Thursday was the first off-day of the 2019 season for the Tampa Bay Rays, who have impressed with an early 5-2 record, winning series against a pair of playoff teams from 2018.
On Friday, they will not be facing a playoff team, but they will be facing the most famous player in the history of the organization—now plying his trade in the Bay Area.
The Rays travel to San Francisco to face Evan Longoria and the Giants in a three-game set which the Rays will look to sweep, or at least take two out of three (the Giants are 2-5 with an outfield consisting of a human-sized paperclip, Rory Massimino’s butler, and a plate of lasagna), but at least before the games get underway, the focus will all be on Longoria and the Rays.
Longo played his first decade with the Rays, amassing a franchise record 49.8 WAR and innumerable moments that will remain on the Rays highlight reel as long as the franchise is around.
Longoria was the face of the Rays from nearly the moment he made his debut, and he will likely be the most beloved Ray until someone from this current class of Rays uber prospects sticks around as long as he did. There will certainly be hugs had and memories shared on Friday, and deservedly so.
- Evan Longoria vs. Rays: Tampa Bay comes face to face with its icon — Marc Topkin
- The face of a franchise to see it from the other side in Giants’ home opener — Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News tells the tale from the other side of things.
- In facing Evan Longoria, the Tampa Bay Rays have come full circle — Austin Reimann
- Evan Longoria’s top five moments with the Rays — Can you guess them all?
- Here’s the nastiest pitch we’ve seen so far in MLB this season — As our own Ian Malinowski put it while in a sassy mood yesterday: “But if the Rays really cared about winning games they’d have a bullpen full of guys that national writers knew prior to a pitching gif going viral.” (Not that Mike Oz necessarily falls into that category, but there are A LOT of other writers currently praising Alvarado who do.)
- 2019 Bowling Green Hot Rods Position Players — Mat Germain looks at a solid Hot Rods lineup highlighted by one Wander Franco (1-for-3 with a double, two runs, an RBI, and two walks).
- Here’s the top prospects and dates to watch in the Florida State League — For the locals.
- Don’t Sleep on Tamps Bay’s Bats — A fantasy perspective, but always nice to see the Rays getting some love.
- These 5 teams could make impact moves — The Rays top this MLB.com list, and I absolutely love it.
- Introducing KILA Projections: An attempt at forecasting major league hitting performance based off minor league stats — Let’s just say Rays fans are going to be VERY happy with the top of this list.
- Double vision: Baseball executive tries his hand, er, foot at soccer — We love any and everything Rowdies-related here at DRB. The story of Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld acquiring the Rowdies.
- After facing as many curveballs as he’s thrown, Orioles pitcher Alex Cobb is ready to live his best life — Very cool story from Dan Connolly of The Athletic on our old friend.
- Here’s the real story of Babe Ruth’s 587-foot Tampa home run — Read this. I demand it.