This December 16th-18th, Joe Maddon will host his eighth annual Thanksmas, bringing Rays employees, coaches and players together to shop, cook and serve a hearty holiday meal to hundreds of less fortunate folks in the Tampa Bay area.
Over the past seven years Maddon has been able to feed over 6,000 people, also providing them with other necessities such as food and clothing. How lucky are we to have a manager so great both on and off the field.
This year's event will take places at Salvation Army Shelters in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Bradenton, the Sallie House in St. Petersburg and the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater. 2012's Thanksmas was a huge success, as the number of donation from Rays fans and Maddon's fundraising efforts allowed Thanksmas to present $7,500 each to Salvation Army centers in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater and the Sallie House.
For more information on this year's Thanksmas schedule and how you can contribute, visit JoesThanksmas.com.
Offseason Chit Chat:
- The Orioles will tender contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players, including catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis, outfielders Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce, relievers Troy Patton, Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson and starting pitcher Bud Norris; and have not yet entered extension talks with either Wieters or Davis.
- Catchers are moving this offseason, with Peter Gammons reporting that former Ray Dioner Navarro is close to signing with a mystery team, with the Marlins, Blue Jays, Twins and Rockies among the potential landing spots.
- Jonah Keri analyzed the unusual amount of early offseason deals that have occurred, noting the Rays re-signing Jose Molina for two reasons: 1. Pitch-framing. 2. Game-calling skills and management of the pitching staff. He provides anecdotal perspectives along the way in his support of the deal.
- Grant Brisbee says what we've been preaching all along: the Rays don't need to trade David Price.
- The Rays have dealt (quite well) with the "too many pitchers" conundrum previously, and this year the Dodgers are facing the dilemma of having too many outfielders. Fangraphs looked at potential solutions for the problem, throwing out trades of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier to name a few.
- "It pays to cheat" was Brad Ziegler's opinion on Jhonny Peralta's four-year, $53 million dollar contract with the Cardinals following his recent PED suspension. Agree or disagree? Either way, nerds are a fan of the move.
- ICYMI: Baseball Prospectus developed a flow chart showing a baseball scout's path to signing prospects, with various routes the process could take. Pretty cool.