Links: Longoria's Defense, Benoit's Golden Arm, Upton's BRayser, and More

Normally I post links as FanShots and save front page space for original analysis, but there were an extraordinary amount of high-quality articles written about the Rays this weekend. All of these are worth a read:

Most Valuable Defender: Longoria or Beltre?

A look at quantifying defense outside the typical UZR, Total Zone method, relying more upon the eyes instead. Longoria rates as the best in the league at turning double plays (no surprise there) and also as the best all-around defender at third base. It's a joy watching him field, and we should continuously count our blessings that he's ours for the next five seasons.

Can Shields Return to "Big Game" Form?

As we saw Sunday night, the answer is "Yes." 

Benoit Enjoying Career Resurgance After Year Out of Baseball

J.B. Long from BHSN interviewed Jaoquin Benoit this weekend and it makes for great viewing. Something I didn't know: Benoit's surgically-repaired shoulder hasn't felt great this year. You'd never know if looking at his results, but this might give the Rays' pause before offering him a larger contract for 2011.

Raffle for BJ Upton's BRayser

For only $15, you can purchase a raffle ticket to win Upton's BRayser. To boot, the jacket will be signed and if you live in the Tampa Bay area, Upton will hand the jacket to you personally. All proceeds go to local Tampa Bay youth charities, so the money is going for a good cause. Also, your odds won't be too bad - there's a cap set at 500 tickets.

Upton Unsure if He'll Ever Shed "Slacker" Tag

We've covered this subject ad nauseam and so I don't want to get into it, but needless to say this is a very refreshing article to read. Evan Longoria's quotes on Upton really drive the point home. 

Tom Tango's Fan Scouting Report

If you didn't do this yet, you should. Not that it's a competition, but we're currently tied for the third largest amount of responses with the Blue Jays (56 evaluations). Only the Yankees (61) and Giants (84) are ahead of us, so let's at least beat the Yanks. (Note: Rankings as of Monday)

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