On Saturday, Rays hosted their annual Fan Fest, and this year the excitement around the team was evident. The rays are a young, talented, and fun club, and the fans seem to be excited too.
This fan fest had it all:
- Tommy Pham dueling the Black Widow Jeanette Lee in billiards
- Plenty of video games with players
- Stanek and Glasnow facing off in some games
- Storytime with Willy Adames and Ryan Yarbrough
- Even mega Opener fan, MLB Network host Brian Kenny was there to enjoy the fun and meet probably his favorite Ray: Ryne Stanek.
All in all it was a tremendous success at the ballpark and a great way to kick the 2019 season into gear.
Did any DRaysBay readers attend this year’s Fan Fest? What was your impression of this year’s festivities?
Bulked-up Duffy looks to sustain at plate in ‘19 - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: Matt Duffy had a productive 2018 season, in his first full year back from injury. However, there’s opportunity for more as Duffy looks to put his injuries in the past, add some muscle, and make his 2019 season a strong one from beginning to end.
Tommy Pham doesn’t regret ripping lack of Rays fans, would like to see more of them - Marc Topkin, TB Times: In what was the most silly and unnecessary drama of the offseason, Pham clarifies the comments that were taken wildly too far by AM sports radio.
Is St. Pete the new old answer in Rays’ stadium pursuit? - John Romano and Marc Topkin, TB Times: The league still sounds committed to baseball in the Tampa Bay area, and also publically is open to St Pete being the home of a new stadium.
Versatility key to Rays’ 25-man group - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: Juan predicts his Rays opening day roster.
Rays Tales: New TV deal “is going to happen” but bucks won’t be as big - Marc Topkin, TB Times: The good news is the Rays are set to get a much needed boost with a new TV deal, even if it’s less than previously predicted.
Welcome to a small-market team’s worst nightmare - Sam Miller, ESPN: A must read from the always fantastic Sam Miller. Miller does a tremendous job addressing how there is a very real wealth inequality between the different teams, which leads to some of the issues we see in modern FA. It’s an issue that goes wildly underreported and rarely mentioned in terms of the problems facing the game.
Around the League
MLB should consider a lottery in their proposal to change the amateur draft - B. Ellis, Beyond the Box Score: An interesting proposal, and certainly an option that could benefit teams teams that fall short of the postseason and disincentivize tanking.
Projected over-under win totals that should catch your eye - Buster Olney, ESPN ($): Behind the paywall, but Olney gives some love to the Rays and their doable over on their win/loss projection from Vegas.
Report: Giants to offer short-term deal to Bryce Harper - Ashley Varela, NBC Sports: Another day, another Harper rumor. This time, it’s the Giants looking to try and add Harper short term and capitalize on their rapidly descending window.
Changing the “Disabled List” to the “Injured List” is a long overdue move for MLB - Hayden Audette, Twinkie Town: Important perspective about the name change to the injury list in MLB.
‘Analysis is easy. The trick is turning it into info players can use’ - Jarrod Kimber, The Cricket Monthly: A fun and fascinating interview exploring how analytics and date are impacting the game of Cricket.