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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Happy Thanksgiving

I’m thankful for a screwball.

MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

It’s that time of year when we gather around the table and, if you’re anything like me, your family asks you whether the Rays are going to be better next year. My answer is “No, they’ll probably be about the same, but because of the inherent uncertainty in a baseball season that might be good enough to make the playoffs.”

This is not a very compelling answer.

Then I tell them about Brent Honeywell and Willy Adames, and how the Wilson Ramos signing was always about 2018, and how they’ll need to sign someone to play first base, and by this time everyone except for my Aunt Mary has gotten up and gone somewhere else.

At some point, someone will also ask about if the proposed stadium location is good, and I’ll say yes, but that $650 million is a lot of money to have to find in your coat pocket. Everyone will agree, but we’ll move on. This is dangerously close to talking politics.

But I can talk about the Rays here without people’s eyes glazing over. I’m thankful for that.

I’m also thankful for Honeywell, not because he’ll be good (he will), but because he’ll be interesting. You may not have heard, but he throws a screwball.

Look, I’m a pitching nerd. I’m fascinated by how different pitches and sequences interact with each other. And I don’t know what a screwball does.

Mostly pitchers are like other pitchers, just with small differences on the margins, and it can be hard work to find something new. But this will not be hard.

So for Thanksgiving, here’s Honeywell. The first pitch in this video is a screwball.


  • Changes in the clubhouse and training staff.
  • And Rocco Baldelli describes his new job.