Going to Miss the Rays Aussie Bloke


I somehow knew this moment was coming, but still it’s hard to finally accept. He was the one player of that large Tampa Bay Rays Free Agent mish-mosh corps that I thought might just be out on a Winter walk-about and would again this January somehow wander back to the Rays brood for 2011.

Maybe that was really wishful thinking to imagine that such a return could possibly be in the cards for RP Grant Balfour, but I wanted to believe as long as possible that it could happen.

Instead I am now a solo participant in a local St. Petersburg Outback Steakhouse holding my own private Aussie funeral dirge complete with an I-pod filled with the musical rhymes and verses of Colin Hayes (Men at Work Lead Singer) ringing through my head.

Surely I could have picked the upbeat styling’s of either AC/DC or even Midnight Oil as my musical accompaniments as I pound a oilcan of Fosters, and eat a hearty Blommin’ Onion.

But this is a solemn celebration of Balfour’s new multi-year contract. It has been one of those days where I will rise a middy or two as I begin a sit-down of bountiful tucker (food) and possibly one last XXXX (Queensland brew) to wish him the best and a long career.

I sit her pondering the notion that Balfour has taken his leave and gone onto the big smoke ( big city) of Oakland and I will have to settle for conversations only 3 times this year when Balfour again visit’s the Trop.

Talking to Balfour has became a game day ritual for me, standing there by the RF retaining wall near my seat joking with him, I am really going to miss my old Tampa Bay Rays Bullpen mate.


I guess the best way I can finally put closure to the loss and sorrow within my chest is to ponder and spout a few Aussie terms and nuances I learned from you over your Rays time as a faithful farewell to my favorite bloke from Oz (Australia).

You know Grant, I was hoping the furphy (rumor) of your Rays departure was premature and totally bollocks before I heard the good guts (accurate information) about your grouse (very good) contract offer in Oakland. I consider you a bonza (really great) Aussie Grant that I used to have many a chinwag (conversation) with daily either during the game or at Batting Practice.

I truly hope you do not consider me an irritable ear masher (talks too much) or even a drongo (slow-witted bloke). I still consider it so crook (sick) what that Rays Pitching Coach Jim Hickey did to you last season during your BP open slather (free-for-all) that cost you unwarranted disabled list time. It was totally onus (unacceptable) and showed what a nong (fool) Hickey really can be at times.

I do hope you make a good fist (to do well) in Oakland and hopefully when you come into our humble homestead again we can wring hands and possibly go down to a local billabong (watering hole) and hoist a few stubby (375ml bottle of beer)to your success. G’day ol’ fair dinkum (really genuine) cobber (friend).


I love your Aussie goodbye to Balfour (I learned a whole new language from this post!), and I know you’ll miss him. This has been an off-season of goodbyes for Rays fans and it can’t be easy.


As you already know, I am a glass half full kind of guy. With that comes the reality that sometimes you have to wave hello and goodbye at the same time.
Goodbye to the guys you grew attached to, but hello to the next generation of Rays stars and guys who will take over until they too are gone.
Endless cycle of happy and sad, but in the offseason of 2010…more sad than glad…so far.

Rays Renegade

I like Balfour, he won be a fantasy championship a few years back.


That is a good reason to have Grant on your Fantasy squad. Ialso have had him on my Fantasy team for the last 2 seasons. Won a championship, and had the 2nd best record the following year.
But he is going to a solid A’s staff that has a history of having great pitching…..Maybe it will be a great move for his career, and he has a 2 year contract with a thrid year option…..Just like he wanted.

Rays Renegade

Are you still upset that Farnsy decided to wear your style of glasses?
It is okay, because Farnsworth said today he is a “teddy bear” untiul he has to become a grizzley.
I guess you too have even more in common, his home is in a town called Celebration,Florida that only a few months ago hadits first murder ever……Maybe he is a kindler, gentler towe-buzzer ( I hope not).

Rays Renegade

Losing Balfour wouldn’t be sad if they got a first round pick, but they didn’t, and they could have had him for a million dollars more than Farnsworth. Horrible, horrible on the Rays part.


It had more to do than one year’s contract. Balfour wanted a multi-year deal and the Rays have guys knocking on the Triple-A door in quantity and quality.
I is sad they only got a 2nd Round pick becuase the A’s First Rounder is protected, but it is still a high pick in a deep draft and should benefit them around 2015 when the next wave of Rays prospects hit the MLB level.
But that is the problem where I sit, I get attached to some of these guys while most fans just keep their distance.

Rays Renegade

Lose a Balfour, gain a Farnsworth… I say that’s a terrible, terrible swap. But what do I know?

Another great thing about baseball. Talking with the players! I’d go with AC/DC

—Mark Gauthier


Grant actually did go with AC/DC near the end of 2010.
But that was after bouts of Men at Work’s “Land Down Under” and Midnight Oil’s “Bed Are Burning”. I was suprised he did not pick Kylie Minogue.
But that one of the cool things about baseball, you get warm-up, walk-up music that shows a bit of your personality. In football if I could have picked mysong it might have been…Pat Travers “Boom,Boom Out Go the Lights”.

Rays Renegade

Man, Friedman has made me a believer in recent years, that’s why it didn’t bother me too much with some of the signings and trades he has made. I also was/am still believing that they are indeed trying to put together a winning team this year, despite what a lot of people think. I think the guys from AAA with come up and contribute in Dan Johnson and Justin Ruggiano. Also guys like Jake McGee.

However, I find myself questioning Andrew here. How does he let Balfour go to the A’s for 4m/year but pay BJ 4.85? Everyone knows BJ is an exceptional talent, and I’ve stuck behind him, however, let’s be honest: He’s been vastly underachieving for years. I know a lot of people are saying he’s had injuries and recent years, and I understand how that can play a part. However, let’s face it: How many times did he strike out last year? What was his BA? There’s also been questions about how often he does/doesn’t hustle. I mean, hell, I think he’ll be making more than Longo this year. That’s just wrong.

Here’s to hoping BJ breaks out this year.

I am guessing that Friedman and the Rays scouts think more than a few of the Double-A or Triple-A guys will be ready for the next battle for the AL East title by 2012-2013.
Ruggiano has to get it done this year because he will not clear waivers to go back to Durham for 2011.
I think the Rays are not waving the white flag, but it is also not royal blue in color.
As I have mentioned before, we can rebuild the farm system with a thrid wave of attack with the draft picks for 2011. The current level is maturing and should be here fighting for a MLB spot by next season.
But also, 4 of our top 10 prospects have a chance to break camp with the big club if they have an exceptional Spring. Last time that happened was in 2005 when Jorge Cantu and company made it to the MLB level for the first time.

Rays Renegade

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