The Rays are skipping Alex Cobb’s last start, to avoid the risk of him getting hurt before what will be his offseason free-agent payday. That’s a payday that is unlikely to be with the Rays, but Cobb sounds touched that the team is looking out for him:
"I'm fortunate that I'm with an organization that does care about you beyond your career," Cobb said. "And they've elaborated on the fact they appreciate what's gone on, what I've done for the organization in the past, and they're looking out for my best interest going forward from here. [It's special] that a team thinks like that and does want the best for me going forward.
Meanwhile, Marc Topkin talked to Chris Archer more about his decision not to take a knee during the national anthem. Archer maintained that his extensive work in the community is activism, that he’s proud of it, and that he does not need to kneel during the anthem to make the point.
- It seemed like former-Rays hero James Shields was done. But maybe we were burying him too soon. Jeff Sullivan notes how Shields has reworked his mechanics, and is now throwing, with success, from a lower arm slot than he ever has before.
- Rays fans have a guy who plays great outfield defense, so here’s an article about another guy, Byron Buxton, taking a lesson from StatCast and improving his first step so that he, too, can play great outfield defense.
- Rachel McDaniel wrote an article that is half personal essay and half history piece on women writing about baseball. Wholly worth a read.
- Continuing the Rachel McDaniel train, “Time Is Limited” is my favorite bit of Short Relief in a while. With the Shields and the Cobb links above, this one resonates.