Line Drives: Hak-Ju Lee, Davey Martinez, Bud Selig

By David Egbert

The World Series has everyone talking baseball in October. Her are some brief thoughts (line drives, if you will) on the chatter surrounding the Rays and baseball.

Injuries–good news and bad. Rays team officials are “really encouraged” by the progress of SS Hak-Ju Lee who is rehabbing from a torn left ACL. Lee, a top five prospect, tore up his knee while turning a double play early last season in Durham. If he returns to top form, Lee is seen as the eventual successor to Yunel Escobar. Meanwhile, catcher Curt Casali, who had a breakout year at Charlotte and Montgomery, left the Arizona Fall League with a right elbow strain. That’s never a good sign for a catcher, especially a guy like Casali not known for 

Give Davey a job! The Cubs and the Nationals interviewed Rays bench coach Davey Martinez for vacant managerial posts. Martinez gets interviews every year but no job. The Nationals interviewed him after it was apparent that they were going to hire Matt Williams. I know there is no “Rooney Rule” in baseball but don’t you get the impression that some teams interview Martinez just so that they can say they talked to a minority candidate. Rays fans like to think that Martinez will be a great manager after serving as Joe Maddon‘s bench coach. Do teams think otherwise?

Hide the microphone. Bud Selig’s in town. Before the third game of the World Series, Selig rambled on and on to the press about how very pleased he was with the state of the game. Of course, he is most proud of the fact that he has made the owners even richer than they were before. He also mentioned that, if anyone was interested, he was up for changing the DH rules. Specifically, he could see adding the DH to the Nation League. Come on Bud, you have watched this travesty go on for forty years and now you finally want to change it. Please, just go away as soon as you can!

Happy anniversary. On November 3, Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman celebrate eight years together. It’s the longest running manager/GM combo in baseball. Where would we be without them? Wait, we already know the answer to that question. We could have Hal McRae and Chuck LaMar back.

The New Jersey Rays? If you haven’t heard enough rumors about the Rays going to North Carolina, Las Vegas or Montreal, here’s one more for you. There is a rumor floating around that Stu Sternberg would like to move the Rays to somewhere in the Northeast Corridor with New Jersey or Connecticut being top choices. It makes sense as Sterberg is a born and breed New Yorker who has never taken a liking to the Tampa Bay area. He spends as little time as possible in the area. The greater New York area has always bragged that, just like the old days, it could support three teams. Hey, if you can’t get a stadium in Tampa Bay, why not the Meadowlands? On the other hand, Sternberg continues to work to keep baseball in Tampa Bay, and hopefully that wins out over his Northeast bias.

That’s what I’m thinking about. How about you?