Sunday Rewind: “Open Letter to Andrew Friedman”


Sunday Rewind:

The following entry was a copy of a letter I sent to Tampa Bay Rays Vice-President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman on August 12, 2008.   It was an open letter to him after some concerns following the recent injury bug that has plaqued the Rays.


To:  Rays Vice-President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman
Dear Andrew,

Being a long time Season Ticket holder and fan of the Rays, I thought I might write you concerning my views on the recent injury situations hitting the club at this important point in our season. I hope this letter shows some insight into the thoughts and ideals that we, as vital Rays clogs in the machine, the fans, hopefully to see  fulfilled as we fight for our October destiny.

On the subject of irrational roster moves or acquiring  part-time players.
Please do not feel like you need to make a monster roster move or trade to suppliment the injuries suffered by All-Star leftfielder Carl Crawford. I think we have enough back-up experience in both Justin Ruggiano, Eric Hinske, Gabe Gross, and Rocco Baldelli to feel secure in our 15 days (hopefully) that Crawford will be out of the lineup.

Remembering, that Crawford has been extremely aggressive at the plate this season, and might be hitting just a tad below his usual awesome numbers. I want to also state that the time off for Carl might also help rehab that hamstring injury that has been plaguing him for much of this year. A few weeks rest might be good for Carl, and the Rays have more than adequate people in house to keep the position secure with the power and speed.

By using our Rays farm system instead of going out for over-priced vets like Kenny Lofton, you are making a confident message that you will not be “making a deal to make a deal,” and that you have a strong and secure feeling about the personnel already on board with the Rays.

By not sinking to a lower level and thinking about signing Barry Bonds to a contract, you are keeping the clubhouse chemistry alive and not tampering with  the team’s destiny or fate. the overall feeling in the Rays clubhouse right now is that they can overcome this  current set back and come out of it with a stronger team unity and unified purpose going into the playoff push.

The team chemistry on this Rays squad is at its highest point in the Rays history. I have never seen the Bullpen and the bench players root for their teammates as much as they have this season. The Rays seem to be more in tune with the entire team concept this year, and they adhere to it’s unwritten rules and conduct.

This squad oozes confidence and positive karma into the media like a stream down a mountain side. It would be a disaster to try and re-construct the team for a short haul and ruin this great team dynamic. It is rare that you have 25 players,and a coaching staff all feeling the same vibe at the same time.

There is no one with an inflated ego on this team that feels they are above the group, and the team has done great in keeping that in line this year if someone has gotten a bit “lofty” in their words. You have made great pitching decisions this year in giving Edwin Jackson a fair chance in the rotation, and he has rewarded you with career highs in wins and a lower ERA.

You made a unpopular trade at the time for a shortstop and a young pitcher that made it seemed like you got low-balled on the deal. About right now, the Twins might give you almost anything for those guys back in their fold. Matt Garza has grown, and his ceiling is only growing with every start this year. But he was not the steal of that deal by a long shot.

Even though Jason Bartlett has had a injury plagued season, he has been an instant sparkplug in the Rays machine by playing excellent defense, and coming up with timely hits for the Rays this year. He has been the hidden jewel in the Rays infield, and hopefully he will shine bright for many years.

In closing, I know there is only about 7 weeks left in this 2008 season, but do not make a forceful and hasty move just to save some sort of face with the media and fans base. Make the secure moves that might include a certain pitcher in Triple-A at Durham for security in the Bullpen or rotation, but do not be hasty to make the decision to stand pat if the Rays are rolling and it might hurt the flow.

In the end, you are the face in the front office of this franchise that the fans will look to if we fail or succeed. Either way, the season has been a wild ride, with plenty of more in store for this team in the next 5 years ………..or more.

Your Season Ticketholder for Life,

Rays Renegade

Sect 138, Row C, Seat 3


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