- Trib: Why Won’t Rays Open Their Books? by: Noah Pransky
- Tampa Voters Love Buckhorn, Don’t Love Stadium Subsidies by: Noah Pransky
- Rays 2013 Promotional Schedule
- Miguel Cairo (of the Rays inaugural season) Retires by: Daniel Russell of DRaysBay
- Maddon: Rays Goal to Win Last Game by: Marc Topkin
- Video: Rays Price on First BP Session, and More by: Marc Topkin
- Pitch F/X Park Effects Case Studies: Tampa Bay Rays Fastballs by: Jon Roegele of Beyond the Box Score
- Opportunity Knocks For Wright to Join Bullpen by: Bill Chastain
- MLB 411 Composite Projections by: Cory/MLB.com 411 Fantasy
25,000 Rays fans (including the crack reporters from X-Rays Spex), 63 Rays players, nine coaches, Astro, 40 former major leaguers, and two MLB Network personalities attended the Rays annual Fan Fest at the Trop, Saturday, February 16th. We had a blast! One of us may have met the Rays VP Matt Silverman, while also sharing a little on camera time with Rays principal owner, Stu Sternberg.
We snapped a few photos which you can check out via the official X-Rays Spex Flickr account. We also filmed an interview with Rays starter Chris Archer and pitching coach Jim Hickey (see below). Want to share with the world a few of your photos or videos from Fan Fest? You can send them to: email@example.com. We’ll do our darndest to put them on the site.
On to other news.
Is there a better way to usher in the first full day of workouts, than making one last Hot-Stove move? The Rays announced the signing 34 year-old LH/DH Jack Cust to a minor league contract. It’s assumed that Cust will play the back up DH role that Hideki Matsui excelled in (har har) last season.
Cust spent the majority of his career on the west coast playing for the Padres, Mariners, and Athletics. He also has experience in the AL East, playing in the Orioles, Yankees, and Blue Jays organizations. Cust owns a career .242 BA/.374 OBP/.439 SLG/.813 OPS slash line with a slight emphasis toward his natural split.
Cust was known for being a power hitter between 2007 and 2010 seasons, averaging 28 homers and 76 RBI with the Athletics. However that’s not to say he’s lost his stroke. Cust accumulated 20 homeruns for the Yankee’s AAA affiliate in 2012 before being released after 98 games.
We reported on the potential for Joel Peralta to not participate in the WBC on Friday. Rays beat writer Marc Topkin clarified things this morning, tweeting:
Rays Peralta says he’s definitely out of WBC. Concern over workload for full season, and feels behind due to neck issue
Topkin also tweeted:
We can only hope that Stu is a man of his word, and the Rays really do stay in the area (if not St. Pete). I’ll just say that sometimes the things left unsaid speak the loudest.
Do you remember when you were a little kid and your parents were taking you to (insert name of local amusement park here) in the morning? And you couldn’t get to sleep the night before? And when you finally drifted off to lalaland you had bad dreams about not waking up in time to go? And you woke up every hour and checked the clock?
Game 5 is still 13 hours and 40 minutes away and it’s all I can think about. Had anyone predicted I would be in this position last Thursday, I would have laughed in their face. Dreaming. Impossible. Fanciful at best. And yet here we are and here I am.
Maybe that’s what makes it so fun now. If they had moved past this round in Game 3 or Game 4 it wouldn’t have the same hollywood magic moment appeal. Games 3 and 4, while I watched every second, did not have this same electricity for me, even though our season was on the line in both of them.
I guess this is a fitting way to work in the playoffs. Representative of the whole roller coaster season. And that got us here, so hopefully it will get us through.
C’mon now Rays…….today’s the biggest day so far…….you can do it……..WIN!!!!!!
Yes, I know the Rays won last night. I know that their bats FINALLY seem to have come alive again. I know that if anybody can win three straight and come back from an 0-2 deficit in the postseason, it’s the Tampa Bay Rays. But, I also know that if a certain opposing pitcher throws first pitch strikes 65% of the time, and a certain team can’t hit the damn ball…YOU SWING AT THE FIRST PITCH! JESUS CHRIST! I mean…the odds are in your favor at that point! When, you stand there and watch a strike blow right past you and you act like you’re suprised…Joe Maddon shoud be able to come out of the dugout and bitch-slap you! I won’t even get started on the called third strike tangent!