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Morgan

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« #435 : January 23, 2011, 08:10:11 AM »

Dirk Hayhurst, one of five players signed Friday by the Rays to minor league deals with invites to spring training, posted this greeting to Rays fans on his blog:

    More Cowbell

    Well hello there, Rays fans.

    As you might imagine, there is a lot going on in my little world right now. Signing with a new team less than a month from the pitchers/catchers report date tends to send things into a whirlwind. Regardless, I wanted to take time and say hello to all of you Rays fans, thank you to all my Jays fans, and a big thank you to the Ray’s organization for this wonderful opportunity.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; players talk about which clubs provide the best playing experience, and it is generally accepted that the Rays create one of the most positive and inspirational vibes in the game today. I look forward to being a part of that atmosphere, regardless of how things shake down at the end of spring. This is going to be fun, and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

    Best wishes, and nice meeting you.

    Dirk

The 29-year-old right-hander is also the author of “The Bullpen Gospels,” a New York Times best-seller that chronicles his life in the minor leagues.



His bio, as released Friday by the Rays, reads:

“(Hayhurst) has played eight professional seasons including two stints at the major league level with the San Diego Padres (2008) and Toronto Blue Jays (2009).  In 15 games with Toronto in 2009, the reliever posted a 2.78 ERA (23.2-IP, 7-ER) and held right-handed-hitters to a .220 average.  He spent the 2010 season recovering from shoulder surgery.  The Kent State University graduate was originally drafted by the Padres in the eighth round of the 2003 June Draft.”
« : January 23, 2011, 08:13:39 AM morgan »

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« #436 : January 23, 2011, 11:03:07 AM »

THAT'S a story!
Who knows? The Rays have been known to get lucky from time to time.
He sounds like a great guy, I certainly wish him the best.

We are all here because we are NOT all there.....
As always, GO BUCS!!!

Morgan

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« #437 : January 23, 2011, 11:27:00 AM »

"It's going to be great, but also playing with (two) guys you want to start your franchise as a top choice throughout the league, Longoria and (David) Price," Damon said. "And I know Manny's ready."

Weak-armed in leftfield and no longer the stolen-base threat he once was, Damon remains durable — he played in 145 games last year. Damon, a left-handed hitter, might be an option at the leadoff spot.

Ramirez — arguably one of the best hitters of this generation — could provide pop in the middle of the order and protection for All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria.

Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez agree to deals with Tampa Bay Rays - St. Petersburg Times

Morgan

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« #438 : January 24, 2011, 01:38:54 PM »

Just a guess, but don’t be surprised if Rafael Soriano opts out of his Yankees deal to become the Mets’ closer in 2012, replacing Francisco Rodriguez. — Chicago Tribune

Morgan

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« #439 : January 24, 2011, 04:40:17 PM »

Meet Misses Michelle Damon....





http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/swimsuit/modelfeatured/michelle_damon/2008/players_wives/1/17/index.htm

Morgan

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« #440 : January 26, 2011, 04:00:49 PM »

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli today announced that he has retired from playing Major League Baseball, ending a career that spanned seven seasons, all but one with the Rays.

Baldelli, 29, has accepted the position of special assistant to baseball operations with the Rays where he will be involved in scouting and player development.

“From the day he signed here in 2000, Rocco has earned the respect and admiration of both his peers and our fans,” said Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “Though his playing career has ended, he will continue to make a tremendous impact on the Rays organization. His feel and passion for the game are outstanding, and we’re thrilled to have him in this role.”

In 519 major league games, Baldelli batted .278 with 60 home runs and 262 RBI. He hit a career-high 16 home runs in 2004 and again in 2006. His .444 slugging percentage is tied with Carl Crawford for seventh-highest in club history and his .280 average is eighth. His 35 assists are fourth all time among Rays outfielders. 

A first-round draft pick of the Rays in 2000, Baldelli finished third in the 2003 American League Rookie of the Year balloting after batting .289 with 89 runs and 27 steals, all current Rays rookie records. He also led the AL with 14 outfield assists, only the 13th rookie to do so. Baldelli appeared in 156 games that season and 136 in 2004 when he hit .280 with 16 home runs, but injuries limited him to only 227 games the rest of his career.

He missed all of 2005 with knee and elbow injuries, but returned in 2006 to hit .302 with 16 home runs and 57 RBI in 92 games. In 2008, he was diagnosed as having mitochondrial disorder, a condition that slows muscle recovery and causes fatigue. He played in only 28 games in 2008, but was active for the postseason and hit a game-tying home run at Philadelphia in Game 5 of the World Series.

The Woonsocket, R.I. native joined Boston as a free agent in 2009, but signed a minor league contract with the Rays last July. In his first game back after joining the major league club, hit a pinch-hit home run on September 5 at Baltimore. Baldelli appeared in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against Texas but was removed from the playoff roster prior to Game 2 due to left leg fatigue.
http://www.foxsportsflorida.com/01/26/11/Rocco-Baldelli-retires-joins-Rays-staff/landing_rays.html?blockID=398077&feedID=3720

Morgan

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« #441 : January 26, 2011, 07:14:28 PM »

Vladimir Guerrero to AL East?

The Orioles have spoken to free agent slugger Vladimir Guerrero’s agent this week , but the two sides are not close to a deal. “We’ve had some conversations, but there is nothing on the horizon,” said Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, declining to characterize his team’s chances of landing the nine-time All-Star. Guerrero’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment. While content with Luke Scott as their designated hitter and a platoon of Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold in left field, the Orioles have said all along that they would have interest in Guerrero at the right price. — Baltimore Sun

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« #442 : January 26, 2011, 07:50:35 PM »

Let 2010 die.

http://www.pewterreport.com/Boards/index.php/topic,1277934.0.html


Morgan

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« #443 : January 27, 2011, 12:50:33 PM »

How about this for a starting lineup on opening night (against a right-handed pitcher)? For sake of discussion, Rodriguez doesn't start until Game 2:

1. John Jaso, C

2. Johnny Damon, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Manny Ramirez, DH

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Matt Joyce, RF

7. B.J. Upton, CF

8. Dan Johnson, 1B

9. Reid Brignac, SS

Can that order win?

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/ripples-from-adding-manny-ramirez-johnny-damon-will-reach-many-tampa-bay/1147902

Morgan

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« #444 : January 27, 2011, 12:51:48 PM »

Rays switching to AstroTurf at Trop

Work is underway to replace the FieldTurf playing surface at Tropicana Field with AstroTurf's GameDay Grass 3D60H product.

According to company officials, the new turf will look and play better, and more like natural grass, than any other synthetic surface available.

Here are some of the details of the new 1.1-million square foot playing surface, according to AstroTurf's press release (which in its original version started with a TAMPA dateline rather than ST. PETERSBURG, but was corrected shortly after relase):

(ST. PETERSBURG, FL) - Attempting to improve on winning two American League East titles in the past three seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays are not only building a championship team, they are building a championship field.

The Rays announced that they have begun installation of a new, American-made, AstroTurf® field at the 1.1 million square foot Tropicana Field.

“The AstroTurf® fiber and in-fill systems contain the very latest technology and will provide our players the best playing surface available,” said Rays President Matt Silverman.  “Our players had the opportunity to work out on the new turf, and their opinions contributed to our decision to install AstroTurf®.”

The Rays played on synthetic turf surfaces since their inaugural season in 1998, but the change to AstroTurf® means they will be playing on the most advanced surface in the world today.

The AstroTurf® installation at Tropicana Field has already begun and will be ready for play when the Rays open the season against the Baltimore Orioles on April 1st.

AstroTurf® is the Official Synthetic Turf for Major League Baseball and is also used by the Toronto Blue Jays.

“To receive such a designation comes with requirements,” said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball. “AstroTurf® produces a very high quality product, and we’re glad to see the Rays get a brand new, top of the line field.”

The field will be AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ 3D60H. GameDay Grass™, in an independent study at Michigan State University and funded by NFL Charities, was determined to perform more like natural grass than other synthetic surface tested.

It also features the innovative, fully-tested Horseshoe fiber. The Horseshoe shape, an Omega or “C”, with a dual-column design, imparts unrivaled mechanical memory to the fiber. The fiber remains “upright” longer. The Horseshoe fiber continues to spring back to its original configuration, providing players with a grass-like, uniform, predictable playing field.

 

An upright fiber has the best aesthetics and playability.

                +

                  Fibers that tend to lay over, wear out sooner. The Horseshoe is thicker and stronger, not just at the spine. This creates a more durable field.
                +

                  The Horseshoe fiber is made with the “XQ” polymer. It is tough, but not on athletes. The XQ polymer has been used successfully for years around the globe, and when in combination with proper field fiber density and infill height, has never failed. The same cannot be said for the many failures associated with non-QX polymer, “spined” field fields, especially in high UV areas.
                +

                  Light is properly reflected, resulting in better looking field, both live an on film.
                +

                  Ball roll is similar in performance to natural grass.
                +

                  Low slide resistance is assured, eliminating rug burns.
                +

                  Footing is uniform and predictable.
                +

                  Cleats penetrate and “release” properly for good biomechanical function.

In addition to the strength of the fiber, the AstroTurf® 3D60H system features 60 ounces of fiber per square yard, the most of any synthetic surface.

Further enhancing the durability and safety of the field is the proprietary RootZone®, a dense sub-layer of nylon fibers which act as an infill stabilizer system to prevent migration and splash of the rubber granule infill.

Many collegiate and high school teams, as well as municipalities, are making the change to AstroTurf® baseball fields, all of which have the Major League Baseball endorsement. In addition to Toronto, some of those include Wichita State, Duke, Kansas, James Madison University, and Wake Forest.

“We are proud to be working with the Rays organization,” said Bryan Peeples, President of AstroTurf®. “Our hope is that this field will be a source of pride for players and fans and that the team excels at playing on such an incredible field.”


http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/content/rays-switching-astroturf-trop
 

Morgan

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« #445 : January 28, 2011, 05:48:23 PM »

You know how Rays manager Joe Maddon talks about the team “owning” the Trop? How he wants the place to be such a home field advantage the Rays can’t help but win inside “The Pit?”

Well, now you can own the Trop, too.

Or at least a square foot of the field.

The Rays will sell pieces of the FieldTurf at Fan Fest on Feb. 12 with the proceeds going toward the Rays Foundation and the families of the two St. Petersburg police officers killed Monday in the line of duty.

The price will be announced at a later date.

The FieldTurf is being replaced by AstroTurf.

The former playing surface, installed in 2007, saw the Rays win the American League East in two of the past three seasons.

It was surface for three champagne baths, two no-hitters and the post-game party following the Rays victory against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS.

It may not be the parquet floor of the old Boston Garden, but around here, that makes it pretty hallowed ground.

 
http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/comments/own-a-piece-of-the-turf-that-made-the-rays-famous/

Morgan

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« #446 : January 31, 2011, 07:43:42 PM »

Red Sox make sure star won’t ever play for Yankees

Give the Red Sox credit for taking no chances. Their $142 million deal with Carl Crawford includes a clause that prohibits any team he’s traded to from then trading him to the Yankees. They rarely give no-trade clauses, and in Crawford’s case allowed him to block trades to only two teams. — Chicago Tribune

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« #447 : May 12, 2011, 12:28:02 PM »

Riddle me this Einstein....

do you honestly believe this team ( who has dumped about 75% of its World Series team) can even come close to the production in 2008 and last year?

Face it, this team had their window and it closed really really fast. People don't realize how much they are going to miss Crawford.

Longoria and Upton are good players but they are not enough to carry this team. The AL East belongs to the Yanks and Sox again.
You are truly talented, just when I think you can't make yourself look any dumber, there you go and accomplish it.

How so? If you honestly believe the Rays can compete to win the East or get in as a wild card next year,
after all the players lost? And Crawford going to the Red Sox? The Yankees with their pocketbook?
Sorry, the Rays are no longer good enough to win the East and will have to be satisfied competing for third place.
It sucks, as does all of MLB for letting this sport be all about the haves and the have nots.

The BEST scenario would be to have all the major market big spenders play in one GD division so they could knock each other off
and out until some semblence of sanity came back.

What has happened and continues to happen is a joke, a bad and very sad joke. Fans that do not understand that do not
understand fair play, even fields or sportsmanship.

Not a bash, just the GD truth forced down our throats. No more for this fan, no thank you. No mas!

Good calls, ladies.


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« #448 : May 13, 2011, 11:31:31 PM »

Riddle me this Einstein....

do you honestly believe this team ( who has dumped about 75% of its World Series team) can even come close to the production in 2008 and last year?

Face it, this team had their window and it closed really really fast. People don't realize how much they are going to miss Crawford.

Longoria and Upton are good players but they are not enough to carry this team. The AL East belongs to the Yanks and Sox again.
You are truly talented, just when I think you can't make yourself look any dumber, there you go and accomplish it.

How so? If you honestly believe the Rays can compete to win the East or get in as a wild card next year,
after all the players lost? And Crawford going to the Red Sox? The Yankees with their pocketbook?
Sorry, the Rays are no longer good enough to win the East and will have to be satisfied competing for third place.
It sucks, as does all of MLB for letting this sport be all about the haves and the have nots.

The BEST scenario would be to have all the major market big spenders play in one GD division so they could knock each other off
and out until some semblence of sanity came back.

What has happened and continues to happen is a joke, a bad and very sad joke. Fans that do not understand that do not
understand fair play, even fields or sportsmanship.

Not a bash, just the GD truth forced down our throats. No more for this fan, no thank you. No mas!

Good calls, ladies.

I kinda miss our little buddy NavyBuc  ... Would have been great to have him around while the Bolts were kicking the crap out of Ovechkin and the Caps ...

dbucfan

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« #449 : May 14, 2011, 04:56:00 PM »

LOL

Nice to be watching Longoria fire the ball across the diamond to Kotchman - two big dudes on the corners who can hit the ball.  So very nice to see.

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant
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