clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Rays Tank: Four more days

New, 152 comments

Spring Training wrappped up at Charlotte Sports Park last night with a 4-4 tie against the Orioles.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

"Don't doubt the Tampa Bay Rays."

What a delightful sentiment that is. The SweetSpot (aka Dave Schoenfield) decided to question just how good the team could be this year, then ran WAR guesstimates and concluded that the 2014 Rays roster may just have it all in place for continued success, as they "seem to have it just right."

I am feeling uncharacteristically optimistic this season, so get prepared for unwavering positivity even if the team begins the year horribly. Obviously all limbs are crossed that that won't occur, but my attitude entering this year had to be stated publicly. You've been warned, ever realistic readers.

And with that, the Rays bid adieu to Port Charlotte until next year last night:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Rays, Orioles finish in a 4-4 tie. Until next spring, Charlotte Sports Park. <a href="http://t.co/WtAWkXPbCM">pic.twitter.com/WtAWkXPbCM</a></p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/statuses/449016383939313664">March 27, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Three games remain left for the Rays, today again against the Orioles, tomorrow in Dunedin vs the Blue Jays and Saturday in Montgomery against the Biscuits.

See you so soon, Tropicana Field, you loveable dome of a home.

***
This is just pretty darn adorable:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Frank &amp; Connie Shorey, celebrating their 50th anniversary, were surprised on the field tonight with custom jerseys. <a href="http://t.co/PIGTvcg0RV">pic.twitter.com/PIGTvcg0RV</a></p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/statuses/449002697241677824">March 27, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Per another tweet, they work together in the Rays store.

Links:
- Beyond the Box Score provided 2014 previews for the rest of the AL East yesterday, so we can only assume that the Rays preview is on it's way today. Keep an eye out.

- MLB and the players association are in the midst of finalizing what would be the most stringent drug program in MLB history, and the policy is due to be finalized in correlation with the beginning of the season.

The new agreement will not only increase the drug penalties, but also implement widespread carbon isotope testing, the official said, hoping to dramatically increase the detection of a synthetic testosterone. There were 14 players suspended last season for receiving performance-enhancing drugs from South Florida wellness clinic, Biogenesis, but none failed a drug test.

The official said first-time offenses will be 80 games, an increase from 50, and a second offense will be for an entire 162-game season instead of 100 games. There will be a lifetime suspension for a third offense.

Also, players who tested positive because of inadvertent use, will now have their suspensions reduced from 50 games to 25. Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis was suspended 50 games in June 2012 for Clostebol Metabolite, which he insists contained foot cream. San Francisco Giants reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended 100 games in May 2012 for Clenbuterol, saying it was included in his cough medicine. ​

- Jeff Passan ventured into MLB's new Instant Replay center, and the setup looks pretty darn impressive:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Here is Major League Baseball&#39;s instant replay center. Really impressive. <a href="http://t.co/2jKU9Ve9x0">pic.twitter.com/2jKU9Ve9x0</a></p>&mdash; Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/statuses/448915543828226048">March 26, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>That was <a href="http://t.co/cML1faG4rf">http://t.co/cML1faG4rf</a>&#39;s network operations center. This is a new replay station. <a href="http://t.co/Jv2Ynywpne">pic.twitter.com/Jv2Ynywpne</a></p>&mdash; Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/statuses/448917821834031104">March 26, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

He then weighed the effects the introduction of instant replay will have on the game, mentioning the disaster of a call that is bound to come and frustrate us all during the season, but how it will fundamentally change baseball for the better.

- Following up his Foundations of the Dollars-per-WAR Evaluation Framework piece from yesterday, Matt Swartz of The Hardball Times today explains his his methodology, how it differs from others and the calculations of dollars per WAR.

- Jesse Spector ranked teams based on their "ultimate opening day lineup," selecting players at each position based on who has started the most opening days. Older teams certainly got some pull here, as the Rays came in last featuring this stellar crew:
C Toby Hall-5 1B Carlos Pena-4 2B Miguel Cairo-3 3B Evan Longoria-5 SS Julio Lugo-3 LF Carl Crawford-8 CF B.J. Upton-3 RF Dave Martinez-3 DH-Jose Canseco-2 P James Shields-4