Rays fans preparing Goodbye for Carl Crawford

In this past season, people around baseball considered the 2010 season ‘The Last Running of the Bulls’ in Tampa Bay. It was one final round up for the Rays to do something special with the kids who had grown up together.

The main catalyst of that exercise was to be Carl Crawford–and it was a foregone conclusion that Crawford would not return to Tampa once the final out had been recorded in the Rays’ 2010 season. He went out with a bang, hitting .307 with 47 stolen bases 19 home runs and 90 RBI. He did literally everything he could in 9 years to make the a Rays respectable organization.

And now the folks at DRays Bay would like to say thank you.

The Tampa Bay Rays franchise has undergone a lot of change in the past nine years: new name, new uniforms, new managers, and new ownership. The one constant in all of that change has been Carl Crawford.

Our franchise leader in hits, batting average, stolen bases, doubles, triples, runs scored, breath-taking defensive plays, and more, Crawford has become one of Tampa Bay’s most beloved sports figures. It’s rare for any player to spend nine years of their career in one city, let alone the best leftfielder in all of baseball.

The Rays are still strong and will stay competitive, but we should consider ourselves lucky to have seen Crawford play. Good luck in the rest of your career, Carl – you’ve earned it.

Thanks for everything,

The Tampa Bay Community

Brought to you by the fans at DRaysBay.com.

Pretty heartwarming, really. And at age 28, Crawford leaves the Rays as probably the best player in that franchise’s short history. Of Josh Hamilton, Rocco Baldelli, and Crawford; he was the only one who realized his potential while wearing a Tampa uniform.

ht: originally spotted on Hardball Talk/Rounding the Bases.

Heartbreaking story of loss and tragedy for Padres Correia. “A box seat at a Major League Baseball game entitles fans to a close-up view of the action but no access to hearts and minds. If your favorite player seems preoccupied, maybe it’s because he’s worried about a sick child at home or coping with marital issues or some other personal trauma. A multi-million dollar contract and a shoe deal might make an athlete feel special, but those perks don’t earn him a lifetime dispensation from reality.” [ESPN]

Throwing it around

Vacation is over, both from real life work and the blog. You can expect activity to heat up in these parts from here until Opening Day. Here’s some good links, as we haven’t done this in a while:

-A new deal for Derek Jeter was never a sure thing. [SweetSpot]
-Economics of trading a player like Justin Upton. [Beyond the Box Score]
-Rangers have an interest in Paul Konerko? [The Golden Sombrero]
-Bruce, Stubbs hold the keys to Reds success in 2011. [Cincinnati.com]
-I’m just praying the Reds bring back Arthur Rhodes. [John Fay]
-A’s making a push for Adrian Beltre? [Hardball Talk]
-First the MVP, second a long-term deal for Josh Hamilton? [ESPN Dallas]

The Baseball Show: Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

Tonight on The Baseball Show, co-host Mike Rosenbaum of The Golden Sombrero and I talk a little pre-Thanksgiving Hot Stove.

We talk about a dozen different baseball topics, so if you’re preparing for that Thanksgiving trip and you’re in the mood to listen to some baseball talk about all things relevant (and some that might not be just yet) be sure to give us a listen to pass the time.

And give thanks this Thanksgiving to the things you’re thankful for. I know I’m thankful to have a co-host like Mike to work with who enjoys talking baseball as much as I do.

Your 2010 National League MVP is Joey Votto

Joey Votto had a season in 2010 that was for the ages. And now, he’s won the National League’s version of Best in Show. The highest acclaim. Our first baseman is a superstar, and he’s the 2010 National League MVP.

And it wasn’t even close.

Votto wins the award by receiving 31 of 32 1st place votes. He finishes “slightly” ahead of Albert Pujols and Carlos Gonzalez. He batted .369 with a 1.129 OPS with runners in scoring position and .370 with a 1.138 OPS in “close and late” situations. He defined everything and anything that a Most Valuable Player should be this past season. He was extremely dominant, and there was no same way to get him out twice.

I had the opportunity to watch Votto time and again this season live and in person. The guy seemed to homer every time I was at the ball park. I can’t tell you the exact words or phrase that describes what it is like to be able to buy your ticket, go through the turnstiles and go watch an MVP whenever you feel like. But I can tell you that multiple times this season I knew when I saw him–that is exactly what I was seeing. It was greatness and poetry in motion all in one at the same time.

No matter how long you watch the game of baseball, you’ll never forget Joey Votto’s 2010. That’s how you know it was a special year.

Given his age and the ballpark that he plays in, you have to wonder not if Votto wins another MVP award but how many.

It’s refreshing and exciting to know that a guy who plays first base in the little baseball heaven that is Cincinnati could also be a guy who takes MVP awards away from the Great Pujols.

Congratulations, Joey. You were deserving and you will be great on the throne. Here’s to another 2011 just like it.

The Baseball Show: Hotstove Edition

Today on The Baseball Show, co-host Mike Rosenbaum of The Golden Sombrero and I went strong for a little over an hour. Topics for discussion included but weren’t limited to:

-Thoughts on the Justin Upton trade rumors
-We skim through the free agent class and the moves that have taken place thus far around baseball
-Thoughts on the NL Rookie of the Year
-Thoughts on Felix Hernandez winning the AL Cy Young Award
-Final thoughts on the AL/NL MVP awards

Our NFL Football Vacation

You might have noticed that the posts have been sparse on here since the regular season ended. There’s probably more than one reason for that. We’re officially giving ourselves until after Thanksgiving to resume full-time duty. After that, you’ll have to listen to our rants, reaction, and overall homerism towards our favorite sport full-time again.

In the meantime, we suggest you enjoy some NFL and NCAA football, or Hockey if that’s your thing. Lord knows the NBA is dead to everyone now.

And be heads up for The Baseball Show, the best baseball podcast on the interwebs.

How to destory a franchise: Trade Justin Upton

This is incompetence at it’s finest at the Major League Level. And I can’t believe it. The Diamondbacks are trying to trade Justin Upton just for the sake of trying to trade him. And everyone seemingly has a hard on and is sniffing around the budding 23 year old superstar.

Kevin towers, you stupid piece of rat shit, you. Who do you think you’re out smarting on this one? If this trade goes down, I don’t care how many mega-prospects or blue chips you get in return. The loser is the team who trades away Justin Upton; and it’s for multiple reasons.

A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. You don’t trade away a guy like this so he can go to another franchise and put up Hall of Fame numbers. You don’t trade him for eight high level prospects because none of them are ever sure to be what Upton already is becoming.

Most of all, it’s just poor business.

You want to promote stability as an organization, especially when you’re an organization that has hired and fired a young manager in A.J. Hinch and an organization that just needs some level of commitment or direction.

I truly hope that Upton stays in Arizona for the next ten years. Seeing young home grown talent that was drafted #1 overall like him go to another big league city to see a larger market team prosper would be more turmoil in the sport I love.

I know Kevin Towers is a dolt. I know the guy has made countless moves finding scavenger pitchers who panned out; but if you trade Justin Upton you’re not making the decision of a professional. You’re a dipshit that made a move you will never be able to live down. This is horrible.

Honestly, if they trade Upton they really should pack up shop and leave town in the middle of the night in a couple of U-Hauls. They’re done as a franchise if this happens, mark my words.

Reds beat writer tells you what we told you weeks ago

“If Jay can get compensated fairly over his arbitration years and into his free agency years, we’re open to it,” Sosnick said. “If it makes financial sense, we’ll look at it. There is no hesitation on Jay’s part to stay in Cincinnati for as long as possible. He loves it there. We hope to talk in the next three or four weeks,” Sosnick said. “My expectations are it will be easy. I feel they respect Jay, and Jay loves playing there. I don’t think [Reds general manager] Walt Jocketty is a contentious guy. We’re open to anything. The team has four years of control with Jay. Anything they choose is reasonable.” [MLB.com]

Yeah, the Rawlings Gold Glove is Dead to us

Shane Victorino, Carlos Gonzalez, and Micheal Bourne huh? That’s who is worthy of your award?

Well Bourne I actually agree with. But the other two were just kind of, given out. Jay Bruce is a better outfielder than both of those guys. What a load of horse shit.

Thank you, Joe Lemire:

While the Reds may have received two Gold Gloves they shouldn’t have at second base and third base, they were snubbed in the outfield. Bruce was a superior defender all year along — except for one memorable gaffe in the postseason, but votes are due before the playoffs begin,so his costly NLDS Game 2 error against the Phillies didn’t hurt. He had a 20.2 UZR and a +25. The Phillies’ Victorino had a 2.6 and a +3 but won his third straight Gold Glove.

The other outfielder with a gripe was Torres, who, like Gonzalez, rotated through three spots. But while Torres excelled at all three with a UZR of at least 6.3 and a Plus/Minus of +6 at each — for combined scores of 21.2 and +20 — Gonzalez was only good in leftfield. He had combined scores of -2.7 and -5 for his play in all three outfield spots.

Bourn’s second Gold Glove was well deserved, as he led all NL center fielders with a 17.6 UZR and +23 Plus/Minus.

I’m done you hear me? Done. This joke award; which is more crooked than student council elections in a sixth grade class, will never again be mentioned on this blog.

Sparky Anderson 1934-2010

“I cannot get rid of the hurt from losing, but after the last out of every loss, I must accept that there will be a tomorrow. In fact, it’s more than there’ll be a tomorrow, it’s that I want there to be a tomorrow. That’s the big difference, I want tomorrow to come.”

RIP to one of the greatest baseball men who ever breathed.