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Jeff Bagwell, Fred McGriff, The Hall of Fame, and 400 Home Runs

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Prior to the Steroid Era, 500 home runs was considered the milestone a slugger could reach to ensure that one day he would be immortalized in the Baseball Hall of Fame. From 1936 to 2003, all 15 eligible sluggers who hit 500 or more home runs were voted into the Hall of Fame. In addition, from 1939 to 2001, nine sluggers who finished their careers with 407 to 493 home runs appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot, seven of those nine were elected to the Hall of Fame, with five--Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Willie Stargell, Carl Yastrzemski, and Dave Winfield--gaining election in their first year on the ballot and the other two--Billy Williams and Duke Snider--being voted in on their sixth and eleventh ballot, respectively. It was clear that a slugger who reached the 400 home run milestone had almost as good a chance of being elected to the Hall of Fame as a slugger who reached 500. However, like everything else, the Steroid Era has complicated Hall of Fame voting. Since 2002, six sluggers who hit between 431 to 493 home runs have appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot but only two of those six, Andre Dawson and Cal Ripken Jr., have been voted in. Two others, Jose Canseco and Juan Gonzalez, fell off the ballot after failing to collect 5% of the vote, while Jeff Bagwell and Fred McGriff remain on the ballot but are currently on the outside looking in. Click the title to read the rest of the article.

Rays' State of the Farm with Frankie Piliere

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I'm posting this because I thought it would be interesting to quite a few folks here who have been debating the future of some Rays prospects - in particular Josh Sale and Tim Beckham. I specifically asked his opinion on those guys for the folks here at DRaysBay. Frankie isn't as famous as Keith Law or Kevin Goldstein, but he knows his stuff and used to be a scout for the Rangers. Verdict? Too soon to give up on either.

Prospect Analysis: Elite Prospects from 2007

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Reid Brignac. Evan Longoria. John Sickels takes a ride in the Way Back machine to look at a few Devil Rays prospects (among others).

Six Rays In Keith Law's Top 100 Prospect List

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The full list is Insider Only, but it's well worth the price of admission. But as you'd imagine, Moore, Lee, and Archer are three of the Rays' six top prospies. Any guesses on the other three?

Danny Clyburn: 1974-2012

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"LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - A Lancaster man has been arrested after police say he shot and killed a former Major League Baseball player near an elementary school early Tuesday morning. According to the Lancaster Police Department, officers were called to the 600 block of North Market Street around 1:58 a.m. Tuesday morning to the report of a shooting. This is less than 1/5-mile away from Clinton Elementary School. When officers arrived they found Danny Clyburn Junior lying in the front yard of a home. Clyburn was reportedly found unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound. Emergency crews responded and determined that Clyburn had died from his injuries. Clyburn is a former Major League Baseball player, where he played as an outfielder for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Baltimore Orioles." Our thoughts and prayers to Clyburn's friends and family. Source: WBTV News

Rays Are Hiring A Season Ticket/Database Service Intern

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Like most entry-level jobs in baseball, it doesn't sound like a particularly glamorous role. But hey, if you're college-aged and looking for a baseball-related gig, this sounds like an interesting option.

2012 Rays Fantasy Baseball Preview

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Jason recently answered some questions for Grey Albright over at Razzball, talking about how players on the Rays should perform and which players are good fantasy grabs. His Longo prediction made my heart skip a beat.

Joe Maddon Town Hall Contest

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Enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to attend the Joe Maddon Town Hall Meeting - Thursday, February 16th at the Southern Chevy Dealers Sound Stage at 10AM. After the meeting, Joe will sign autographs.

Rays Win Arbitration Hearing Against Jeff Niemann

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Per Marc Topkin, the Rays won their arbitration hearing against Jeff Niemann, who will be making $2.8M next year. Andrew Friedman remains undefeated.

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