Dewayne Staats has seen it all. From the start of the Rays in 1998 to the miracle run of 2008 to Game 162 in 2011 up until today, Dewayne Staats has been the play-by-play man for the Rays and been right in the thick of the action. Staats is the only current broadcaster who can say that he has been broadcaster for the team he currently works for since the team’s inception. For 15 years, Staats has provided insightful commentary on everything happening with the Rays and has gained a reputation as one of the best broadcasters in the game. Rays fans have liked Staats for a while. And finally the Baseball Hall of Fame has taken notice, naming Staats a finalist for the Ford C. Fick Award, an annual award presented for “excellence in baseball broadcasting.” Staats is one of 10 esteemed finalists and ranks second among the group with 35 total years as a broadcaster. Good luck to Staats in the voting and no matter the results, Rays fans will appreciate the work Staats does to make every game interesting and turn exciting moments into iconic moments with his play-calls.
In other news, Brooks Conrad has declined the Rays’ outright assignment to Triple-A and elected free agency. Conrad, 32, was acquired off waivers by the Rays on June 21st and posted a .172/.213/.362 line in 24 games with the Rays with 5 doubles, 2 homers, and 9 RBI, seeing time at third base and second base. He managed a .265/.392/.470 line with 5 doubles, 4 homers, and 12 RBI in 25 games at Triple-A. Conrad was one of the several utility-type players who the Rays acquired when injuries depleted their roster, and while his major league performance left much to be desired, it’s nice to have players like Conrad in the organization for depth when injuries inevitably happen. Good luck to Conrad wherever he ends up for the 2013 season.