The Rays returned to dome sweet dome. It might have been the home cooking, or maybe it was the return of Austin Meadows, but suddenly the offense was clicking, Charlie Morton was relatively sharp, and the Rays beat the Red Sox 5-1. And hat tip to the catwalk that turned a pop-out into a foul ball, extending an inning in which the Rays were able to take the lead.
Doesn’t Charlie Morton speak for us all here?
#Rays Morton on seeing Meadows earlier in the day: "I wanted to give the guy a hug, but I can't. We kind of just looked at each other, you know? It's so weird."— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) August 5, 2020
Did any of you “buy” a seat for the 2020 season? As you may know, the Rays, like many other teams, offered fans the chance to submit a photo that would be printed on a cutout and placed on a seat at Tropicana Field. The Rays fake fans debuted last night. I did not see a single Red Sox fan!
And we learned that some of the cutouts have special meaning.
Tricia Whitaker shared this story of a long time Rays fan whose family honored her memory:
And apparently another fan found a way to say thank you to someone special:
So @TriciaWhitaker did a great job highlighting the late Rays fan on the left. I'd like to tip my cap to the fan next to her, Rene. She has been my mom's weekly 8-6 caretaker for years. My mom has MS and cannot walk. Rene has been a true blessing in our lives; a special woman. pic.twitter.com/N5qXG5ZXC9— Brett aM (@brettamtpa) August 5, 2020
For some of us, the pandemic-induced shutdown has inspired an entrepreneurial spirit. That has been the case for Madison Lowe, wife of Rays second baseman Brandon. A standout athlete herself, Madison has also been a lifelong baker, and has now turned that hobby into a business. The bakery’s name, “Sweet and Lowe,” is also Brandon’s Twitter handle.
Our condolences to Manuel Margot, who has been placed on the bereavement list following the death of his father. His spot on the roster will be filled by outfielder Brian O’Grady.
Update on Shohei Ohtani, whose velocity took a scary dip in his last pitching start as he complained of discomfort:
Some of you are really sick of anything COVID related — if that describes you, then don’t click this link. For the rest of you, Fangraphs has interviewed an infectious disease specialist about MLB’s faltering efforts to avoid infection. One interesting take-away: stop worrying about the high fives, which are a half second of contact, and worry more about the players and coaches crowded for three hours in the dugout.
And more on the COVID beat — the Marlins returned to the field tonight, although with 18 players on the 10-day IL ($) who have been replaced by other players in the 60 man pool, and through some free agent and DFA pick ups. Their lineup features a bunch of former Rays: Jesus Aguilar; Matt Joyce; Logan Forsythe and Corey Dickerson, It’s hard to imagine how a team finds its way under those circumstances, but as of this writing they are leading the Baltimore Orioles (who we all know are a fearsome opponent) 4-0. The Cardinals have postponed games as they awaited more test results, but they were recently cleared to resume play ($).