The Rays Tank: The Last Man Standing

Miguel Cairo - Tampa Bay Times

A tip of the hat to the last original Devil Ray to play the game.

The last of the original 1998 Tampa Bay Devil Ray has retired.

Miguel Cairo has defied the odds and played 17 years of major league baseball, and after 70 games with the Reds last season, Cairo is ready to call it quits.

On Valentine's Day it was rumored that Cairo would retire, and formally announced the next day that he would be joining the Cincinnati front office as a special assistant to the GM. Strangely enough, two of Cairo's best seasons were actually for the Reds in 2010 and 2011, where he held an OPS above .725 in consecutive years.

For the Devil Rays, Cairo batted .275/.319/.356 over three seasons as the team's starting second baseman. He played in the Trop for his age 24-26 seasons, and his plate production peaked the following year - bouncing between the Cubs and Cardinals. Cairo would play for a total of nine teams in his career.

You can read a few more thoughts from Marc Topkin, and an homage to Cairo's greatest hits at Fangraphs.

***

There have been only one public statement on Friday's meeting between Rays owner Stu Sternberg and St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster, and it was brief. The formal release by the Rays was one sentence - a joint statement with the Mayor's office:

"Today's conversation was a productive one, and we anticipate continuing it in the coming weeks."

Understandably, reporters were scrambling for a story over the weekend. (There was a meeting that went well? Really? Give us anything!) Luckily, Sternberg did have this to share with 620 WDAE before Saturday's Fan Fest:

I hope everyone had that was able to make it to the FanFest had a blast. Unfortunately, despite all their advertisements that said the event would be FREE, the Rays were not willing to fly me down for the weekend, so I wasn't able to attend.

The event drew an all time high 25,000 fans, and the guys from Rays Revolution got sternfan1 on the mic. I'd call that a success.

LINKS

- A pleasant surprise for the beat writers was finding Jack Cust in the clubhouse yesterday morning.

- The Tribune wonders how long the front office can keep their finances secret.

- The Times published an update on Rays minor league reliever Juan Sandoval - a former Mariners prospect and friend of Joel Peralta from the Dominican who lost sight in his right eye after a man fired a shotgun outside the restaurant where he and his family were eating. If you haven't read the tale, it's worth your time.

- Rays Colored Glasses gives an interesting profile of Rob Bell, a reliever who spent three years pitching for the Devil Rays from '03-'05, and retired after 2007. Back in the fold, Bell is the new sales account representative for Rays low A-ball affiliate, the Hudson Valley Renegades.

- Apparently Carl Crawford regrets signing in Boston, calling the environment "toxic", and physically and emotionally draining.

- Finally, something I missed last week: Channel 10's Chris Fischer scored a 9 minute interview with "K9 and K Machine" Price and Astro in Port Charlotte, covering their love lives, favorite things, the AL East, contract concerns, and the Cy Young award.

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