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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Rays on west coast while “stickygate” consumes MLB

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I figured this would be the year Tyler Glasnow would become a nationally recognized star. The ace pitcher on a contending team who is hyperarticulate and, shall we say, easy on the eyes is likely to get noticed. Well, that was certainly the case this week, but not for the reasons we might have hoped. More below.

Rays News

Spend some time with Ryan Yarbrough, who appears on Ben Verlander’s podcast.

Rays completed a rare intra-division trade for Yankees 1B Mike Ford. Meaning no disrespect to Mr. Ford, may he never cross the Tropicana Field threshold (unless of course the Rays find some new dimension to his production, in which case — welcome to St. Pete, Mr. Ford; I recommend the Kahwa Coffee and you’ll love Green Bench Brewery).

Down on the farm: I....sort of understand why Rays aren’t rushing Wander Franco — needs seasoning, Super Two; current infielders pretty darned good and you don’t want to promote him to sit on the bench. But DAMN.

Blast from the past, Jim Morris tells his “Rookie” story here:

The crackdown on “foreign substances”

There has been a lot of chatter about MLB’s decision to begin enforcing rules prohibiting the use of “foreign substances” on the baseball.

From Sports Illustrated, more discussion of the MLB decision and possible (unintended?) consequences, with a focus on Tyler Glasnow’s situation.

From the Athletic, similar concerns about how this will affect pitching, hitting, and contract negotiations ($).

From ESPN, Jeff Passan writes at length, spelling out multiple ways to view the problem.

From Fangraphs. Also, for those who contend that Glasnow is simply blaming MLB’s rule change, note, as quoted here, his analysis is more nuanced than that:

“Me throwing 100 and being 6-7 is why I got hurt, but that [the rule change] contributed.

Rays Rich Hill sees MLB’s unilateral actions on ball doctoring as, perhaps, aimed at undermining the players union in the upcoming contract negotiations. This Tampa Bay Times ($) headline says he “blames” the union but I don’t think that captures his point — he thinks the league is seeking to drive a wedge between hitters and pitchers to sow disunity.

From the New York Times, Tyler Kepner compares the ball doctoring mess to the steroid mess of a previous era. In both cases the league ignored obvious evidence of egregious abuse, and then almost without warning turned into Captain Renault from Casablanca:

Debates about baseballs and “sticky stuff” are now entering the academy. A physicist looks at spin rates.

And in non-sticky-stuff news

From 538, here’s a great new stat: DISS, which stands for Derision Index for Superfluous Slams. A bit tongue-in-cheek, this article looks at the Yermín Mercedes home run during a May blow-out that caused baseball traditionalists to take to their fainting couches, and figures out how it ranks among other “disrespectful” home runs.

You know how Glasnow’s injury makes us all think that the Rays could look for another starter on the trade market? Yeah, not so fast, says Mike Petriello, as he considers trade options for contending teams.