Note: The bulk of this was written over the weekend, before the author had the opportunity to witness the tragedy of a team being eliminated from the playoffs on Opening Day. Please take this into consideration during some of the more delusionally hopeful rantings below.
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Bunnies! Brisket! And Baseball! Empty tombs and Passover feasts and Opening Days and new life and new beginnings! Who says Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year? Give me Spring anytime. I hear in Boston, it even stopped snowing. I'll leave it to the rest of the masthead to confirm that. (Editor's note: confirmed.)
Why, even the Tweetbag is reborn. We have, like, actual tweets! From real people! At least, I assume they are real people. They could be bots, I suppose. But right now, I don't care. It's Spring, and I have tweets to answer, and I don't care.
@draysbay If Rays OF struggles offensively and Mahtook continues to prosper..how long before he is called up ? #drbtweetbag— Luke Williamson (@ltw0303) March 30, 2015
Thanks for the question, Luke. In spite of how bad he's looked at times on Opening Day and during the spring for instance, I think we're going to see a really long leash for Souza based on his age and how much we gave up for him. So I don't see Mahtook getting the call there. And while we all enjoyed KK's surprising power last year, he's mostly here for the boogie (and occasional overboogie) in the field.
The offense is gonna have to be pretty terrible for it to be "not good enough." Mikie's quickest route is probably through the long-awaited David DeJesus trade, but even there, it's no guarantee they'll stay with five outfielders. Of course, with bones as firm as a politician's promise, Guyer is no sure thing either, as much as I like guy. In general, I wouldn't expect to see Mahtook before September, or before we fall out of contention, whichever comes first.
So, May 8th? May 7th? Definitely not before the end of April though. Probably.
Oh, hey, about that DeJesus trade:
@draysbay Why is everyone so bent out of shape about DeJesus not getting traded? Depth is good and he's a quality bat VS RHP. #drbtweetbag— Jack Weber (@Jackweber_) March 30, 2015
Thanks for the question, Jack. I think it goes back to when the deal was signed. It was a weird stretch for Friedman. It reminded me of several years ago, when my late mother-in-law was still with us, and she was going though something they call "the change." She did some weird stuff, man. And whenever she did, the reason was always "the change." Turn on the air conditioner when it's 40 degrees outside? It's the change. Use the wrong word in a sentence? It's the change. Now suppose you just traded for Heath Bell and signed Yunel Escobar to an extension? Doesn't the change make as much sense as anything? So while the DDJ deal isn't really that much of a head-scratcher, it is more than the Rays usually pay for depth and a quality bat against RHP, and it did come during AF's -- blue...phase? Not saying it's a bad contact compared to what market value for guys like him get, just that it's more than we're used to seeing.
And now we got guys like Luke up there wondering when Mikie is gonna get a chance. All because Frieds got manopausal. (Is that offensive? I feel like it might have been. I'm sorry. This is taking a turn I hadn't intended. Let's just move on.) Editor's Note: Let's just move on.
@draysbay How would the Rays stack up against other MLB teams in gladiatorial combat? #drbtweetbag— Alan Forrester (@IgneousRocks) March 30, 2015
Oh, come on. I mean, have you been watching this team? We've already established Brandon Guyer is made of tissue paper and Popsicle sticks. Alex Cobb is a slip on a banana peel away from hitting the Power Ball number in the injury lotto, and word on the street is that the Rays are petitioning MLB to let Jaso play in a plastic bubble. Longo has no time for your extracurricular gladiator games, what with changing diapers and washing dishes at Ducky's and all. And while we all love KK, I think it's very safe to say he is most likely to pull a Rodney McCray.
Yeah, yeah, great effort! Till that old white dude puts a battle axe through your skull while you're till shaking off the cobwebs. Honestly, I'm not sure we'd even prevail against gladiolas, let alone gladiators.
Man. I was in such a good mood when this thing started. You guys are really bringing me down. Little help, Roy?
@draysbay Is it okay that I like Grant Balfour?— Roy-Z (@rolewiii) March 30, 2015
Oh, Roy. Roy, Roy, Roy. Of course, it's okay if you like Grant Balfour. Some people are into feet; some people are into piercings; some people are into tall people or skinny people or chubby people, and some people are even into Australian middle-aged middle relievers. There is no shame in that. You just be you, Roy. It takes all kinds to make the world go round.
I mean, for instance, I like Play That Funky Music White Boy. I know it's objectively terrible. But that doesn't matter, because there are sooooo many good memories wrapped up in it. And Grant Balfour brings some great memories to the table. Off the top of your head, how many other guys went on the DL for "horsing around" with the pitching coach? And he was arguably our best reliever during inarguably our greatest season to date. His antics on the mound are endearing and inspiring and hilarious, all at the same time.
If you had to explain Grant Balfour to an extra-terrestrial, all you would have to do was play the STFD video against Orlando Cabrera, and Mr. E.T. would come away liking Grant Balfour too.
All that said, you can like Grant Balfour and still not want to see that trash he threw out there last season. I may love Play The Funky Music but I have no interest in hearing what Wild Cherry is up to now.
And I'm not saying that Grant has crossed over into Wild Cherry land yet. He had one bad season. Maybe he bounces back. I hope he does. It will make a great story, and we frankly we could use the help, especially until McGee comes back. But I think the leash will (and should) be short. Because we all like him too much to remember him as the guy who stayed too long.
Thank for playing.
Send us your questions to @DRaysBay tagged with #drbtweetbag