It has been 16 days since the Rays acquired Burke Badenhop. Since that time, it has been all quiet on the acquisition front. Last night, there was a fleeting thought put out there by Peter Gammons that Prince Fielder would be willing to take a 3/78 deal and re-test the free agent market at age 30. This was quickly shot down by Scott Boras who said people were delusional and had perhaps dipped into their New Year's Eve stash prematurely. This from the same guy that once had the gumption to compare Oliver Perez to Sandy Koufax as he fooled the Mets into re-signing Perez to a 3/36 deal in 2009.
While it has been a slow month, we would like to thank all of you for coming back each and every day to further the discussion around news and topics. Our visits this month are up nearly 20 percent over last month and on pace to exceed the total from a more eventful month of December 2010. There is even an outside shot that visits this month exceed all but July and September from this season. This fanbase often gets criticized for its apathy by the talking heads, but you would never know it from your activity here in the off-season.
As we await the Rays to make moves to fill in the first base and DH roles, here are some reads to review and discuss today:
- Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors looks at the best of the remaining free agents and just one of them is mentioned as a possibility for the Rays.
- Business Mirror looks at the magical world of the Tampa Bay Rays
- Mat Kovach dives into the use of instant replay in baseball
- Aren't you glad the Rays don't make moves like this?
- The guys over at RaysProspects attempt to set the rotations for the minor league affiliates.
- Two Rays-related letters to the editor in the newly-branded (online, at least) Tampa Bay Times concerning the stadium and Joe Maddon's Hazelton Integration Project.
- This title at The Bleacher Report is worth the click.
- "You haven't lived in Tampa Bay until....." - what would you add to this list?
- Stay tuned later this morning for Erik's interview with Ben Montgomery (@gangrey) of the Tampa Bay Times
- St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster polled well overall with residents in a Tampa Bay Times/ Bay News 9 poll, but his approval rating on how he has handled the Rays has dropped by six percent. To be fair, the poll's sample size was just 303 residents by phone.
Blame a confusing couple of months this summer in which City Council members criticized Foster for not having more of a strategy. During an August meeting, he said he had a plan, but wouldn't disclose it publicly, causing some council members to scoff that he was bluffing.
"His outlandish claim that he had a secret plan was a disaster," said Bill Williams, 19, a computer programmer who lives downtown. "There's been a massive breakdown of communication on the Rays issue."
Foster still said that it was all a misunderstanding and that he does have a strategy to work more closely with the Rays, adding he will try to bring "clarity" to the issue in the coming months.