Results tagged ‘ Jermaine Dye ’

Rays Rumors: Giambi, Dye and Sonnanstine



There has been alot of chatter and speculation that the Tampa Bay Rays might be talking to former Yankee Jason Giambi about a possible Designated Hitters’ position with the club.  I have always been a defender and distractor of the “Giambino”  because his past behavior and his hitting prowness .

To say that the Rays would not listen to his agent would be obsurb. We will listen to anyone talk about their client or even tap dance on the top of the dugout, but the price has to be right for the Rays to bite on Giambi. He would have to be willing to give the team a “AL East” discount.

By this I mean he will have to give them a discount to be able to face his former team at least 17 times in 2009 and rub their noses in their refusal to even consider him for the team. He would be an upgrade to the DH position without a doubt, but he will also have to come with the stipulation that fater BP he throws his gloves into his locker and doesn’t look at them again until the next day.

To say he would be a defensive downgrade would be a joke. He has gone from being an ample first baseman, to being a liability with a glove. He no longer has the range or the motion to adequately play the position for an extended time. And considering the Rays have one of the best at the position in house, He will need to stow the gloves after BP.




For the Rays sake, that might have to be written into the contract. For intimidation factor, Giambi gets a “10”. I always say when I see him on the big screen that he has serial killer eyes. Those baby blues seem to stare right through you even from 50 yeards away. I can only imagine what they look like when he sees a hanging curveball or breaking pitch and is about to thrust it over the wall in one long swing.




Jermaine Dye is another guy who has been getting a lot of Rays trade talk in recent weeks. He is a powerful hitter who is also right-handed. that plays right into the Rays plans looking for a above average bat who can also play a great defensive outfield position.

But what might not play into the Chicago White Sox plans is the fact that the team is asking for a proven starter and a fielder player at the triple-A level for Dye. He is still under contract for the 2009 season, and will certainly be considered a prime free agent next season.

He has been pretty injury free and has taken his batting game up a notch the last 2 seasons. In the recent American League Divisional Series, the Rays got a lot of first hand looks at Dye as he hit and drove in runs for the White Sox in the series against the Rays.



What is also known around baseball is that White Sox GM, Ken Williams wants to lower his payroll a bit before filling his holes on his squad. He will have to start to make deal soon to be able to capitalize on the top tier players before the market goes thin and he will have to trade for his desired postions.

Also of consideration is if the Rays are on the list of 6 potential trade destinations that Dye will veto any trades. The Rays might have been on that list in 2007, but would Dye either void the list or are the Rays a desination that suits Dye………..We shall see in the coming weeks.





The New York Mets have been actively asking and looking for information on the Rays 4 and 5 starters this off-season. Edwin Jackson had early interest from the team, but based on his career numbers and his consistant pitching, they have moved onto inquiring about Andy Sonnanstine.

Sonnanstine has been a fierce competitor for a long time. He was not an orignal target of the Rays in the amatuer draft, but former owner Vince Namoli was interested in Sonnanstine after a win against his alma mater, the Norte Dame Fighting Irish. The Kent State pitcher had always fought the Irish hard and Namoli liked the young pitcher’s style.

So the team drafted him and Sonnanstine displayed this same knack for consistancy all the way through the minor leagues. When he got to the majors, he had already been selected as the Rays “minor League Pitcher of the Year” twice during his tour in the Rays farm system.




He came to the majors and set a presence of consitant pitching and low run and walks totals, which have kept him into games deep last year and this season for the Rays. He was the first pitcher to hit the 11 win plateau this season, but got mired at that number before finally posting his 12th win. He is one of those inning eater pitchers who can make a staff better by pitching his game and staying on top of the opposition.

I really do not think the Mets have the fair trade prospects in their farm system to make a ideal trade with the Rays. If they were to get Sonnanstine, it would have to be a 3-team deal that would bring in a few pieces that would be heading Tampa Bay’s way.

That is not say that the wheels are not already at work trying to locate pieces that would entice the Rays to give up their young pitcher. The Rays are still under control of Sonnanstine until 2010, when he will be up for his first taste of arbitration.





Edding’s Blunder Leads to Questions


I have taken a few days and still I am upset and angry at the events thgat led to the Rays losing their sunday contest to the Chicago White Sox. O do not have a problem losing a game to sportsmanship and the course of a game playing out under normal situations. But whenever A J Pierzenski is in a game, it is never normal.

Case in point is the Sunday contest where Pierzenski and his umpire friend, Doug Edding again came into national exposure on a TBS telecast.

As most people know by now, Eddings was the unlucky home plate umpire during the White Sox versus the L A Angels Game 2 of the AL championship series. That was the game where Pierzenski was called out on a swinging strike that “apparently” hit the ground before Angels catcher Josh Paul caught it.

Paul tossed the ball towards the mound, which is customary after a strikeout to end the inning. Pierzenski did not hear a vocal third strike call by Eddings and ran towards first as if it was a strikeout, passed ball situation. Eddings had not vocally let it be known that he had judged that the ball hit the ground before it hit Paul’s mitt and  never signaled directly the strikeout.

Pierzenski was awarded first base, and the series began to unfold rapidly from that point for the Angels. The White Sox went on to win the AL Pennant and deposae of the Houston Astros in 4 games to win the World Series.

Back to Sunday’s contest, Pierzenski lead off with a single to centerfield for the White Sox in thebottom of the 10th inning. Pierzenski then  tagged up after Carlos Quentin’s fly out to center when Rays centerfielder B J Upton  held onto the ball in the outfield.  Peirzenski was now in scoring postion for the Sox.

Jermaine Dye then hit a sharp grounder to shortstop that Pierzenski thought was through the hole for a single. He was caught in a rundown between second and thrid base.  Rays’ shortstop Jason Bartlett then faked towards AJ and threw to thrid baseman Willy Aybar who was running towards Pierzenski. 

A J  back -pedaled towards second base and Aybar threw to Jason Bartlett standing on second base. Pierzenski then moved towards the outfield area and in the path of Aybar and stuck out his left elbow to catch Aybar as he ran past Pierzenski.  At that moment Pierzenski started to tumble towards the third and second base umpire Doug Edding motions towards second base.

Eddings had determined that Aybar had interfered with Pierzenski’s natural motion towards third and A J was considered safe and awarded third base. The Rays were livid with Bartlett and Aybar in Eddings face before First Base Coach George Hendricks pulled Aybar away from Eddings. Rays Manager Joe Maddon came out and attempted to get Eddings to ask for a umpire conference to review the play, but was overruled by Eddings and the play stood as called on the field.

the play ended up costing the Rays the victory when Alexi Ramirez hit a single into rightfield and Pierzenski strolled home from third with the winning run. After the game Pierzenski was his usual smug self and proclaimed,” First of all, it was bad baserunning on my part,” Pierzynski said. “I shouldn’t have went — horrible baserunning. But I was just looking for somebody to get close enough and luckily he did.”

Eddings had called Aybar for inteference on the play, thrid base umpire Ted Barrett explaned the call. “What Doug ruled at second base was, even though A.J. did kind of stick his arm out to make contact, Aybar was still in his way, so A.J., if he would have turned, he wouldn’t have been able to continue on to third,” said third-base umpire Ted Barrett, who addressed the situation after the game. “So after making the throw, Aybar is no longer in the act of fielding and he can’t obstruct the runner, which is what Doug ruled happened.

“In a rundown, even though A.J. was going back to second, the rule of obstruction during a rundown is he gets his next advanced base and that’s why he was rewarded third base.”

I hate it when a game is decided by a umpire, even if it was a good call. But this call was even worse than the B J Upton situation a few days earlier at home against the Angels. B J’s call did not hinder the final result of the game for either team. But Sunday’s call not only gave the White Sox a win to keep the Rays from sweeping the White Sox, it gave them back first place in the AL Central division.

Games should be decided by the players and not the umpires. The Rays should only have to play 9 men a game instead of 13. A roster lineup plus the umpiring crew can make for a long and exhausting game for the Rays down the stretch.  Let’s hope that the men in blue do not have to be the basis of controversy in any more of the Rays games going into this playoff stretch. Conspiracy theories will abound and   even simple plays will be examined by fans and the media if anymore “phanthom” calls surface for the team.

Worst part of it all is that now any call Doug Eddings makes the rest of the year will be under a microscope as pertaining to this and the 2002 situation. And Pierzenski, being the toad he is just laughed and stated,  “I didn’t think about that until you said it, but I guess it’s ironic,” Pierzynski said. “It’s just a funny coincidence, I guess. Him and I will be linked forever because of that one play and now there are two plays.”

Linked like Oil and Vinegar for a lifetime.