Tampa Bay Rays Information and Hyperlinks: Bullpen Day for Cy Younger Award!

Rays news

The Rays decided to make us sweat a little yesterday and saved up all of their runs for the eighth and ninth innings to win the series from the Texas Rangers. Yandy Diaz’s first home run in 2021 was certainly one of yesterday’s highlights:

The team will no doubt enjoy a pleasant flight home and a well-deserved day off today.

Joe Ryan, a starting pitcher for the Durham Bulls, was part of the US national team that qualified for the Olympics:

Congratulations to @USABaseball for cracking your ticket to @ Tokyo2020 with a win against Venezuela last night!

Proud of our own Joe Ryan, who hit 10 strokes over 4.2 IP in the US Olympic team’s 8-6 win against the Dominican Republic earlier this week. pic.twitter.com/LtPY08PsjV

– Rays Player Development (@RaysPlayerDev) June 6, 2021

From the Washington Post: How the Rays are like the Industrial Revolution. Good overview of Rays as innovators, especially with thrower roles ($).

Ji-Man Choi is back on the IL. At least for now, his replacement is Ryan Sherriff, who brought in the defeat on Friday. Sherriff had retired from baseball; Read about his decision to come back and how he is doing here.

Interesting look at how players and coaches of the minor league spent the “lost year” 2020.

Update from Tyler Zombro: As of Sunday morning, reports continue to sound cautiously optimistic; Zombro was expected to be transferred from intensive care ($).

Ooh, a little Joey Wendle, from Fangraphs! What Wendle does best: bring the ball into play.

Redux of the stadium saga:

The editors of the Tampa Bay Times think Kriseman should speak to the Rays ($)

If you want to catch up on the latest changes to the stadium, the lawsuit, and who’s talking to whom, I recommend Danny Russell’s Timeline or the Tampa Bay Times Explainer ($).

Around the league

MLB decided to investigate (and start enforcing rules) the often tolerated practice of pitchers using various substances to improve their grip on the ball. While there is some argument that using resin or other substances to improve grip is good for everyone – no one wants to see 98 mph fastballs routinely get away from pitchers – there is also evidence that pitchers in the manner of. The substances they use have become very creative.

It is possible that the growing dominance of pitching is in part due to the pitchers taking advantage of the lack of enforcement of existing rules. This Sports Illustrated analysis does an excellent job of explaining what’s at stake. A LA Times story from a few months ago suggests there may be even more disturbing revelations about rigged baseballs.

From The Atlantic, a case for baseball to be “fun”. The author believes baseball has a “fun” crisis every generation or so and needs to figure out how to solve it.

Warning Old Friends: I think most Rays fans would love to see Snell be fine and it was difficult to watch him fight. So it was good to see how he put up a very effective game on Friday. However, analysis emerges from the pitcher list which suggests that Snell lost his most effective weapon, his curve ball. If he doesn’t get that back, his best days may be behind him.

We’re used to seeing teams sell stadium naming rights to companies. But an esports team sold the rights to the actual team name. Could this practice affect other sports? ($)

Many teams, including the Rays, have Pride Night, but the SF Giants are the first to have a Pride Uniform Patch ($).

Interesting story from the Washington Post: The response to the Robert Kennedy assassination was one of the earliest cases of political activism by MLB players. President Johnson had declared the day of Kennedy’s funeral a day of national mourning, and a number of players felt that the Games should be canceled or at least postponed until Kennedy was buried. Some owners thought differently.

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