But here's a notes column:
Paul Lo Duca is being billed as one of the top free agent catchers available, the problem? He's not, even if he's going to get the check to match the hype. .270/.313/.362 is that worth seven million dollars? How about being 35 years old and an OPS lower than Dave Ross, Greg Zaun, and Carlos Ruiz? One of the usual statements surrounding a free agent or traded player coming from a big market team with money to burn is "There is a reason they let him go." Well there is a reason in this case, its name? Ramon Castro and his .925 OPS, third in the entire league for all catchers, behind Jorge Posada (not going anywhere), and get this, Raul Casanova.
In the past two weeks Dioner Navarro has came alive, ironically his middle name is Vivas, Spanish for `you live', indeed you do Senor Navarro, .258.343/.484, .827 OPS, in the past week .385/.429/.615, an OPS over 1.000. Is the 23 year old finally realizing some of his potential? Odds point to yes, and looking at the free agent market perhaps we were a bit too early to jump on the `must sign free agent catcher to start' train, instead the next 55 games should be used as a `second season' for Navarro, he's going to split time with everyone's favorite catcher author, Josh Paul. Both finally have a starting rotation, or at least 4/5ths of one any given week, and a bullpen worth a dollar.
What a Journey
Dan Miceli, Chad Harville, Jesus Colome, Scott Dunn, Jason Childers, Seth McClung, Shinji Mori, Brian Meadows, Tyler Walker, Shawn Camp, Ruddy Lugo, Chad Orvella, Jay Witasick, Tim Corcoran, Chad Orvella, Jae Seo, Travis Harper, Brian Stokes, Edwin Jackson, and Casey Fossum oh what a list it is of relievers the Rays had tried to insert into the bullpen and failed, 20 projects later it appears the team has it right for the most part. 13.1 innings, one earned run, and even that on a very close play, we're going to keep count of it until the end of the season, but hopefully we don't stop believin', hold onto that feeling.
No Stinking Way
Baseballbiz.com reported a week ago the team ruled `Sting Rays' out as its new name after deciding it could easily be dictated into `Stink Rays'. Probably a good idea, and I'm assuming the same logic followed `Tarpons'. The two things we think are safe to say? The Rays will look somewhat like the San Diego Chargers of the MLB, and the name will be, well the Rays, nothing new on that front, if nothing else the Red Sox have the `pink hats' as their bandwagon fans, we'll have the `blue caps'.