This Date in Team History!
Happy birthday to two players who have led the Rays to postseason glory: Akinori Iwamura (1979) and Dioner Navarro (1984)!
A former top prospect, Navarro spent 2006 to 2010 with Tampa Bay, with an all-star campaign in 2008. He has since traveled around, but has found a home with the Blue Jays. You can read 4,000 more words on his career, here.
Iwamura was a star over in the land of the rising sun before joining the Rays in 2007. He instantly became a fan favorite with his incredible, athletic plays and infectious personality. He was a catalyst for the Rays in 2008 and was one of the first to fashion a Ray-hawk. You can also read much more on his career, here.
Numbers from their Rays careers.
Trivia Time (Ian)
Yesterday's trivia answer was Jose Canseco, first answered by essenpee.
The Rays leaderboard for career starts is filled with names you all know well. James Shields is first, followed by David Price and Scott Kazmir. The first curveball on that list comes at number eight with 83 games started for the Rays. He also holds the title as the first homegrown Devil Ray to make the majors.
Here's his blurb from the 2000 Baseball Prospectus.
The early leader for steal of the 1998 draft. A sixth-round pick, Jeff Weaver nosed him out by three weeks to be the first starting pitcher from that draft to make the majors. But while Weaver took his licks the second time through the league, ______ was Tampa Bay's most consistent starter, logging a team-high 14 quality starts. Rothschild handled him sensibly and shut him down in late September when ______ complained of a tired shoulder. ______ is the future ace of the Devil Ray staff, if he hasn't claimed that title already.
Who is this future ace?
There 54 days until Opening Day!
That's the same number of runs scored by Pat Burrell during his Rays career.
One of those runs came during the second half of a suspended game at Fenway, and propelled the Rays to victory.
- There will be new weekday game discounts this year.
- The Gurriel brothers are coming to America. The Rays don't have a shot at the elder, but if the younger waits until the Fall to sign (so he can be a free agent), it's a lot less certain what his price tag will be. Danny had more, from yesterday.
- This one is from a few days ago, but The Process Report is doing their season preview player cards. Keep your eyes peeled there for more.
- The Blue Jays reached a deal with Josh Donaldson, but really it doesn't matter all that much to Rays fans. This deal just set some prices in stone and avoided arbitration, but the Jays did not buy any additional years of team control.
- Joe Vasile ate Beyond the Box Score wrote about Nathan Eovaldi, who had an emergence in the second half of last season. The Yankees will hope that emergence was real, the Rays that it was not.
- John Baker, former catcher, wrote for MLBTR about this time right before the start of spring training.