Hi, everyone. I hope you are all enjoy the All-Star Game, and while you wait for it to start (or during a commercial break), here are some assorted Tampa Bay Rays thoughts that came to mind.
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David Price Lives On: Talking to the media, Chris Archer praised David Price for helping his achieve his success. Price deflected the praise, extolling Archer for his incredible talent, but it is interesting to see the impact that Price had on Archer. Interestingly enough, though, the Rays now have two starting pitchers–Nate Karns, Erasmo Ramirez–who were never teammates with Price. Matt Moore was certainly influenced by Price as a fellow high-upside lefty, but even Jake Odorizzi is already better known as a disciple of Alex Cobb.
Archer’s long-term extension will help David Price live on for a long time in Tampa Bay, but less than a year later, much has changed and the era of Archer and Cobb being the leaders of the Rays’ staff is already well underway. Price is a fantastic pitcher and mentor, but no matter what happens with the trade that sent him to Detroit, it’s not as though the Rays will be affected significantly. Price is gone, but the Rays have plenty of quality pitchers that are replacing him as a fraction of the cost.
The Stadium: It is nice to hear Rob Manfred reaffirm Major League Baseball’s stance that the sport remains feasible in Tampa Bay. It’s also one of those things that if the league ever changes its tone, something will be seriously wrong. In any event, it was funny that Manfred accidentally said that he had met with Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn rather than St. Pete mayor Rick Kriseman. It was a good reminder that the Tampa Bay Rays are not exactly baseball’s number one priority right now–they can’t say that they like the situation, but they also have bigger things to worry about.
Someone mentioned contraction to me a few weeks ago and how it was a real possibility. He pointed out to me how close the Minnesota Twins had come to contraction at one point on time. It isn’t impossible. However, let’s wait for Manfred to become super-negative about the situation. Let’s wait for baseball to stop pretending to care and feigning optimism. Until 2027 is far closer, please don’t mention contraction to me or anyone. You don’t be positive about a franchise and then eradicate it–you be super negative and try to sell to the public that its destruction is necessary. Baseball is not nearly at that point yet.
Brad Boxberger: Is Brad Boxberger a deserving All-Star? Probably not. In about five minutes of research, it becomes apparent that Koji Uehara, Daniel Robertson, and Huston Street are better than him but not All-Stars. So what will Boxberger make of it? Will he use it to inflate his ego or put everything in perspective? As linked in the part about Price, Boxberger has been very quiet this All-Star Break, and that is nice to see. He realizes that he is lucky to be there and that he needs plenty more work to get back. Hopefully that will help him this year and in coming seasons.