Tag: rays

Off Topic: DJ Kitty Spins Rays to First Place


Mr. Met will forever have our heart. But there is a new mascot who’s a big beat blaster, dropping dope beats cuz he knows he has to. Cuttin’ and scratchin’ are the aspects of his game, and by October you will know his name. Behind a turntable he makes the laws, just watch for the movement of his paws. Ask him who’s the best, and he’s sure to say, the baseball team called the Tampa Bay Rays.

He ain’t the rally monkey, he’s much more witty — he’s the motivator known as DJ Kitty.

See the video here.

props to Run-DMC for lyrical inspiration

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Good News: Qualls to Tampa Bay

Good news for the Mets: the Diamondbacks won’t have Chad Qualls in the bullpen tonight. That’s because Qualls is on his way to Tampa Bay, traded by Arizona for a player to be named later.

Qualls has been abysmal this season, but he struck out two in a perfect, 13-pitch inning against the Mets on Friday night. It’s possible that the D-Backs will be shorthanded, as they have also unloaded Chris Snyder … hard to say whether they will get replacements into NYC in time for the ballgame tonight. If nothing else, the replacements will be a bit stressed from the news and the travel. Let’s hope that, in addition to the upheaval of the Diamondbacks clubhouse, proves to be a distraction and gives an advantage to the Mets this weekend.

In related news, the Rays are reportedly in talks with the Orioles to obtain Luke Scott and/or LOOGY Will Ohman.

Meanwhile, the Mets look like they are standing pat, confident in the organization’s personnel.

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Would You Want Pat Burrell?

pat-the-batThere have been a few rumors floating that the Mets could obtain Pat Burrell from the Rays — possibly as part of a three-team deal that would send Luis Castillo to the Cubs and Milton Bradley to Tampa Bay.

Such a trade may not come to fruition, but “Pat the Bat” is definitely on the trading block, and he fits the description of “power hitting left fielder” that the Mets are so desperate to acquire.

But would you, as a Mets fan, want him?

Forget that his name is Pat Burrell for a moment, and consider whether you would want a left fielder who averaged 31 HRs, 99 RBI, and an .890 OPS in the last four seasons he played in the NL East. Would you take on his one year and $9M in return for a marginal player, in a salary dump deal (from the Rays’ perspective)? Be sure to factor in the player’s motivation — in that he’ll be playing for a 2011 contract.

Granted, Burrell had a poor year in 2009, but it was his first time in the American League, his first time as a DH, and he spent the entire season fighting a neck injury. If the neck is fully healed — and yes it’s a big “if” — and he returns to the comfort and knowledge of NL opponents, there’s a decent possibility he returns to the 30-HR threat he was from 2005-2008.

Before you say “whoa, a lot of his homers came from playing in that bandbox known as Citizens Bank Park”, go check the stats — he hit 21 of his 2008 HRs away from CBP. In 2007 the split was about even (14 away, 16 in CBP) and in 2006 it was 17 away, 12 at home. There is no question he has the strength to hit the ball out of any park (18 in 334 career ABs in pitcher-friendly Shea Stadium helps support that argument).

In addition to his homerun power, Burrell hits the ball into gaps, takes a ton of pitches, and usually walks close to 100 times a year. When he’s on a hot streak, he can put a team on his back and carry it.

On the negative side, his fielding has gotten worse as he’s aged, he is a poor baserunner, and when he slumps, he slumps like no one else — they are massive, horrendous slumps that make him look like he’d be better off serving hot dogs for a living. I doubt the average Mets fan would be able to handle a lengthy Pat Burrell slump without sending a blunt object through the TV set.

Additionally, Burrell has proven to be less than savvy with the media, and often comes off as condescending or bitter when he’s quoted. Combine a bad slump with NYC reporters, and Pat Burrell could quickly become the target of angry Mets fans. Oh, and then there’s that whole history with him mashing homeruns in Shea while wearing a Phillies uniform — he’d be coming in with a reputation not unlike when Tom Glavine first arrived in Flushing.

How do you feel about the possibility of Pat Burrell joining the Mets?

*** UPDATE 11:30am ***

Andrew Vazzano of TheRopolitans has posted a rumor that Burrell has been traded to the Mets.

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Kelly Shoppach Traded to Rays

kellyshopIn the past week, Ed at MetsFever, DJ Short, and Ted Berg all discussed Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach, who would become available if he were non-tendered.

Before I could weigh in on the subject, however, the Indians traded Shoppach to the Tampa Bay Rays.

As a free agent, I liked the idea of 29-year-old Kelly Shoppach — much more than I like the thought of Bengie Molina. But that ship has now sailed, so forget it.

However, whenever one door closes, another opens, right? And with the acquisition of Shoppach, the Rays have to do something with incumbent catcher Dioner Navarro. A-ha !

Navarro hits from both sides of the plate, has a strong arm, and was an All-Star in 2008. Oh, did I mention he’s only 25 years old?

The downside to Navarro is he had an awful year at the plate in 2009, hitting only .218. However, his impressive 2008 season suggests that he has offensive skills — maybe all he needs is a change in scenery to see them return. Again, he’s only 25, so there’s plenty of time to make a comeback. After his awful ’09, there’s a good chance that the Rays non-tender Navarro. If so, he’ll become a free agent, in which case, I’d hope the Mets would at least make an inquiry. After all, switch-hitting All-Star catchers in their mid-20s don’t grow on trees.

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Mets Game 67: Loss to Rays

Rays 10 Mets 6

Another series lost.

The Rays reached starter Mike Pelfrey for 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings, but the bullpen did no better. Neither Bobby Parnell nor Sean Green retired a hitter, and they allowed six runs between them. This game was so far gone, in fact, that Brian Stokes, Ken Takahashi, and Jon Switzer each worked a full inning.

Notes

Pelfrey was using a slide step fairly often with runners on base, and though he was getting rid of the ball quickly, he wasn’t throwing too many strikes with that abbreviated motion. One step at a time, I guess.

Anyone notice that Wilson Valdez was thrown out at third base as the third out in the second inning? Anyone notice Mike Pelfrey not backing up home when Gary Sheffield air-mailed a throw to the plate in the fifth? Little things …

The first three hitters in the Rays’ lineup — B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford, and Evan Longoria — combined to go 11 for 16 with 6 runs scored and 7 RBI. If only those three men came down with a stomach bug, the Mets would’ve won easily.

Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 with a walk and David Wright was 3-for-5 with a double. The rest of the Mets had 5 hits in 26 at-bats and walked 4 times.

Lost in this debacle was Brian Schneider’s second homerun in as many games. As we know, Brian hits homers in bunches. He needs to get a homer in each of the next six games he plays to tie the record for most consecutive games with a homer shared by Dale Long, Don Mattingly, and Ken Griffey. Since he’s the backup catcher, that could take two weeks. Schneider also drove in half of the Mets’ runs.

The Mets’ most productive position is catcher, as Mets catchers have driven in 48 runs this season.

Pedro Feliciano pitched for the sixth consecutive day. According to manager Jerry Manuel, as long as Feliciano pitches to only one batter, he can pitch as many days in a row as he wants. Really? Based on …?

Oh, by the way, Feliciano pitched a full inning in this game, and threw to more than one batter in 4 of these 6 straight games. Just sayin’.

Classic Keith Hernandez quote:

“When Pelfrey is up he loses the sink”

You think?

Next Mets Game

The St. Louis Cardinals come to town for a four-game series beginning on Monday night at 7:10 PM. The opener pits Tim Redding vs. Todd Wellemeyer.

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Mets Game 66: Loss to Rays

Rays 3 Mets 1

As expected, it was an epic battle between two fierce competitors. Unfortunately for the Mets, James Shields was just a bit better than Johan Santana.

Both starters went 7 innings (Santana went 7 and a third), and both allowed only three hits. However, Shields allowed one run while Santana gave up two, and that was the difference in the ballgame.

Jason Bartlett and Gabe Kapler hit back-to-back doubles in the fifth frame, and Carlos Pena led off the seventh with a solo homer to center to give the Rays the lead. Ben Zobrist hit another solo shot in the ninth off Sean Green to provide the insurance run.

The only Mets score came in the second inning, when Omir Santos doubled in Ryan Church.

Notes

The Mets mustered four hits and did not walk once in 31 trips to the plate.

David Wright saw only nine pitches in four at-bats.

Bobby Parnell allowed one hit and one walk to the only two batters he faced in the game.

The good news was that Santana had some of his velocity back; he hit 93-94 with his fastball.

The game was played in soggy conditions and was delayed for over an hour during the 8th inning.

Those fans who were not near a TV and attempted to watch the game on MLB.com were greeted by a nationwide blackout restriction. Way to go, MLB!

Next Mets Game

The rubber match will be played at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon, weather permitting. Mike Pelfrey goes against Jeff Niemann in a battle of giants.

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Mets Game 65: Win Over Rays

Mets 5 Rays 3

Raise your hand if you thought the Mets had it “in the bag”, even after Ryan Church drove home an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th.

Why don’t I see any hands?

On this evening, the Mets did not find a way to lose, which means they won.

Fernando Fever gripped New York City for the second time in as many starts, as Mr. Nieve hurled six spectacular innings of three-hit, one-run ball in earning win number two as a Met. Though, the victory did not come without dramatics — the Mets bullpen did their darnedest to keep the Citi Field fans in their seats, allowing five baserunners and a pair of runs to keep it a one-run contest until Church’s RBI single.

Frankie Rodriguez shook off Thursday night’s blown save by retiring the Rays in order in a surprisingly uneventful ninth.

Notes

The ninth turned out uneventful, but it could’ve been damaging. Dioner Navarro led off the inning with a monster shot to the deepest section of right field, which fell securely in Church’s glove. In many other parks, that drive makes it a one-run game again. Later in the inning Willy Aybar chose not to bust it out for all 90 feet after hitting a grounder to Luis Castillo, and was out by a step when Dan Murphy couldn’t keep his foot on the bag while taking the throw — but had just enough time to double back and step on the bag. Shame on Aybar, and another prime example of why old schoolers such as myself were taught to hustle 100% of the time.

Church delivered his big hit against lefthander JP Howell, which makes no sense at all. Didn’t Jerry Manuel make it clear that Church can’t hit lefties? Just as interesting, Church stole two bases in the game.

The big blow of the game came off the bat of Brian Schneider, of all people. Schneider blasted a three-run homer in the second inning to give the Mets the lead for good. David Wright drove in the fourth run in the fourth inning with a double.

Bobby Parnell was unspectacular in relief, allowing two hits, a walk, and two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Danny Murphy is most certainly out of his slump. He slapped three more singles and is really looking like the first baseman of the future. That is, if the future resembles Jason Phillips. Hey, check out Phillips’ 2003 season before you knock such a statement. Most people would be pretty darn happy if Murph finished with numbers like that.

Hmm … if Murphy IS out of his slump, what’s the point of Nick Evans’ promotion?

The Rays looked terrible at the plate, considering their talent level. I’m wondering if the cross-country trip from Colorado had anything to do with their lackluster performance.

Right now, Fernando Nieve is Jorge Sosa, circa 2007 (first half). It would be nice to see him rip off another 6-7 wins before the scouting reports and video analysis catch up to him.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Rays do it again at 4:10 PM, with Johan Santana facing James Shields in what is sure to be a pitchers’ duel. Unfortunately, the TV broadcast will be covered by FOX. Luckily, you can still hear Howie Rose call the game on WFAN.

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Rosenthal: Mets hot for Sonnanstine

Ken Rosenthal’s latest column suggests that the Mets are interested in Rays starters Andy Sonnanstine and Edwin Jackson …. and why wouldn’t they be?

The Rays have yet to engage in serious trade conversations about right-handers Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine. The Mets are one of many clubs interested in the two pitchers, but the Rays are no further along with them than they are with the 28 other teams. …

The question, of course, is what in the world do the Mets have that the Rays would be interested in? With a surplus of pitching and a small budget, it’s doubtful they’d want to acquire the likes of Scott Schoeneweis. Aaron Heilman might be on their radar to take the place of free agent Dan Wheeler, but the Rays certainly would want more than Heilman for either Jackson or Sonnanstine. Young starting pitchers who can win 13-14 games in the AL East are pretty valuable. Would Fernando Martinez have to be included? Jonathan Niese?

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