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Jake's Take: Accept no substitutes!

With less than a month to go before Pitchers & Catchers reporting to Spring Training, the Rays find ways to pop up in the news. Gone are the days where we fill our downtime with Huff/Hollins/Tomas Retrospectives, or solving life's little mysteries like the "real" location of Dewon Brazelton when he was "missing". Crikey, another mystery solved!

However, we've got news!!!!

Wait, Dukes got arrested?

Hell, that's not news!

Check the newspapers from the last 4 years, he religiously gets arrested. Be glad that he's tempered himself down to possession, rather than his obsession with abusing family members.

It's hilarious how the Rays fandom changes as much as wind direction. In December, we were pretty much pinning him down as a guaranteed bat in our line-up....especially if Rocco were to get traded. Now he manages to find a new way to get arrested and we want him released or traded?
Interesting, verrrrrrry interesting.

If only experimenting on humans was possible, we'd be able to strap Dukes to a chair and brainwash him like he was Alex in "A Clockwork Orange." Vetty well, my young droogs, vetty well. Makes me feel all strange in my guttiwuts to ponder stuff like this.

If only...

Something is bound to happen in the next few weeks or months and yet again, opinions will change.

Marlins move to Portland, Rays slide into NL East?

I read that and I had a smirk on my face, seeing as I see a move like this is a double-edged sword more than we look at it to be.

Sure, it'd be easier for us to win a division title. We've already got the talent to outrun and potentially outslug our NL East rivals. The Mets look nice with Reyes and Wright, but they've got nothing to touch the potential that our Outfield Trio hold.

However, there's always a however it seems, our surplus of OFers and hitters gives us no advantage in the NL East. We'd be basically forced to trade our surplus of hitters, seeing as we wouldn't have a DH rule to fall back on. Gomes or whomever we have on the team when the proposed move would occur, would have to be prepared for a full season at 1B, or else they're good as gone.

Another way that this trade would be somewhat detrimental to us, is the money that we get from Boston/Yankee fans yearly to watch games in Tropicana. I'm not saying that Atlanta or the Mets wouldn't draw fans, but I don't think it'd match the amount of our noreaster compatriots. I know that a move to the NL East would increase our win totals, which would in-turn increase our homegrown fan totals, but will it be to the same degree that the average totals to Rays-Yanks/Red Sox games pull in?

Who knows?

Unless we lock Kazmir to a long-term deal now, signing him after this proposed move happening would cost us millions. Kazmir pitching in the NL would probably increase his strikeout totals to around 250 Ks per season and his ERA would be closer to somewhere in between 2 and 3 than 3 and 4 that it's in the AL. We'd have a definite ace, but would we be willing to spend more than 10 MIL a year for him?

There's tons of factors and pros-and-cons that come into effect when moves like this come into play, really does a number on the old gulliver...doesn't it?

[editor's note, by Jacob Larsen]Where's the irony in this video clip?