This past weekend the Rays hosted a coaches clinic with some 5,500 T-ball players and coaches receiving uniforms. Kevin Cash was in attendance meeting with some of the Dads and players of Northside Little League.
Cash once played with Northside and enjoyed catching up with the young players. He took a little bit of time to reflect on his own experiences as a little leaguer and expressed excitement to see parents taking such an active interest.
Cash played with the Northside team in 1989, when they made it to the Little League World Series. He took some time to look back at pictures and praise the series for growing in popularity.
This is the 2nd year of the clinic which has grown to cover seven county areas which includes more than fifty little league teams. With the help of Majestic, the Rays are bringing their jerseys to teams all around the Tampa Bay area.
Majestic designed 18 uniform and t-shirt combinations for the kids, with three different Rays logos. The idea for this clinic grows out of increasing community support for the Rays and a desire to bring the brand to the next generation of fans. The money that these teams save from these uniforms allows the teams to spend more on renovating their fields or bringing in better equipment.
The clinic involves the parents by providing them with resources to coach their children. The clinic offers coaching tips to the parents so that if they want to learn how to coach a team in their community, they are equipped with some skills to train them up. In the future, the Rays hope to expand the clinic to minor league and college ball.
Jake Odorizzi and Grant Balfour were also on hand to meet with the kids, including some great photo opportunities for the Rays.
You can learn more at the Rays facebook page, and by listening to the 2/10/15 edition of This Week in Rays Baseball podcast. You can also watch Florida District Admin Terry Thompson discuss the impact the Rays are having on these kids lives over on our Youtube page.
This is from a few days ago, but Jeff Passan had a good report on how James Shields's agent appears to have misplayed the market.
Scott Lindhom at Beyond the Box Score has been carrying on a cool series visualizing the differences in results for pitches outside or inside the strike zone.
Also, at Beyond the Box Score, Brian Cole takes a look at bat speed. And look, there's a Sean Rodriguez sighting, as one of the fastest bats in baseball (maybe not surprising, but still surprising)!
Also, if you missed it, read Tony Blengino's hit-data-driven breakdown of the AL East.
The other day, Ian threw out an irresponsible comparison between marginal prospect Jamie Schultz and relief-ace Sean Doolittle based on the characteristics of a pitch (more of those coming, because they're fun). Jeff Sullivan did the same thing with some of the best major league pitches.