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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: A Rays all-star

Oh, to remember the heady first half.

Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

We are counting down the days until New Years, and right now, that means a real lack of baseball news! There’s some good writing (that happened earlier in the year) though. If you care about good writing, read on.

@RaysBaseball is counting down its top (retweeted/liked) tweets of the year. Yesterday’s was bittersweet.

Dickerson totally deserved it based on his first half. The second half didn’t go quite as well.

Good Writing

  • Baseball Prospectus is also counting down their top stories of the year, and some of them are really excellent. I particularly like Patrick Dubuque’s How Computers Killed a Sport. The sport is chess, not baseball, but the parallel’s are clear.

A funny thing happened to chess in its death throes: it didn’t die.

  • Also from BP’s countdown, fringy players who demanded trades. Two former-Rays in there.
  • Okay, one more. The best of Short Relief. This is my reminder that one thing I’m thankful for this year is the quality work coming out of Baseball Prospectus.
  • I hate Hall of Fame voting season. The voters are bad. The debates we have over their choices are bad. But, if you like this kind of thing, Ryan Romano’s defense of Scott Rolen’s case is pretty good.
  • FanGraphs has been off for the holidays, but back on Christmas Eve, in case you missed it, David Laurila started his interview roundup with a tribute to Dick Enberg.

Weird Things to Pay Attention To

The Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s NPB signed O’Koyea Dickson out of the Dodgers system. Why should you care? Well, Rakuten is a well-run team who probably have the strongest statistical bent in Japan at the moment (you can hear about that on the Effectively Wild podcast). We spend a lot of time paying attention to Japanese stars who come to MLB. For the sake of comparing the leagues, it’s pretty interesting to see what happens to MLB quad-A type players who go to Japan. I’ll be watching Dickson.