Crazy time for the Rays right now and things are not going well. Some good news here, but unfortunately, the negative news continues to rain down.
We’ll start with the positives. David Price has been nominated as a finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award for the MLB player who “best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.” Price was nominated thanks to the work of his charity, Project One Four, and his work with the Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Brother Big Sister among other charities both in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee and in the Tampa Bay area. For more information on Price’s charitable work and to vote for him to win the award, please head here. Price received $7,500 to divide among his charities just for getting nominated, and if he wins, only more good will come of it. Good luck to Price and all the other finalists.
Roger Mooney of Tampa Bay Online talked to Alex Cobb and Joe Maddon about the altercation between Cobb and Molina after Cobb’s start on Friday. They are saying that everything was blown out of proportion simply because emotions flared up at the wrong time and it was caught on TV.
“It’s very common,” Cobb said. “Most of the time it’s where the cameras can’t see or one will pull one aside and say something when one doesn’t like what the other one is doing and they’ll talk about it behind closed doors. But in the heat of the moment in the game last night it just came out where it did in the dugout.”
The tensions in the Rays dugout have really reached a tipping point after a tough stretch. The Rays have to find some way to get themselves back together to finish off the season.
And we close with a negative note. Right-hander Brett Blaise, an nondrafted free agent signee by the Rays this year, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine. The suspension will begin next season if there is a next season for Blaise as his career was hanging by a thread to begin with and this may be the end for him. Blaise becomes the seventh Rays minor leaguer suspended for drug use this season, most in baseball. Five of them tested positive for amphetamines. This is a really serious issue. 7 of the 96 players suspended for drug use this year have been Rays, and it doesn’t look like a fluke- if the number of suspensions is really divided evenly among all 30 MLB organizations, there is just a 1.5% chance of such an extreme value as we have seen for the Rays this year occurring. Why the Rays? Is it just a cutthroat environment knowing that the Rays aren’t going to be sentimental with you and are going to do whatever they can to keep costs down? Is it the fact that the Rays have a great farm system (although people dispute that now)? There have been and there are going to be people fired over this and hopefully this year is an aberration because this is a really serious problem.