th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays won their fifth straight game as they beat the New York Yankees 7-1 on Monday night.  What a way to open up a four game series against the Yankees!

Matt Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball.  Garza only allowed five hits in the game as he struck out three batters and only walked one to pick up the win and improve his record to 2-1.

Gary Glover and Trever Miller both pitched a inning of relief after Garza left the game.  Glover gave up one run but Miller pitched a scoreless inning.

Dioner Navarro and Jason Bartlett both had two rbi in the game.  Akinori Iwamura, Jonny Gomes, and Eric Hinske all had one rbi each in the game.  Great production by the Rays at the plate donight as it just wasn’t one player doing all the damage.

The Rays are now six games over .500 with a 22-16 record.  Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 12th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays improved their record to 16-12 on the season after they beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Thursday afternoon.  The Rays limited the Orioles to only three hits in the game.

Matt Garza pitched six innings to pick up his first win of the season for the Rays.  Garza only gave up three hits and two runs.  Both the runs came off a home run by Adam Jones.  Dan Wheeler toss two scoreless innings in relief of Garza before Troy Percival came in and picked up the save which was his sixth of the season.  The save was also Percival’s 330th career save that ties him for 10th on the all-time list.

Carl Crawford went 2-4 and had one RBI for the Rays.  Carlos Pena and Jonny Gomes both had one RBI each as well.  Gomes’s RBI came off a solo home run in the fourth inning.

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 1st, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays improved their record to 7-9 as they beat the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

Nathan Haynes led the Rays with two RBI while Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, Eric Hinske, and Jonny Gomes all had one RBI each.  Hinske’s RBI came on a solo home run in the second inning.

Jason Hammel earned the victory for the Blue Jays.  He pitched six innings and gave up six hits and three earned runs.  With the victory, Hammel’s record improved to 1-1 on the season.  J.P. Howell pitched the final three innings to earn the save for the Rays.

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on April 17th, 2008
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Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Edwin Jackson didn’t have his good stuff on Tuesday night as the Rays lost to the New York Yankees by the score of 5-3.  Jackson only lasted five innings after he gave up  four hits and five runs.  The loss was Jackson’s first of the season and his record now stands at 2-1.

Jason Bartlett, Jonny Gomes, and Mike DiFelice all had one RBI each for the Rays.

The Rays will try to get back on track as they start a two game series with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

Post info: By TBRays01 on April 16th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays were never really in the game tonight against the Yankees as they lost 6-1.  The Rays bats couldn’t get going against Mike Mussina and the Yankees bullpen and Bobby Abreu hurt the Rays pitchers.

Jason Hammel took the loss for the Rays.  Hammel pitched six innings and gave up eight hits and four earned runs.  Scott Dohmann pitched one inning and gave up two earned runs.  Gary Glover pitched one scoreless inning.

The only offense for the Rays came off the bat of Jonny Gomes when he hit a solo homerun in the third inning off Mike Mussina.

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on April 7th, 2008
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