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Friday 13 July, 2018 | RSS Feed

Tampa Bay Rays – Free Willy Adames – Let Him Play

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I get why the Tampa Bay Rays feel the need to play Adeiny Hechavarria.  and, it’s obvious.  Yet, this team doesn’t want him.  All playing time right now is showcase time.  All of it.  Framing him in attempt to trade. I’d argue that this is costing Willy Adames.

Let’s make it easy.  In a nutshell, without playing time, Hechavarria is one of the best fielding shortstops in the game today.  If there is a team looking for defensive help in the middle infield, he’s your guy.  Offensively, he’s short of a roll of the dice.  He will not hit for average.  He will show short of occasional pop.  Boom.

Of all teams, the Tampa Bay Rays should not be a team playing around with their young talent.  Willy Adames is their best prospect.  Last month, the word was that he was up for good.  A time later, he’s back at Durham.  With the All-Star break looming, it makes sense, I guess.  But, played out right from the beginning, I don’t believe it would have been necessary.

Free Willy!
Willy Adames has gone through some struggles since joining the Rays.  As a result, his average is low and he strikes out a lot.  But, let’s just say he comes to the field every day knowing he’s going to start at shortstop.  And,  a few days out, he’s told that he’s going to get a rest based on matchups.

Rays Ballpark Proposal Leaves Unanswered Questions

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The ballpark itself looks very modern, with a beautiful, transparent roof and plenty of natural light. And the proposed Ybor City location is closer to the heart of Tampa than the ways-away Tropicana Field. As a fan, the stadium is exciting for many reasons. But there are issues and unanswered questions after the stadium reveal.

First and foremost is the price tag, and this is clearly the biggest concern. The stadium itself would cost $809 million, with the roof making up $245 million of that. Additionally, infrastructure costs would be around $83 million, placing the total cost at $892 million.
When the Rays announced their 2007 iteration of a new ballpark, the ownership group offered to pay $150 million of $450 million total, roughly 33%. If the percentage remains the same, the Rays would be in for about $300 million, with the remaining $600 million left as a question mark.

As reported by Noah Pransky of WTSP, the Rays ownership has presented the new ballpark as a “compelling investment opportunity”, but seemingly doesn’t have any concrete ideas concerning funding for the new stadium. This is a problem. We’ve seen the taxpayers unwillingness to fund a new ballpark in Tampa before. There isn’t much different this time around, and it’s worrisome that the Rays don’t have a real plan for funding the construction.

Is the limited seating capacity an issue?
Second, depending on who you ask, the seating situation is either good or bad. The proposed stadium would have 28,216 seats, with capacity at 30,842. This would make it the smallest ballpark in MLB. The current capacity of the Trop, with the upper deck blocked off, is 31,042. On one hand, the smaller stadium could lead to a more intimate feeling during games. On the other, one of the reasons this team wants a stadium closer to Tampa is to make it more accessible to fans, to allegedly help boost attendance. If that’s the case, why limit seating?

The “limited” seating shouldn’t be an issue, however. The Rays already have one of the lowest attendance figures in baseball. They’re probably never going to draw 40,000 fans per game, regardless of how good the team is. So why not reduce the capacity a bit, put fans closer to the on-field action and limit empty seats? This is a smart decision, even if it may limit gate revenues to an extent.

On the positive side, the stadium itself is very appealing, with a transparent roof and proposed sliding glass windows which allow for plenty of sunshine and fresh air. But being in Tampa, the stadium needs a roof; there’s no getting around it. The roof will force the Rays to put artificial turf in the stadium. It’s do-able for football teams to have grass indoors. But it’s not practical or cost efficient for the Rays to put real grass inside the new stadium.

Tampa Bay Rays – Just Stop the Blake Snell Trade Talks

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The Tampa Bay Rays will not trade Blake Snell.  Why?  Because they don’t need to. It’s not time.  He’s not ready.  He needs more Tampa Bay time.  Sure, 29 teams would love to have him.  And, if you’re looking for a young, team-friendly, starting pitcher, it’s him.

Blake Snell is becoming one of the true faces of the Tampa Bay Rays.  Of course, there is Kevin Kiermaier and those eyes.  But, Blake Snell’s first half this season, along with his front of every sportscast all-star snub, makes him the face of the franchise.
Snell’s snub represents everything the Tampa Bay Rays play for.  And, his stats in the first half of the season are comparable to the best out there.  Twelve wins so far is proof enough, but the ERA that barely touches two is end of story.  Of course, this Rays pitcher shouldn’t represent the American League in the All-Star Game.

Will Blake Snell be the Rays Best Ever…so far?
Of course, when you think of the Tampa Bay Rays and their short history, David Price would be the elite of the Rays starting pitchers.  Scott Kazmir is right up there and James Shields was as solid as they came.  But, if you’ve watched Blake Snell move through the system, he can make a claim.

The Rays know what they have.  Just a couple of days ago, after the snub, they posted this on Twitter.
At the end of the day, he is any of us.  He’s not the eyes of KK.  The hair is not the dreds of Chris Archer.  He doesn’t even have plans for Tuesday like Wilson Ramos does.  Yet.  But, the Tampa Bay Rays are not going to trade him.

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