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Rays Tank: No news is Rays news

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The Angels will sign Carlos Pena to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.

Protective Hats for pitchers are here, which should resonate with Rays fans after Alex Cobb's horrible injury last season. Brandon McCarthy is not interested.

Jeff Wiser at Beyond the Box Score analyzed the construction of competitive major league teams by looking at median salary and at how many players on the roster are being paid the minimum.

Brad Johnson over at FanGraphs investigated the link between winning and attendance. It's an attendance article that doesn't mention the Rays (really, I Control +F'd to make sure -- not even in the comments).

Also at FanGraphs, Jason Collette looked for pitchers who rack up the strikeouts without velocity.

Apparently it snowed in the South yesterday (it didn't reach Tampa Bay, did it?). Atlanta was unprepared, and Freddy Freeman got stuck in traffic. In reality though, it's impossible to be unprepared when you have Chipper Jones nearby.

The new Hardball Times is out and on a roll with its longform agenda. Matt Swartz has an in-depth exploration of the NPB posting system that's absolutely worth your read, even with everything else that's been written about the new posting system, and Jason Linden has the first chapter of his baseball serial novel.

Staying with the NPB theme for a second, Ben Lindbergh polled baseball insiders for their view of Masahiro Tanaka, and had them rank him against several current MLB pitchers.

R.J. Anderson did some digging, and determined the risk factors for blisters on a pitcher's throwing hand ($$). It's a topic of interest for fans of Alex Cobb, who's struggled with blisters in the past. Also, RJ deserves props for his title alone.

Not Baseball

Josh Nathan-Kazis of The Jewish Daily Forward wrote a really long article about applying for Spanish citizenship as a descendant of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492, and have recently been invited back. I link here because I think it's the best thing I've read in any genre in rather a long time, and because Nathan-Kazis is a stud of a reporter. If anyone wants to start up a journalism dynasty league, he's my pick.