The Rays are heading into a critical 6-game road trip versus the Red Sox and White Sox with just 9 games left to play in the season. It’s a tense time. But not wanting to let the pressure get to them too much, the Rays did one of their vintage themed road trips. Here are a couple pictures.
(Courtesy of the Tampa Tribune’s Roger Mooney via Twitter)
My daughter doesn’t know what to think of ‘wig out’ themed trip with the Rays.lockerz.com/s/247413649
— Sam Fuld(@SamFuld5) September 24, 2012
It’s always funny how the Rays do these trips, but we’ve seen over the years how well they work. The Rays entered their off-day Monday on a 5-game win streak, and hopefully they can continue their strong play over the course of their road trip before closing out the season with 3 games versus the Orioles at Tropicana Field. The Rays need to gain just 1.5 games on Baltimore to make those game meaningful, and considering they’re just 3 games back of the Athletics right now for the second Wild Card, they are very much in the race.
That’s the present. Now let’s talk a little bit about the future of the Rays. We have talked about several times (see this search) about a meeting that a developer is having with the St. Petersburg council about a possible new Rays stadium in the Carillon section of St. Pete, and now that’s really happening- the presentation is this coming Friday. The Tampa Tribune gave us some updated news today. The good news is that the Rays will be attending the presentation, although they haven’t given any indication that they would consider the proposed stadium, but bad news is that even if this proposal is accepted, there’s still two enormous things that need to be figured out: who will pay for the stadium, and parking. That Tribune article is definitely worth the read. Where the Rays’ new stadium will be and when it will actually be built is still completely up in the air, but it’s good to know that at least something is happening right now.
And finally, Baseball Prospectus included Rays outfield prospect Clayton Henning among their “Monday Morning Ten Pack“. Here’s what BP’s Chris Mellen had to say about him.
Clayton Henning, OF, Rays (Short-season GCL Rays)
Henning’s an intriguing talent with impressive athletic ability and pure speed. His baseball skills are still underdeveloped at the present, but the former star high school football wide receiver hopes to transition those raw tools into on-the-field utility, and a focused attention on baseball will give him every opportunity. At the plate, the projectable 6-foot-3 180 pound outfielder creates easy bat speed, with the potential to grow into average power as his game begins to come together. He needs a lot of work building an approach and learning how to pick up offerings out of pitcher’s hand, and it remains to be seen if those abilities will exist in the skill set. The label “project” can certainly be applied to Henning, but this explosive athlete has the raw ability for a development staff to mold and he already has scouts talking about what he can become with experience.
That seems similar to what I wrote about Henning right after the Rays’ drafted him, but it’s nice to see those sentiments repeated and know that in Henning the Rays have another talented outfield prospect.