Results tagged ‘ Philadelphia Phillies ’

“Guess-timations for Jason Grilli for 2010



I am not a true fan of crossword puzzles or games like Chess. But I got to tell you, I am so psyched right now to try and figure out this word puzzle/mystery. You see, Jason Grilli aka Grillcheese49 on Twitter has been leaving small clues and a few hints recently about his pitching destination for 2010.  And I have to admit it here, but trolling the web looking for answers can get my endorphines  kicking it at about 120 mph right now. I forgot how much fun it used to be following a lead, or just a simple photo and finding an aswer within it all.

I have a lot of respect for the insider job that ESPN’s Buster Onley does every day right now during the Hot Stove season. I honestly have not worked this hard to nail down a team or a possible player’s new location since college. And I am not working with a safety net right now, and could basically get it all wrong with a flick of the fingers upon this keyboard. 

I do not possess the savvy insider sources that people like Peter Gammons or Onley have at their disposal daily. I do most of my work down here in the darkest recesses of light, and ever so often a beam shines down and I grab ahold of it tightly. Right now I am going by what Grilli has tweeted to all of us over the last week and using them as definite clues to piece this puzzle with more clarity. But the reality of this dark situation is that this new form of social interweaving like Twitter and Facebook can also work in deflecting people and organizations far away from the truth.

 @Grillcheese49:There were 8 teams interested. One clear choice. Details coming soon. Hope to share by Monday. ( 4:57 PM Nov 27,2009 from UberTwitter)

Well Jason, it is now early Monday, and only a few hours before you “officially” tell the cyber-world of your playing intentions for 2010. I am going to try and piece together some of the previous information given out by you,and try and make an educated guess on where you are going to be playing in 2010. Hope you do not mind, but I might have a lead on your future employer by reading through the lines a bit, and hope

I am at least within the ballpark when you announce it sometime during today. I may end up being totally wrong, and that is okay too because I am a blogger with no real connections who is just using his mind for more than a hatrack right now.

@Grillcheese49: The answer is coming people this week. I promise. Let’s play the Feud. There are 30 teams in MLB. The top 5 answers are on the board.
(9:27 AM Nov 27,2009 from UberTwitter)

I have to admit, I did not take all 30  MLB teams when I was trying to figure out which team you might have scooped you up come Monday. I  did however remove your prior teams like the Colorado Rockies,Texas Rangers,Chicago White Sox,Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers. It was a bit hard to rule out the Marlins completely at first because you still have a home in Florida. But,I figure that  for the most part, when a player leaves the Marlins, they are not too anxious to get back into the aqua blue uniforms.

@Grillcheese49: Longest drum roll ever…..I know. If it were up to me I would tell ya. Don’t want to be banned from Twitter like the NFL players do. Haha
( 3 hours ago from UberTwitter)

Do not worry Grilli, I am pretty sure there is nothing within the MLBPA union contract about social networks  yet, but they probably will add it into the talks in 2011 when the MLBPA  Union contract is up for renewal. I really wish I did have someone within a the MLB front offices that I could bounce this  guess-timate off of at 1 AM on a Monday morning…..But I do not.

So I am out here in “Blog-ville” after 1 AM trying to piece the puzzle together considering you gave me an awesome clue with the Twitpic posted late on Sunday. And the wildest part of it all is going to be my  own personal opinion on if you are seeking to play for a potential playoff team,or just a great opportunity to stay with a team’s Bullpen for a few years. That at first almost lead me to make the mistake of thinking you might be wearing a Tampa Bay Rays jersey in 2010, but something on your Twitpic tonight led me away from that conclusion quickly.

 Someone trying to piece together puzzles like this need to have a keen eye for unobvious observations to sometimes notice things other leave behind as clues or even honest mistakes in their posts or comments. When you posted the picture tonight of your signature already on your 2010 contract, you left the biggest clue of them all. As most people can see now, the MLB authorized Club Representative signature might be the key to this entire puzzle.


So if I take that position of “Director of Baseball Administration” as a clue under the Club Reps signature, then I can quickly narrow it down to  a total of six teams that have that position currently listed within their MLB front office. We have 3 clubs each in both the American League and the National League that employ a person in that present job title. But then again,it could just be an ambiguous  job title that is printed on a standardized MLB/MLBPA contract for all I know. But  a gut reaction has me really doubting that.

I could be wrong even about the title of the Club Representative, but I am going to roll the dice here on this one and hope Lady Luck is in my corner tonight/today.  And for that simple reason, I  am putting the following six MLB clubs could be your final destination for the 2010  MLB season:

Oakland Athletics:  The A’s currently have Pam Pitts as the Director of Baseball administration for their club. I think you have more of a inclination right now to be looking for a team that is going to be fighting for a potential playoff spot in 2010. For that reason, I am eliminating the A’s from contention for your services. (75-1 chance)

Kansas City Royals: Jin Wong is posted as the active Director of Baseball Administration for the Royals on their MLB website. This is a team that I feel is more in the rebuilding stage than ready to take center stage right now. They could probably make some no
ise,but might not have the overall staying power in 2010 to get you closer towards a playoff chance. (50-1 chance)

Cleveland Indians:
The Director of Baseball Administration for the Indians is Wendy Hoppel. For some reason I think this is the AL club that might make you salivate the most right now. With the young talent they have accumulated the last two seasons with trades involving CC Sabathia,Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee, the Indians could be a nice dark horse contender in the AL Central as early as 2010. (4-3 chance)

Out of the National League, I am considering these three clubs as your possible destination for the 2010 season:

Chicago Cubs:  The Cubs, even if they are going through a ownership transition,still currently list Scott Nelson as their Director of Baseball Administration. But even with the dust settling in the front office after the final sale approval by MLB owners just recently, this club is a bit more fragile within their 25-man roster. Might not be a great fit, but could be a  dark horse player for your services. (12-1 chance)

Atlanta Braves:
  This is the closest MLB team to your home now in Florida that has a person with the title of Director of Baseball Administration in their club’s front office. John Coppolella currently holds that post. Might be a location favorite, but also has a division you have pitched in before with the Marlins. ( 15-1 chance)

Philadelphia Phillies: This club is the last one to have a club representative with the title of Director of Baseball Administration  in the MLB. With Susan Ingersoll Papaneri at the controls. I am going to go with a wild hunch  that you are seeking a solid position on a team that could grow into an extended contract. With the Phillies, you  may have a spot in their Bullpen renovation. If you do seek a good chance for a possible 2010 playoff scenario, then this just might be a great destination on a possible playoff team. ( 5-1 chance)

This is where the whole shebang of guessing can get a little more difficult for me. I think you can strive for more in both Cleveland and Philly without a major problem. And even if your 2009 salary was only $ 800,000, I can see you going maybe over $1 million with incentives without a real contract problem. Put that all together with the photo above and look at the possible first name lower loop in the signature, and I have to say the name seems to point towards Cleveland (Wendy Hoppel).

But that is the fun with guessing right? I think the perfect 2010 scenario might be with the Phillies to expand your career and get into a possible playoff situation in 2010. But it might also  could be beneficial as a veteran on a young club to be with a team like Cleveland who could shock the AL like the Rays did in 2008 with their developing players leading the way coupled with experienced pitching behind them.

So I am going to guess that the Chief Wahoo will be proud you are with the Cleveland Indians in 2010.  And even if I am wrong about all of this, I think it has been a great chance for me to practice some skills I have not used in a long, long time. It has been  a lot of fun Jason.

I truly wish you the best of luck and hope you stay injury free in 2010. If you play for a team that does head into Tropicana Field, I will look for number 49 and introduce myself to you. And if you do become an Indian on Monday, get your player uniform number negotiation skills ready, because leftie pitcher Tony Sipp currently hold your number 49 on the Indians active roster. But then again, no one on the Phillies 40-man roster currently sports a “49” on their back.

We Better wise up Tampa Bay



I am besides myself right now. I do not know what to do. I mean I have seen a sea of blue seats in the Trop. before and it has not even bothered me in the least. But for some reason I am hearing the theme from “Jaws” in the back of my mind during this personally  anticipated World Series rematch with the Philadelphia Phillies.  I wanted to folks here in the Tampa Bay area to show the Phillies if we got back here for game 6 or 7, it was going to be a different story, just like the American League Championship series.

I wanted to see and hear the Rays Republic loud and proud and show the civic pride and reason we have a MLB team here in the first place. I really thought we could send a personal message to the Baseball Gods and show them that 12 years ago when we first threw that ball on March 31, 1998, they made a great decision to expand to Tampa Bay. But the crowds that last two nights combined do not even meet the old attendance figures for a World Series rematch. But I guess the added bonus of Rays Bingo and Rays Fantasy Baseball do not have the power of Dora the Explorer.

Yes, I went there. I mentioned the big-headed one, and only because she helped our Triple-A partner the Durham Bulls recently set both single game and 3-game series attendance records during their series against the Pawtucket Red Sox. It beckons me to a comment made by a member of the Rays Experience staff after the first concert series in 2009 when he joked that we should have 81 concerts a year to get a better home record.

But in reality, without seeming a bit cynical and tainted, if the team playing us do not have accents, we tend to not come here without eye candy on stage. The Rays have been undefeated during their concert series games. And to even throw another firecracker into the fire, they have gotten at least 30,000+ for everyone of those events. Besides the Red Sox and Yankees series, it seems that only during the last home stand of the year (Fandemonium) and the Opening Day do we ever have a chance at filling the Upper Deck and the TBT Deck with regularity.


And that is a pity. People, you told the team via numerous polls that if they put a winning product on the field you would support the Rays. Well single game attendance ( announced) has been increased this season, but only on the special events days or days that scores of local Little League teams are dragging their parents to the Trop have wee seen the noise and the crowds in 2009. It is not like we play in the American League West and do not have local supporters here of the Phillies.

They do their Spring Training not even 3 miles from my house and their local class-A team seems to get more people for their after the game fireworks demonstrations than we do for an Oakland Athletics game.  People we have to again remember that this baseball game is a business. We would love to know we have an owner that is supporting the team as a hobby like owning his own set of “live” Topps baseball cards, but he is a businessman who has a passion for baseball. 

And to even give any indication of indifference is to send the wrong message to the ownership group. I know we live in Florida where there is a huge gambit of entertainment choices during the weekends, but this is during the week and at night.  I can understand if a family of four wants to head out on the boat to Fort De Soto and spend the day cruising and swimming and might miss a game or two. But the true fact is that on that day where you could do that, they Rays have their biggest attendance numbers.

After the first game of this important series the Rays upper management gurus sent out a feeler to see if Tampa Bay would respond, and they did. The Rays were curious on how only 19,608 people could be there for a classic World Series rematch at home. You know if this game was held at Citizen’s Bank Park, it would have scalpers outside with dollar bills falling out of their pockets for even Upper Deck or Standing Room Only spots.

But alas, the Tampa Bay Rays community responded to the Rays management outcries and woes with a signal by even a lower attendance at 18,862 at the game on Wednesday night with a premier pitching match-up. The Rays had an anticipated mark of 24,000 for the game. Which is still way below the previous low mark for a World Series match up set by the Houston Astros  when 37,700 fans showed up for a rematch game against the Chicago White Sox game in Chi-town. But the overall attendance average for the series was 46,868 for the three games.

“Nights like (Tuesday) night give us pause, and make us question how quickly we can get this ramped up,” Silverman was quoted in a St. Petersburg Times article. “It makes us question whether we have the firepower we need to keep this team compelling and competitive.” 

Those comments should scare a few of us long time Rays Season Ticket holders. I is coming down to the point where the Rays officials up on the third floor are going to have to reevaluate things not just on the marketing and sales end of the equation, but on the essence of support in this community.


It was a Tuesday and Wednesday night people. We were outdrawn by game in cities that have a bevy of support problems last night.  PNC Park in Pittsburgh, which is fighting for fans this season has 20,162 people enter the stadium. That puts them at 52.6 percent of their capacity with their game against the Cleveland Indians.  Combined these two teams have won 62 games this season and the outdrew a World Series match-up. Pathetic.

Sorry, I have sat in my seat for 12 years and seen worse attendances in the Trop., but this one is really getting under my skin. In comparison let’s look at the Red Sox at Washington actual attendance numbers. Hmm, for a non-regional match-up they had a paltry 41.530 people in the seats.  Wow, I wondering if Red Sox Nation is questioning their own road ambitions that they only helped fill 99.1 percent of Nationals Park on Wednesday night. I really do want to rant and rave here. Throw a pity party and explain the relocation rules set by MLB to the area, but I will digress.

I should not take it so personal, but this is my home team people. This is the reason I stay here and have not gone to other pastures to live and work. I have supported this team through failures, the attack of the blue-seat people and been subjected to one too many ESPN based attendance jokes and prat lines. It is almost put up or shut up time already in 2009. I truly expect that there will be more people in the stand for Friday night’s game against the Florida Marlins than in any of the three here against the Phillies and that is churning my stomach.

I was truly pissed when I learned that South Florida got a team before we did in the Expansion process, but maybe MLB did know something we did not about the area’s demographics. Maybe they did see potential, but not the end payout of placing a good team in a apathetic community. I am ashamed of you Tampa Bay. Truly ashamed of you. This was our time to show pride and community unity to other parts of the country and we dropped the ball. We truly dropped the ball and even if we got 30,000 tonight, which I doubt would happen unless we have a concert afterwards, it would still be a disaster series.

We may gone on to win a spot in the Playoff again in 2009, but I am not letting you on the Rays bandwagon without a 2007 ticket stub this time. Continued support and a renewed sense of pride is what is needed before announcements are made about stadiums and relocation options. And do not think for one second that Las Vegas, Charlotte, or even Portland is not eager and willing to mortgage their futures for a shot at the big time. 

And we all know that already. Teams have been wined and dined by prospective cities for years, with none of them even setting the table for a move. Years ago when contraction rumors ran among the cord at the Trop. I was basically viewed as a non brainer we were safe and secure. But right now the only security I truly feel right now is that for the next 41 games I will have my nameplate on my seat. I know things do not move that fast in the MLB, but with money and potential, things can get greased and rolling faster than you think.

So think Tampa Bay real hard for the next 41 games. Think what you want to do with your sumer night and weekends without a professional team in town. And do not think they will move it to Tampa or even Brandon if they can not get attendance here. The region is being tested not just the Pinellas county and St. Petersburg region. If the 5-county area can not show support, why would they even consider an alternative site in the same region.

Edmund D  Fountain/ St. Petersburg Times

They say a fool and his money are soon parted. Well, people the guys in the suits in the front office did not make their money being fools, and they are masters at risk management. There is a fine line between profits and community ties. Both have merits that equal each other, and both have pitfalls that can make each a unsound business investment. Right now the Rays are showing a break-even or loss potential based on the atendance, but we can change the demographics and the charts will again show an upward trend.

I know I have rambled on and on here today, but it is for a good reason. My heart and soul is invested in this team. I have been here from even the first $ 20 dollar deposit for Season Tickets to the 7-1 victory last night. I have seen a comedy of errors on the field that resembled more Ringling Brothers than baseball.

But then again I got to hug and share a taste of that sweet playoff champagne with players and fans last September too. Highs and lows, ins and outs. This is not the Hokey Pokey people, but attendance and support for this team is what it is all about ( throw your hands up).


A Day of Seasonal Rebirth



Okay, we are about eight hours away from the first “real” pitch of 2009. I find it kind of exciting that the current World Champions will debut on the first ESPN telecast trying to again go 162 games and then through the playoffs to regain a spot where they can defend their title. So here we are at the  perfect 0-0 record  that will forever change in our hearts and minds after tonight. It really doesn’t matter to me who wins this contest, because we all win just by having baseball “live” on the television, radio and on MLB.TV again this year. But there is also sorrow involved in this day. For by 3 pm today, some Major League dreams will be realized, and some will have a last second free fall back into the minor league system of their teams or back home to rethink their baseball futures.


I remember once reading a quote by newly inducted Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson on Spring Training. He said, “This S### don’t count, This S### doesn’t go on their bubble gum card.” And that is so true of what today truly means. We are finally over with the pretend games, and are about to embark on the quest for greatness that all 30 MLB teams strive for when we report in February each season. I always look forward to this time of the year for many reasons. Be it the time to purchase that new Rays cap, or uniform top, or to know that I will again be in  my second home for the next several months enjoying the sights and sounds of Tampa Bay Rays baseball.

But I know that everyone enjoys this time of the year for different reasons. It can be a time of renewal and anxious anticipation for some, and also could be the  dark cloud precursor to impending doom and gloom for the people who have doubts and fears about their team. But the first day should always be a day of pure hope and joy. It is the time when the record is clean, and you have endless possibilities in front of you for the coming year.  But with this game tonight also come a level of peril and uncertainty to the season. We are now going to have to came to the realization that some of our team’s goals and aspirations might falter after today. We will lose games, I do not think any of us has a dream of 162-0 for the year. Well, people outside of New York do not think like that. But will the joy of April become dismal in May or June, or can we keep this train running all the way to late October?



But that is what today is all about people.  Plain and simple and with no sugar-coating, tonight’s game is about rebirth and renewal of expectations for all of our teams. Be it the rookie starting the third and second for the San Francisco Giants, or the unproven starters at the bottom of the Oakland A’s rotation. There are hopes and dreams of success and the failures of our rivals. Will the experiment work out in New York by both the Mets and Yankees, or is the swapping of left fielders in Philadelphia a plus or minus in the long run. Questions will be answered, and not all of them will have the results we want to hear this season. Everyone knows who is favored, and who is considered the also-rans.



 But every year and also-ran take the reins and runs wild for a period of time shocking not only baseball, but the world with their unity and chemistry.  I love that the media has exploded the phrase “This year’s Rays” out to the masses like the team might not be as good, or better in 2009?  I remember Mark Newman, our guru talking about predictions yesterday in my blog entry. In it he stated, ” Actually no one knows anything and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. We all have theories based on various data and intangibles and sentiments, but at the end of the day this is the most competitive balance in Major League history and any of 30 teams can go to the World Series. I should know, I have spent eight years now writing the words “shock the world” over and over on It’s why everyone is fired up this year.”


That summarized it all up in one neat paragraph. We all want to be that psychic that can tell you the future by just following the numbers or the trends. But as Newman hinted at in his remarks, this year I think the facts and figures hide the more important aspect of baseball in 2009. We might not have the parity element that the NFL has been moving towards in the last 5 years, but the differences in the 30 teams beliefs for the season actually make each strong in their own sense of the word.  This is the time of the year where the hype is set high, and the possibility of failure is reduced to almost zero. But that is true human nature. We are creatures of a society that craves winners. And for that reason, we have to be totally positive and ooze confidence vibes to survive the intial storm of the season.

I do not have all the answers. I always give my opinions on here and either you like them or hate them. I  have been lucky to not attract a huge amount of negative comments and attacks, but they do come, and I do not shy from them. That is the greatest thing about being a baseball fan. You can love the fact that David Price is a budding superstar, and that he will control the mound for the coming years. That could be true, but in the same vein, we can disagree on his starting the season in the minors and both exist tog
ether in the stands and cheer for the team. But all that is moot for tonight. For tonight is the true essence of baseball. The first game will be held in the same stadium that saw its home team celebrate their World Series victory.



Emotions will be high in the stands in Philly. We will see a multitude of emotions in that first moments of the game. From tears to cheers, to the barrage of flash bulbs lighting up the night for a brief moment during that first pitch.  Tonight is about the celebration of baseball………….pure and simple. And I know myself, like millions of fans watching from our collective living rooms around the country will all have a moment of true emotion during tonight’s game. But as the Rays showed on the wall of the Budweiser Brewhouse during February’s Fan Fest, The Playoff number is set at 162 tonight, it is the time for every team to start to take those first steps towards their own dreams of raising that trophy into the cool Fall night.  For tonight we start another great chapter in our baseball lives…..version 2009, let’s hope that everyone can see the magic and the possibilities as endless, if not just for one night.

Photo credits:        1)
                               2) http://www.United
                               3)  RRCollections
                               4)  http://www.Associated

Will the Rays Fan Support Flat Line in 2009?



Here in Tampa Bay, the Rays fans are a bit new at this winning tradition thing. Our fellow brethren in the American League East, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have established these traditions that we are striving for after a successful 2008 campaign. I can admire the courage and the determination it takes to follow a team with such traditions, but how is a team only around for 11 years to fight such a monster wall of expectations.



Heck before 2008, the Rays faithful had only one season where we  could cheer and find success, and even that was only a 70 game winning season. And because of that lack of solid confidence at times, I am tempted to remind people that there might be a short lived backlash into the past  ways for fans if the Rays do not get off to a great start in 2009. This area has always craved a winner. We have won Super Bowl trophies and Stanley Cups, but that World Series trophy was being salivated over by the millions who live in the Tampa Bay area.



So are we to believe that the hysteria and the mass explosion of excitement will be in the air in April when we first open the 2009 season after a short road trip through Boston and Baltimore? As fickle as that might sound, the team has only had that one brief practice into the realm of respectability. And because of that, there might be a slide or two in 2009 due to the increased awareness that this team is coming to play every night or day now.


No more will there be teams that will be surprised or caught unaware of this teams potential.  Teams around the American League will not be resting players or even expect to sweep a series against the Rays any time soon. The air of uncertainty is gone from the Rays sails and they are on course to come into each contest as a stepping stone back to the promised playoff lands. The Rays will come out hungry in 2009, because they have been in the classic, and they want to get back there as soon as possible.



But  can this team battle day in and day out with a huge expectation on it from the start of even Spring Training games? That sense of responsibility comes with the success of winning a  A L Pennant. You get a  huge target set straight on your back and you either back up your claims, or fall by the wayside and let the winners’ pass by waving at you. 


In the past, the Rays fans and the team have done a lot of waving at losing streaks and misplays in games. But with the increased defense and the Rays Bullpen coming to win every night, it made for a more interesting 7-9th inning in games in 2008. Can they build upon that experience and step it up a notch or two and finally contend nightly with everyone at anytime, or will 2008 just be a case of catching some teams napping and the Rays feasting on their downward seasons.



But what if the Rays do not get off to a monster of a  start in 2009 ?  Will the “boo” birds be ringing in the papers and from the stands even if we  start off near .500 in April. Will the once vocal and energetic fans still come in bunches to every game, or only for the “Prime” games against the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees.  Will a losing streak silence the cowbells and hide the home made signs for the blue and white clad Rays, or will the fan base again convert  back to whoever is winning more games at the moment.


That is the problem with living in a region that boasts only 10 percent population over 30 years of age who were born in the area. Everyone is from somewhere else in the country, or the northeast. And with that move came a sense of tradition in following your old team no matter what. But just because you have a relative or even a parent who is entrusted to another team, do you feel obligated to support your new local team.


I have always wanted to ask any of the Boston or New York faithful who come here if they support any of the other local NFL or NHL teams. Do they still hold a traditional place in their hearts for the Rangers or Giants. Or maybe even the Jets and the Islanders if you are from the Gotham city. And do all Boston fans still cheer for the Bruins and Patriots even if they might have down seasons.


The pitiful thing here is I think the region is still polarized  and not committed to the Rays even after posting one of the best turnarounds in the annuals of baseball period. I hate to say it, but after years of other sports teams in the area not living up to expectations, could the Rays be bunched into that bushel of apathy after just a short time again. I think it is the Rays responsibility to keep a good product on the field and in the stands.


Fans will come for the games, but they also come for the entertainment before and after the contests in Tampa Bay. Some of the best attendance marks in 2008 came during the Concert Series on Sat night, when the team regularly sold out the entire Trop. so people could sing and dance in the aisle after the games. But do we have to be as gimmicky in 2009? I hate to say it, but we still have about a year before the rest of the Tampa Bay area can trust that the Rays are on the right path here.


I think a good barometer of the support factor might come in a few weeks at the Rays 2009 Fan Fest. That is usually a good sign of the type of support and the excitement about the upcoming season. But could that even be a bit more downplayed this year because of the team being based in Port Charlotte instead of here in St. Petersburg. It will be interesting to see how the distance and the Fan Fest will be changed because of the long commute for the event. 


I know, I know, what else does the team have to do to show it wants to be winners, well it does go beyond the field. In the next few months the Rays marketing department will have ample chances to remind and entice the area’s fan to again come and support the team. Now you know that the Opening Day game against the New York Yankees will be sold out, but is that because of the pennant raising before the game, or because of the Yankees.



Fans in this area may have to make a choice in 2009. They might have to decide if the bandwagon effect works for them, or they might just want to hop on board and be a full time supporter of the local team. Who knows what is going to happen in 2009, but you can bet the team will fight until the last out in October in the 2009 season. I  not expecting a huge turnaround in 1 season after our greatest success on the field to translate into huge attendance numbers.


The team might be expecting a large increase, but that will come with the team winning again. I hate to say this, but this region is like a lot of small market teams, there is a lot to do besides baseball on any given weekend or even weeknight. But if the support is there, the team will again do everything in it’s power to showcase themselves again as the team to beat. But the crowd as a 10th man has been instrumental in the past in making the difference late in a contest.


So as I am again getting ready to go cowbell shopping for 2009, and buying 2 dozen fresh white balls for the upcoming Fan Fest.  I truly think that 2009 will be a closer contested divisional series than ever before in the A L East. There are three team poised to fight for the title, and 1 sitting back and might jump over the heap if we forget about them. I am looking forward to the first game, and cheering for my hometown team again.



The boys’ played longer into the season in 2008 that ever before, and might still be a bit shell shocked at the result, but the area is proud of them and want to again show their spirit and energy to the team. 40-some days and the guessing game starts all over again. It seemed like just yesterday I was writing about the World Series match ups and the rain delays.  And the Rays and the Phillies get to relive it all again a few times during Spring Training, both in Clearwater, and in Philly.


Let’s Go Rays!!!