The Rays roll in to Anaheim tonight to play game one of a three game series against the Angels before they come home to SMOKE (ha) the Red Sox. Should be interesting with tonight’s pitching match-up, James Shields vs. (Ex-Ray) Scott Kazmir. Both pitchers have had their issues this year. James Shields is 11-11 with a 4.82 ERA and Scott Kazmir is 8-10 with a 6.40 ERA! Check out this article that discusses rumors that Scott Kazmir was traded because of fears that he would negatively influence David Price. The article states, “According to our sources, it was accepted among those close to the Rays that prior to the 2009 season, Kazmir liked to partake in illegal recreational activities with his good friend Edwin Jackson”. Since they won’t just come out and say it, I will. The rumor is that Scott Kazmir is a big pothead and was smoking pot before his starts when he was with the Rays. This is not new news by the way, the rumors about Kazmir being a pot smoker have been circling for a while. This is supposedly the reason the Mets got rid of him. I personally think it is silly that marijuana is illegal, but that’s just my opinion and if the Rays felt that it was necessary to get rid of him based on that reason alone…well, that’s their decision. Seems to me that the Rays have a mad some pretty good decisions over that last few years! Trading Scott Kazmir to the Angels has definitely been one of the best decisions that they have made!
My personal opinion on this is that Scott Kazmir has been extremely overrated (and overpaid) since day one and whether he is a pothead or not doesn’t really matter. If anything, I think it would have helped him chill out before a game since he couldn’t seem to get through the first inning without giving up 3 or 4 runs! The Rays gave him plenty of opportunities to get his stuff together and he just couldn’t do it. Joe Maddon seemed to stick by his side longer than any other manager would have. I think this is one reason that makes Joe Maddon such a great Manager, it creates “buy-in”…for most players at least. Scott Kazmir was just a hopeless case. Scott Kazmir was playing for Scott Kazmir, he is not a team guy. The Rays organization is a “team-first” organization and guys like Scott Kazmir don’t belong here. I think the Rays finally realized that and that is what they were afraid of. David Price is 100-times the pitcher, and all-around professional athlete for that matter, than Scott Kazmir will ever be. Scott Kazmir always seemed like a bratty little kid to me. I’m glad he is gone and David Price is 15-5 with a 2.97 ERA, and in the running for a Cy-Young Award!