The Rays open a series against the Orioles today with a narrow lead in the American League East.
Thanks to injuries and trades, the Rays are fighting for a playoff position counting on a trio of young players, per Tampa Bay Times ($).
Randy Arozarena’s hot week gets recognition:
Here's a look at @MLB's hottest rookies over the past two weeks: https://t.co/qTB8lLZg3P pic.twitter.com/elaui9nb6e— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 4, 2021
According to Pete Gammons ($), Nick Anderson is one of the ten pitchers likely to have the greatest impact on the final months of the season.
Around the League
Old friend alert: How Willy got his groove back.
The Players Association recognizes players who have reached the ten year milestone, and former Ray Alex Cobb is in some impressive company:
Players who reach 10 years of major-league service time are statistical superheroes: Fewer than 10% in baseball history have played for a decade or more.— MLBPA (@MLBPA) August 4, 2021
We will be recognizing all the Baseball X-Men who achieve this milestone. Here are July’s honorees:https://t.co/YAuhuIT7wl
The Field of Dreams game will final take place next week, and here’s what the players will be wearing:
During next week’s #MLBatFieldofDreams game, the @whitesox and @Yankees will wear these custom uniforms. pic.twitter.com/cZi71Zwx5S— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) August 5, 2021
The New York Mets failed to sign their top draft pick, pitcher Kumar Rocker, because they had concerns based on medical evaluations. R.A. Dickey knows how that feels, per the New York Times ($).
For many baseball fans, and not just us “olds,” the consumption of baseball is associated with radio broadcasts. Back in the day radio might have been the only way to follow a game; today we have other options but if you are driving or lying on the beach you might still radio listening. This Athletic piece looks at baseball radio broadcasting, yesterday and today ($).
Again, the Athletic has a great in-depth story, this time about the poor wages and living conditions faced by minor leaguers, and the sputtering efforts to improve them. The Astros represent the gold standard in treating minor leaguers well — but they won’t talk about it on the record! Apparently spending money on the guys who will get you to the playoffs a few years from now is a source of embarrassment rather than a source of pride ($).
Updates on Olympic baseball. And on the baseball used in the Olympics. Rob Manfred, we may have found a way around the sticky stuff controversy.
Max Scherzer’s Dodger debut went well:
Max made a solid first impression.— MLB (@MLB) August 5, 2021
(MLB x Spectrum Solutions) pic.twitter.com/uxDhk3bp8D
I understand the Dodger fans needed to get it out of their system since they did not get to attend a game in 2020, but I am coming to agree with Joey Votto here that booing the Astros is getting old.