The Rays played a sorta-double header yesterday. They started the day picking up in the middle of what should have been Saturday’s game, and beat the Blue Jays 3-2 thanks to a ninth inning home run by Brandon Lowe. The second game was scheduled to run just seven innings as per 2020 double header rules, but the Rays just couldn’t get enough baseball! They came from behind to tie the game in the seventh, and won it on Adames’ 2-run homer.
The Rays are now 13-9, in second place in the American League East.
Today is an off day, which I’m sure the bullpen appreciates. Tomorrow the Rays start a series in New York, the team currently ahead of them in the standings, where the Yankees will regain the services of reliever Aroldis Chapman, but be without some of their top hitters (Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and DJ LeMahieu).
The Rays pitching strength continues to be tested, as Jose Alvarado joined the growing IL with a sore shoulder. Sunday morning Aaron Slegers rejoined the active squad and Sam McWilliams flew up to Buffalo to join the taxi squad. McWilliams is a 24-year-old righty who had been taken by Kansas City in the rule 5 draft but was returned to the Rays. If he takes the field he will be making his major league debut.
In a dramatically shortened season, what even is the trading deadline? What are teams willing to give up to get a month of a player’s time? Marc Topkin considers the options from the Rays vantage point ($)
MLB had gone for several days with no new COVID cases, and the Cardinals were getting back on the field. But those blue skies dimmed a bit with news of a new positive case on the Cincinnati Reds. Their weekend games have been postponed as they conduct further tests. As of Sunday no new positive tests were reported.
MLB celebrated the centennial of the Negro Leagues this past weekend. You may have noticed players and umpires wearing patches on their uniforms. A social media campaign urged players and fans to “tip your cap” in recognition of the achievements of Negro League players.
Andrew McCutchen tips his cap, and more specifically talks about the importance of Buffalo, where the Rays played their weekend series, to Negro League baseball:
With Buffalo hosting MLB tonight I wanted to share some of the city's Negro Leagues history with you!https://t.co/skoGckoRwd— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) August 11, 2020
The always wonderful Ben Lindbergh discusses MLB’s long-time dismissive attitude toward Negro League baseball, and their continued refusal to classify those leagues as “major league baseball” even though other precursors to today’s National and American leagues — those featuring white players — have been so classified in official records.
The Rays Colin Poche, currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, is featured in this CBS report on racial bias in policing. Poche notes that he had been stopped by a police officer when he was a 12 year old playing with a toy gun, but unlike Tamir Rice (a Black 12-year-old shot and killed under similar circumstances) he was simply given a polite warning:
Disturbing new video shows what happened before the death of George Floyd. His death is linked to a troubling reality about encounters with police.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 14, 2020
On average, Black people are 5x more likely to be stopped by police without good reason than White people.@CBSMMiller reports. pic.twitter.com/5d0c8Q4h9Q
And let’s close with this little slice of adorable, from Chaz Roe’s family:
When the baby recognizes daddy in TV. pic.twitter.com/y8OWP1gKRZ— Sarah Roe (@Sarah03Brown) August 16, 2020