The Rays Tank: Loney goes to school, Balfour curses because of rugby

Happy Mothers Day. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, ho hum, the Rays lost another series. I don't really want to talk about Rays baseball anymore, so let's all just go back to middle school

At the end of last week, James Loney skyped with an English class at Safety Harbor Middle School.

A few notes from this interview:

  • Loney seems like a pretty nice guy.
  • Safety Harbor Middle has gotten teched up a bunch since I went there. Pretty spiffy.
  • I think that the waffle/pancake question is all about whether or not you prefer a high ceiling or a low floor. A waffle can be very boring and cardboard-y while a pancake is almost always worth having on your plate, but waffles get spruced up to ridiculous heights. Clearly Loney prefers a high ceiling.
  • Someone at SHMS, say hello to the Hancocks for me, please.

Also, Evan Longoria was at the Miles for Moffitt run on Friday.

    Rays Link

    David Laurila talked with Grant Balfour about his rugby upbringing.

    With so much talk about shifts and the importance of going the other way, Jason Hanselman took a detailed look at the batted ball profiles of each major league team, and the success they have within that batted ball profile. The results may surprise you a bit. Surprised me.

    Other Links

    Dan Farnsworth at The Hardball Times breaks down the swings of the best hitters in major league baseball, and the smallest good hitters in major league baseball.

    There's a really interesting piece that's not behind the paywall at Baseball Prospectus by Robert Arthur, where he finds that identifying hitters who are being pitched carefully by pitchers is a good way of finding breakout candidates. It makes intuitive sense -- pitchers are able to tell before us laymen when a batter has raised his true talent level, and they adjust accordingly. That adjustment is visible in a smaller sample size than are the actual results of the hitter's true talent increase. Of course, there's another possibility. It could be that the pitchers are over-correcting, and that by avoiding contact, they're pitching less than optimally, and are responsible for the breakout.

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