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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: We’re in the home stretch

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Rays beat the Orioles, sweeping the weekend series and finishing the season series against the last place team having lost just one game. The Rays are 5.5 games ahead of the second place Yankees (pending the outcome of Sunday night’s game). The Rays have also clinched a winning record for 2021. With a four-game series against the third place Red Sox starting tomorrow, the Rays have a chance to create some distance in the division if they keep their feet on the gas pedal.

Rays News

Among the next wave up call-ups could be reliever Dave Robertson, whose career is reviewed here.

This is interesting: Rays lead the league in a baserunning stat. No, it’s not because they excel at stealing bases (please, Randy, just...don’t). It’s because they are so good at the others parts of baserunning.

ESPN has done a masterful job of reporting on Rays farmhand Tyler Zombro as he recovers from a horrendous injury. The thread below links to their print article and their video. Note that Zombro says he has not watched the video of his accident and requested that the video not be included in this reporting. I never watched it when it was circulating — I just need to see the reactions of his teammates to appreciate the gravity of his injury.

Props to the Times’ John Romano for admitting that his offseason pessimism was misplaced ($).

Never has a baseball player seemed so relatable: Pete Fairbanks is mooching off the Yarbrough’s streaming account ($).

If anyone is going to follow Miguel Cabrera into the 500 HR club it would be a guy currently playing for the Rays.

In fairness, we all make mistakes. In fairness, ESPN corrected this tweet pretty quickly. But tweeting out a picture of Yandy Diaz when you are noting the accomplishment of Wander Franco is not a good look. Not sure if it is an “all people of color look alike to us” moment or a “hey we’re ESPN we couldn’t pick any Rays player out of a lineup” moment.

Around the League:

More on Curt Flood, including a plea to include him in the Hall of Fame.

Since the Rays contributed to the Orioles long losing streak, I was curious to see whether they could be considered historically bad.

From the “know your enemy” department: Yankees have been both better and luckier during their win streak.

There had been concerns that the shortened 2020 season would lead to more 2021 injuries. The graph in the tweet below says those worries have been borne out - but that the curve is flattening:

He was a disappointment with the Rays and the Dodgers. I for one am thrilled to see that Yoshi Tsutsugo has found his stroke with the Pirates: