It was an amazing moment for Rays fans when Carlos Pena returned to the Rays on a one-year contract and even better when Pena had a huge Opening Day, slamming a first-inning grand slam off of CC Sabathia and a walk-off single off Mariano Rivera. It looked like that promising first day was only the start for Pena as he was one of the Rays’ best hitters all of April, posting a .286/.412/.488 line with 5 doubles, 4 homers, and 13 RBI. Unfortunately, though, it was all downhill from there for Pena as he finished with just a .197/.330/.354 time, slamming 19 home runs but striking out 182 times, a Rays record. Despite everyone’s best intentions, Pena’s return to Tampa Bay simply never worked out. Now, Pena will try his luck next season in a different uniform. Pena signed a one-year, 2.9 million dollar contract with the Houston Astros with an additional 1.4 million dollars in incentives to serve as the Astros’ first designated hitter as they begin play in the American League in 2013. Good luck to Pena trying to getting his career back on track, and it will be fun to see Pena when the Astros come to the Trop in the July.
It’s one thing to be suspended for testing positive for drugs. But for refusing a test! That was the case with Rays outfield prospect Cody Rogers on Monday as he’ll be suspended for 50 games for refusing to take a drug test. Rogers, who turned 24 in September, managed a .244/.312/.343 line with 4 homers and 22 stolen bases in 112 games and 413 plate appearances at High-A Charlotte this season. He has a little power (12 homers in 2011) and good speed, but he has experienced major problems making contact and getting on base and this suspension only makes things worse. His character will certainly be scrutinized everywhere he goes know, and after he refused the test, that may be even more the case.
To close, Zach Meisel of MLB.com talked with managers and umpires about manager-ump arguments and how what the public sees is not always what’s really happening, and it’s definitely worth the read. If you need any convincing, one nugget in the article is this story about Joe Maddon:
Rays manager Joe Maddon typically employs a more caring approach to his rendezvous with umpires. After Maddon disputed a call in 2007, Barrett told him that one more word would trigger his ejection, so the skipper simply replied, “I love you.” Sticking to his guns, Barrett tossed him.
“I ejected him and then realized, ‘What do I put in my report, that I ejected him because he told me he loved me?’ That just stumped me,” Barrett said. “I had never had a manager tell me he loved me before.”