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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Kevin Cash upset, but Rays will be fine

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jaime Schultz done good, while the Rays did not. Tampa Bay is now at the bottom of the division with only three wins over nine games, while only one team in the division is above .500: Baltimore (7-2).

It's gonna be alright.

Read those recaps, and then on to the links.

Rays Links

- Kevin Cash is not happy at all with yesterday's performance:

- Chris Archer on cultural impact of Jackie Robinson

Jake Odorizzi is not afraid of Chris Sale

- Rays partnered with Big Brothers, Big Sisters in this fun paint project:

The Rays also donated several game tickets to local youth. Tampa police chief Eric Ward in turn threw out the first pitch at yesterday's game.

- I'm not sure where to put this, because I generally disagree with the phrasing and the premise, but here's this from Topkin:

...you could make a case Archer has not had the worst opening stretch as the Rays have stumbled to a 3-6 start.

That distinction could instead go to baseball operations president Matt Silverman and his crew.

Because to this point — and, yes, since they deal heavily in numbers, it is only 5.6 percent of the season — their offseason reconstruction project hasn't looked like a very good plan.

The five players brought in to bolster the offense are hitting a combined .161. The defense overall has looked shaky in the three positions — shortstop, first base, catcher — the Rays changed to add bats. The net result of using a four-man rotation to this point is 0-6, 4.47, with a bullpen-taxing Saturday looming.

And the extensive turnover, which included the last-week-of-spring dismissals of first baseman James Loney and catcher Rene Rivera, has apparently taken a toll.

[tampabay.com]

The Rays may very well be "built wrong" to some extent, but given the VERY small sample of nine games, and the lack of an obvious solution for first base, it was a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. I think it's far too early to claim the absence of Loney and Rivera are what's "wrong" with the Rays, but here we are.

Some collected tweets:

Love the KK pic.

Just a game.

Non-Rays Links:

- Vincent Velasquez is one of my personal favorite young pitchers outside the Rays. He had a great Thursday. Read all the links on him!

Hardball Times on being a female fan of baseball, an important read:

Where the institution of baseball has made tremendous strides in reaching out to all different types of baseball lovers, the faces of baseball - namely players, managers, and broadcasters — have not yet demonstrated a willingness to commit to similar measures of inclusion.

John Gibbons' comments are only the most recent in a constant and steady barrage of thoughtless rhetoric which has permeated baseball for its entire existence. Whether the intent was to diminish the value of women within the sport of baseball is irrelevant. His comments did not occur in a vacuum, but in the greater context of a baseball culture that has steadily and consistently reinforced the fact that the sport is not for women.

We need to stop writing off the marginalization of a large group of fans as "just a joke" and strive toward continuing to build a culture that exhibits decency and inclusive practices toward all of its fans.

- Doug Thorburn on "the modern pitcher"

- Everything you need to know about this year's holiday jerseys