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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: In lieu of baseball news, why not get some reading done?

Baby, its’ slow out there

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Don’ worry there are a few Rays nuggets to follow, as well as your one millionth link to a Bryce Harper and Manny Machado destination of the offseason. But overall: woof, it is slow out there for baseball news right now.

Thankfully, we have less than a month until pitchers and catchers report, but in the mean time, why not catch up on some good reads? It’s the prefect time to kick back on a slow night with nary a baseball care in the world and make a dent on that stack building up on your nightstand.

With that in mind, in case that stack isn’t big enough already, here are the five best books I read in 2018:

Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolano: Bolano is one of those incredible writers who can write about literally nothing and make it the most engaging book you have ever read. I still believe 2666 is his ultimate masterpiece, but Detectives flies by as the reader follows the Quixotic adventures of a group of young poets in 1970s Mexico.

Nobody Knows My Name, Jame Baldwin: All Baldwin in pressing and urgent in 2019, but for those who want a quick but vastly important bit of reading, just take on Baldwin’s “In Search of a Majority” short essay within Nobody Knows My Name. Easily the most vital 10 or so pages I read all year.

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath: For anyone who has ever felt any sort of midlife crisis/why are we here reckoning, Plath’s 1963 touchstone novel is a must. I have not felt as “in the author’s head” with any other author as I did when reading Plath this summer.

High Fidelity, Nick Hornby: It took me a while to get around to Hornby, but boy oh boy I am glad I finally got there. The lightest of these reads, but also just heavy enough to make you feel things.

Slowness, Milan Kundera: An underrated gem from one of the most famous authors of the past 50 years, Slowness is among the most unique books I have ever read. It also kicked off a big Kundera run of reading last winter, which is the perfect time to read the reclusive thinker.

Rays News

  • Mallex Smith kicked the hornet’s nest a bit with his comments about the move from Tampa Bay to Seattle, saying, “I’m going to enjoy fans in the stands.” Honestly, it’s a lazy narrative that needs to die a slow death. Plus, Mallex, wouldn’t you rather tallies in the win column, because the Rays had more of those than Seattle last year, and I’d bet a good amount of money on that being the case again in 2019.
  • Neil Solondz takes a look at the Rays outfield for 2019, which it certainly going to be a key part of the roster this upcoming season.
  • In a hilarious spin off of the NBA’s #PettyWarz, Steven Souza has lifted his not-speaking ban on Rays beat reporter Marc Topkin, after Edgar Martinez was elected to the Hall of Fame:

Longtime Fan of the Gamr, indeed!

Around the League

  • The Dodgers signing of A.J. Pollock as a supposed “replacement” for Yasiel Puig has caused some hot takes in the baseball blogosphere (the underlying sentiment of which I can somewhat see), but as always, Eno Sarris has probably the best take.
  • It’s basically down to Harper and Machado at this point, so get used to reading a lot about these two from here on out.
  • Grant Brisbee is definitely among the three or so (Sam Miller, Sheryl Ring) baseball writers who demand a blind click on literally anything they write. Here are his 2019 Hall of Fame thoughts.
  • Mone Davis, forever: