The official start to the off-season is merely two weeks away, and since we have nothing better to talk about - Kurt Birkins aside - I figured why not look at some of the factors for this off-season along with addressing a disturbing trend amongst some fans.
The Halo Effect
Otherwise known as the Joe Maddon effect; we've seen interest in multiple former Angels since Maddon took the helm, most notably Adam Kennedy and Darin Erstad last off-season, this year the Rays could look at the likes of backup catcher Jose Molina, shortstop David Eckstein, starter Bartolo Colon, and reliever Troy Percival.
Where Does A-Rod End Up?
Probably not St. Petersburg, but we can dream, consider that if Rodriguez signs outside of the American League East and World Series MVP Mike Lowell bolts to San Diego the Rays could possibly have the best third baseman in the division. Of course that's assuming Lowell is oblivious to the fact that Fenway suits him, and the Yankees - and possibly Red Sox - don't break out the big guns in acquiring a new third baseman.
Fill the Pen
The key to winning is to holding leads, a good pen = more leads held = more wins. Having no bullpen and the lead is like a cockroach and a nuclear blast; if it's close then bye-bye bug, the more distance away and the bug can survive the heat, in some cases just barely.
Finally I wanted to address something I saw in Bill Chastain's latest mailbag, the reader said he sees deju vu back to Dewon Brazelton when he looks at David Price; the thought made shake my head since the two have very few things in common other than being African American males who played college ball in the state of Tennessee.
Other than the blatantly obvious - Price being battled tested with better stuff - Brazelton himself admitted that he wasn't mentally fit to be a first round pick or an ace. He said he couldn't handle the pressure, I don't know David, but from what Jake has told us David is nothing like that, he's open to the challenge and competition of being a number one pick. We really need to put the idea that Price and Dewon are somehow alike to rest, they aren't, Brien Taylor has far much more in common; both being left handers standing around 6'4" / 6'5" and top picks, of course I don't see David ending his career in a bar fight, but maybe he does so after celebrating his Cy Young award. A man can dream...
Last thing, we did a community prospect list, and we're doing a contest, and we'll have our first chat this weekend, perhaps Saturday night around 9/10-ish? For those who can't attend I'm planning posting the chat transcript, but the mission is to discuss ideas as well as open up the possibility of having you guys interact more so with our guests rather than us hogging their minds.