Pretty much my whole life revolved around the Rays since I discovered baseball. Until just a few months ago, the Bay Area was my home since I was born. In July, I moved almost as far as possible from my beloved Rays, when I left for Israel this summer. Although I could no longer support my team at the Trop and ring cowbells until my wrists hurt, I am still just as much as a fanatic as before. In a land where baseball is very unpopular and the Rays are unheard of, I truly cherish my blogging. So if you’re interested in a journalist opinion from a real Rays Fanatic, this is the blog for you. If you’re interested in a blog where you can freely express your opinions and get questions answered, this is the blog for you. If your an avid baseball fan that wants who wants to share his/her knowledge, this is the blog for you. And most of all, if you’re a Rays fan this is the blog for you.
A few weeks ago it looked to me as the Rays were going to be “buyers” at the Trade Deadline. But the Rays have played poor baseball since then and have quickly fallen out of the race. B.J. Upton and James Shields have already heard their share of trade rumors. Does being sellers bring in some more names? Johnny Damon maybe, Casey Kotchman maybe. There’s also been rumor that the Rays might trade away some youth like Reid Bringiac to pick up some veteran bats.
At the end of the day, the only player that I really think will be traded away at the deadline is Upton.
The Rays will probably reel in a bat and/or a relief pitcher. They might get rid of a couple others but I believe Friedman’s going to hang on to the youth. The Rays know that the future is bright with them.
The Rays top prospect Desmond Jennings is living up to the moment. His patience at triple-A Durham paid off, and now his turn has come. In his first MLB appearance of 2011, Jennings went 2 for 3 with two extra-base hits and an RBI. He also showed off his incredible speed scoring on a ground-ball base hit from first. This is something that the Rays and their fans are very excited about. Every team wishes to have a young player that can hit for average, field all outfield positions well, run like the wind, and run the bases intelligently. Is Jennings the new and improved B.J. Upton? I have a feeling the Rays front office thinks so, as Upton trade rumors have been heating up lately. If Jennings can be at least as good as B.J. in the future, that could be great news for the Rays. That means that the Rays could trade Upton for a good bat or an arm, and easily replace him with Jennings. That would be ideal. The Rays confidence in Desmond Jennings is why I think there’s a good chance Upton could be traded away at the deadline in a week. These next 7 days should be an interesting week for the Rays.
Check out what the ESPN SweetSpot blog says about Jennings: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/14123/desmond-jennings-up-to-stay
The long and agonizing 10-game stretch against Boston and New York is finally over. Unfortunately, the Rays could only win 4 of the crucial 10 games. Now the Rays find themselves in a difficult spot. They are 5 games behind the Wild Card spot and 7 games behind the Red Sox in the division spot. Here are the standings as of today:
The only good thing that came out of this tough stretch, is that now there is a string of series against below- .500 teams. That starts tonight against the Royals, who have been struggling mightily in the last 2 months. On the other hand, the Rays competitors also are going to have there share of easy games. The Red Sox start a series against the Mariners tonight, who have lost 12 straight. There’s still plenty of time left in the season, and the Rays are going to need to win most of their games to have a chance to participate in the postseason for the 3rd time. Last night’s game versus the Yanks, James Shields proved that he still has his good stuff. This is a necessity for the last 2 months of the season. Here’s a recap of last night’s game: http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=17144853&c_id=tb&topic_id= I believe the Rays still do have a good chance, but it’s going to take 110% effort.