Welcome to the Rays Tank, where the stats are made up and the jokes don't matter. Before we get to the Link Dump and Banal Chatter, let's take a look at what happened on This Day In Baseball. Ladies, Gentlemen, and Rays fans, I give you: August 11th.
Our first stop in the wayback machine lands us with a memorable Rays moment from 2012, when B.J. Upton had hisself a two homer day, leading the Rays to a 4-2 win over the Twins.
Ya know, it's great to reminisce about Beej, but I'd really like to hear the rest of that "bear skin rug" conversation DeWayne and B.A. were having.
#2 dumps us in Chicago last year, where Old Dude Fan makes a great catch before engaging in some North Side Chicanery.
If you're gonna be a fan of a team with a ridiculously stupid tradition, you best come to the ball park prepared.
For stop #3, we look at a classic ex-Ray moment, and this one is easy. Because on August 11, 1991, not-yet-a-Ray Wilson Alvarez did this in just his second major league start against the Baltimore Orioles:
Alvarez would go on to have a solid if unspectacular seven years with the White Sox, before being traded to the Giants in 1997, and then signing as the big free agent catch of Vince Namoli's expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But let's not dwell on that.
The last stop on our video tour of August 11ths takes us to 1962, when Warren Spahn became the 5th "modern day" pitcher and the tenth overall to win 300 games.
Spahn would go on to win 363 games, 5th most in history and the most by a lefty. And yeah, I know wins are an old timey stat that only people like your grandpa and Harold Reynolds use, but dang, that's a lot.
Here's some other stuff that happened on August 11th:
- 1907: Ed Karger of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches a 7-inning perfect game against the Boston Beaneaters/Doves/Braves. It was the second game of a double header and was shortened by agreement of the two teams prior to the game starting. I don't think this kind of thing would fly in today's game.
- 1929: Babe Ruth hits home run number 500 in Cleveland. No one else had even passed 300, so nobody cared.
- 1962: The Giants start watering down Candlestick to slow down Maury Wills. Or if you believe San Francisco manager Alvin "the Swamp Fox" Dark, Candlestick was just a terrible place to play baseball.
- 1968: The Braves sign 62 year-old Satchel Paige to a major league contract. He never pitches for them, as the move is a courtesy to allow Paige to accumulate the 158 days he needs to become eligible for a pension. He becomes a coach for the Braves on September 30th.
- 1982: Tom Felton drops a record eleventh straight decision to start his career as the Twins lose to the Angels, making him the Steven Vogt of pitchers. Unlike Vogt, Felton never would get untracked, finishing his major league career at 0-16.
- 1988: Gary Carter hits his 300th career homer. It was his first home run since May 16th. And you thought Longo's power outage earlier this year was bad.
But enough about ancient history. What's going on with your Rays right now? As promised, here's your Link Dump:
- Ryan Romano of Beyond the Box Score broke down what's driving Jake Odorizzi's success this season.
- Also at BtBS, Joseph Werner took a trip to the Negro Leagues Museum, in Kansas City, Missouri, which seems like a worthwhile place to go.
- Marc Topkin interviewed Chris Archer and wrote about his slider for Baseball America (h/t magicrays). It's got some really good quotes. More interesting than most of what gets written in the TBT.
- Bradley Woodrum looked closely at batted ball data to try to figure what it's good for and what it should not be used to analyze.
- Jonah Keri really likes Richie Shaffer.