Two Observations for Tuesday


Pony Express Medical Reports

What is it lately with the Tampa Bay Rays and their medical reports. I mean we waited almost a week for the “official” signing of relief pitcher Brain Shouse. The big holdup was said to be the reception of the medical records. Either the Rays are doing such in-depth medical examinations that reports come in from multiple sources, or they might still be the only team still using the Pony Express to transfer documents. Come on guys, I know when I go for an entire check under the hood, the only thing that takes a huge amount of time is the blood work. 

 It is not as if we are trying to hide a bad drug test here, or even count nickels and dimes to make the salary requirements, it is a medical test that show and could be done in a timely matter. As a matter of fact, then why even leak a bit of this out to the public or the media until it is sealed in gold, with a definite conclusion in your hands. Same can be said for the now 4 day confirmation of the Rays only arbitration case left on the book for 2009 with infielder Willy Aybar. The scheduled arbitration hearing was canceled, and there was a hushed whisper that he had signed for two-years with a club option for 2011.

But then again, here we are waiting anxiously for the “official” word while the media giants have already told us the good news. It is like your best friend telling you what you parents bought you for your birthday as you are holding their gift in your mitts. I know with today’s surveillance and spy tool media we can find things out before you even get that first breath out, but come on guys, do not treat us like children. We want the good news. We crave the good news to not only make our lives seem better, but to show the world that the Rays have their stuff together again in 2009.  We all know the potential and the expectation of 2009, but do we also have to wait here like hidden guests at a surprise birthday party only to learn the birthday boy just stepped into the backdoor and surprised us.


I am not faulting the Rays here in any ways. Sometimes information gets out and the press can pounce on it and the event is not finalized for a few days. Given the medical fields advancements, you might anticipate the results faster, but we do live in a microwave world nowadays. We have to have everything within minutes or it is a cover up. The Aybar contract is suppose to be announced today, but will the local press even be here since Alex Rodriguez is going to go to the podium 70-some miles north this after noon and discuss an over 6-year old test result with us. Lets hope that the event is met with wine and roses at the Rays Press Conference pertaining to the event. Aybar was an important piece of the puzzle in 2008, and will be counted on to go beyond that measure of success in 2009. He should be applauded and rewarded with a contract fitting his contributions to the team in their playoff run. But we will have to sit and wait for now.





DHL or UPS Mr Burrell?

During yesterday’s media session, we got word that Pat Burrell’s 125 pound English Bulldog Elvis was making his way from Arizona to the Rays Spring Training complex. Burrell had already taken down the nameplate off the neighboring locker to begin the renovation for his arrival. But my question here is, if Burrell is already in Florida with his wife, why was Elvis in Arizona?  Did he have his own off season workout going on to come into training camp trim and slim and ready to bite A-Rod’s ankles? Or was it a question of logistics because of his size, maybe he can not be transported by plane like like teacup dogs.


I got my answer in a service designed to get pets to their owners called  It is a family-owned business that grew out of their own need to transport their furry and multi-legged extended family members. As I understand it, the company provides ground based transport for your animals from coast-to-coast  or anywhere. I found out an interesting fact that I did not know that animal activist groups frown on air transport for animals. I can actually see this reasoning without a huge article written about it on the website. Most airlines do not have  extreme pressurized cargo holds and the animals could suffer from heat or cold, and even the anxiety of the plane could cause situation with the animal.


The service sounds extremely catered to the dogs comfort, which if you were the 125 pound English Bulldog featured riding on the Budweiser float with your owner during the World Series parade, you want comfort and safety firsthand.  I had to include this quote on the website, because it is so true and pets do become more important to us in our lives.
” Pet relocation is serious business, only left in the care of trustworthy pet carriers and animal courier services. USDA- Licensed pet movers are the ideal choice, and guarantees comfortable travel for your dogs, cats, birds or reptiles. “

What I found interesting about the shipping of your ” best friend”, is that they schedule the event around your animal’s needs. That the transport driver only takes a limited amount of animals per trip and he is in contact with the home office at all times.  The fact that you can be told of your pet’s progress at any time of the trip, and have the driver’s cellphone number seemed a bit weird, but I also know how attached you can be to your pets. I am wondering if they stay overnight anywhere, do the animals get separate rooms or is it an animal house in the hotel ( Sorry had to do that).


But in the end, they have relocation centers in 48 states in the country, and can transport your pet safe and sound to you at any time.  I also was scanning the site and got a great kicker to this service. The transportation of your animal can be tax deductible. All you need to do is send for IRS Publication # 521 which states that, ” Pet moving is a tax-deductible relocation expense when your relocation and moving is for purposes of change of employment.”   the website also has a PDF link to the publication so you can print it right from the site. 


I got to admit here, Elvis Burrell might not have a better trip in his life. He can chat with the other dogs, cats and maybe even reptiles while being transported into the Florida sun to be with Pat and his wife in beautiful Port Charlotte, Florida.  But I think one of the last paragraph I found on the site says it all. “At We Move Pets, we love dogs. Like people, each one is an individual. We listen to what you, the owner says about your beloved dog’s personality and act accordingly. Not every dog likes to travel, while others love to take a road trip. Some dogs are friendly to everyone while others are loners. No matter the temperament of your dog, we will make sure to give them the same level of love and care they receive from you at home. “


Now it is only a matter of time until we will hear Burrell yell these iconic words in Charlotte Sports Park, ” Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis is in the building.”

Photo credits for today’s blog go to: Colleen0313, Brewercrazy and Bobindrum @



The Rays are apparently not the only team that uses the Pony Express to deliver medical information. The Twins have had their own issues with slow test results from routine physicals. It took us forever to find out if Jason Kubel’s contract was official, and we’re still waiting to hear about Luis Ayala. He’s been at camp for four days now and he’s still not officially a Twin.

I know that MLB used to use DHL exclusively for league mail, but I am not sure if that is the preferred postal service for MLB this year.

Maybe they are sending out multiple samples this year. I might have to check into the MLBPA brain trust and policies and see if there might be a delay somewhere down the pipe.

Rays Renegade

I think Elvis is traveling better then most of us do! Rays Renegade – didn’t DHL go out of business for domestic deliveries? I thought I read that somewhere. If that is the case, maybe MLB did have to go back to pony express or even carrier pigeon! I saw the A-Rod press conference. The Rays media would have been better off staying at home.


I heard a rumor in December 2008 saying the same, but I am still seeing a few of their trucks on the road. Maybe they have a contract that has to be honored, then they can 100 percent pull out of the US domestic market.

I was watching the press conference and would have gotten more information from a mob informant. But that is the world we live in, partial knowledge equals partial admittance.

Rays Renegade

I think you’re right about the Pony Express– those medical records do seem to take a while..

I have noticed that a few of the teams this year have had people basically signed, but they have to wait on the medical reports before they can officially announce the signing.

Maybe it is a check and balance system put in this year, or maybe it is just our imaginations. All I know is I want to see the contract and the signing announced on the same day, not a week or so later. I guess that is asking too much right now.

Rays Renegade

Burrell works out in AZ in the off-season with a bunch of other players…guess he left early and sent Elvis later :O) BTW, you will love this dog…he has been the Phillies unofficial mascot for years. I got to watch him pee on the field during the 07 NL East win celebration :O) Have the photos to prove it…hee!



Hopefully he was peeing on the visiting team’s on-deck circle and not near the mound. I thought he might do what a lot of players have been doing the last few years and head out to that academy in Arizona, but I do not try and keep track of them anymore lol

Rays Renegade

So where in the lineup is Burrell going to bat anyway?

I am thinking he will match up either 4th or 5th behind Evan Longoria ( 3rd spot) or Carlos Pena ( 4th slot).

But it is kind of speculation right now. He could be great insurance for either of those guys to see pitches in 2009. My guess would be behind Longoria so pitchers have to pitch to him. That is one reason I think he will not a bad sophomore year because both with either Pena or Burrell behind you, they can draw a walk with the best of them.

Rays Renegade

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