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Tampa Bay Rays News & Links: DRays walk it off

Bobby Smith plays hero

Bobby Smith #9

On this day in the inaugural season of 1998, the (Devil) Rays recorded their first walk off victory, in a 13-12 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Things didn’t start off great, as Rolando Arroyo was hit around for one of the few times that season, finally getting chased during the third inning with the DRays down 6-0.

The bats powered them back into the game, with Rich Butler, Paul Sorrento, and Fred McGriff notching homers. A little back and forth action made is 12-all going into extra innings.

Esteban Yan finally righted the ship and held the Twins in check, spinng five shutout innings in relief. Finally, Bobby Smith came up leading off the bottom of the 14th and collected his fourth hit of the game, this one a long one.

The win improved the infant franchise to 7-4. They would climb as high as four games over .500 later that week, before it all came crashing down in a 99-loss season.

News and Links

John Romano of the Times writes about baseball’s place in America’s recovery.

Marc Topkin writes about the issues with the latest plans floated that would involve playing in Arizona and Florida.

Joe Posnanski of the Athletic wraps up his Baseball 100 series with #1, Willy Mays.

Richard Justice at mlb.com has the all-time MVP at each position.

Sam Miller of ESPN on why runs/hits/errors should no longer define baseball.

Finally, real baseball that counts in Taiwan from the Chinese Professional Baseball League.