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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Taylor Motter gets first hit

And Bill Chastain makes himself smyle.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Rays callup Taylor Motter—playing shortstop and batting second—got his first hit (a hustle infield single) in his first major league at bat. He would walk later in the game to get on base twice.

Later on in the game, with the Rays far head, Motter would shift to right field, making his debut a true utility outing.

All in all, the Rays hit four home runs and four doubles, hiding the fact that Drew Smyly was uncharacteristically wild. Didn't hide it from writer Bill Chastain, though, who took the opportunity to use a headline he's likely been saving up for awhile.

Other links:

- In his notes, Mark Topkin reports that Steve Geltz's recent run of game-losing outings has brought him a deluge of social media hate, including death threats. Come on, people. Be better.

- Also in those same notes, Cash says that he's okay with his decision to pitch to Danny Valencia two days ago. Um, duh. I know Valencia was "hot." But have we really come to a point where managers have to defend their decision to pitch—with the platoon advantage—to career journeyman platoon players? God I hope not.

- Evan Longoria is complex. He's getting fooled by low pitches and missing more often than he has before. He's also hitting the ball really hard.

- Rays prospect Andrew Velazquez made his return form injury yesterday for Port Charlotte.

- Chris Gigley over at The Hardball Times wrote about the Atlanta Braves stadium move, a situation where local governments were played off against each other and the team opted to move to the area willing to pay more to have them. The team's story of where their fans are and why they moved may not have been completely honest (surprise!) And traffic may be an issue in the new location. It's a story that Rays fans should pay attention to as the Rays embark on a stadium search in the Tampa Bay area.

- The Orlando City Soccer team financed their stadium a different way. They used the EB-5 visa program to get wealthy foreigners to finance a stadium ($500K a pop) in exchange for green cards. There is opposition to the program, but as a person who cares about sports but also cares about how local governments spend their tax money, the Orlando stadium seems like a happy outcome.