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.
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.
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:
Tom Jones just asked #Rays owner Stu Sternberg how does the stadium issue end?Sternberg replied quickly, "We're staying in Tampa Bay."— Pat Donovan (@PatDinTampa) February 16, 2013
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.
#RaysFanFest by the numbers: 63 Rays players, 9 coaches, 1 Astro, 40 former major leaguers, 2 MLB Network personalities and 25,000 fans!— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) February 16, 2013
- 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.