The Pendleton Panther

Archive for the ‘Sports – MLB’ Category

Three years ago the Tampa Bay Rays were the worst team in baseball, no one showed up to watch the games, and hardly any fans stayed loyal to them.  This all has changed in the last three seasons in 2007, the Rays only had about 17,000 people that showed up for the games, and usually only that many people when the Yankees or Redsox were in town. Luckily that was the year the club made it to the World Series.  The attendance has sky rocketed since then , the average attendance currently is roughly 23,000 people.  The Rays “break out year” has really turned around that franchise into something great.  In the 2010 season, the Rays are not only first in the AL East but their leading the entire Major Leagues with the best record.  With their current success the Rays hopefully can snag a championship before some of their veteran players such as Carl Crawford contracts are up.  Well we should all enjoy this season and hope it continues for a long time, this brings light to Tampa and also its surrounding area.


The Rays designated Pat Burrell for assignment.

The Tampa Bay Rays have designated Pat Burrell for assignment. That means that the Rays have 10 days to decide whether to place Burrell on waivers, release, or trade him. He is no longer on the 40-man roster. Burrell hit just .202 this season, playing mostly as the designated hitter against right-handed pitchers. He only had 2 home runs and 13 RBI’s. He struck out 28 times in 84 at- bats. Burrell was signed by the Rays before last season to a two-year, $16 million deal. The Rays will be responsible to pay Burrell the remaining $9 million of his contract. Burrell had previously played for the Phillies and helped them win a World Series in 2008. To replace Burrell, the Rays called up Hank Blalock from Triple-A Durham. Blalock had an out clause in his contract that he could exercise if he wasn’t called up in the next week. Blalock was hitting extremely well in Triple-A and the Rays hope that he can provide them with some offense.

Jamie Moyer, now 47 years old is still successful in the Major Leagues. After beating the Mets at home in a complete game shutout, which he is the oldest pitcher to ever complete that task, he was looking ahead to the game against the Brewers. He came out looking just as sharp, against a god Brewers lineup. He only had one bad inning, which he gave up three solo home runs. However for the rest of the game, he was able to get a ton of outs and was able to limit the hits. He allowed 5 runs, only 4 of them earned in 6 and 1/3 innings. He completely confuses people at the plate and he has a way of “staying off the barrel” as Chipper Jones was quoted saying. He provides a lot of inspiration for many of his teammates, especially Shane Victorino, as he still just keeps going. It is truly amazing how effective he is, even while his fastball is at least 10 m.p.h slower than the average Major League fastball. But he truly hits his spots and keeps the ball down, which is his key to success.

The ruling for “stealing other teams signs” is completely legal in Major League Baseball although it is frowned upon, but you must use the naked eye to do so.  You are not allowed to use binoculars or video cameras in anyway to steal signs.  Earlier this week, a man named Mick Billmeyer was caught in the Bullpin using binoculars to “steal signs” at Coors field in Colorado.  Charlie Manuel stated repeatedly that they were not cheaters, they would not waste their time stealing signs to win.  The coach stated that he was just watching the Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, and his set up to the plate.  But someone said they caught him still peaking through the binoculars even when the Rockies were hitting which completely contradicts what Manuel stated.  It seems hard to believe that such an amazing team would steal signs the cheat, that is why I do not believe it.  I just think that the coach was look at  Ruiz but he was caught looking at the wrong time, its hard to not believe that their not cheating but well they are innocent until proven guilty.

Starlin Castro had a record-breaking debut.

Starlin Castro, the prized short stop prospect for the Chicago Cubs, had 6 RBI’s in his MLB debut on Friday night. In his first at bat against the Reds’ Homer Bailey, Castro took a 2-2 hanging curveball and drove a deep fly to right field for a home run. It travelled 362 feet and was good for three RBI’s. He then lined out to center in his second at bat, once again hitting the ball hard. In his third at bat of the night, he laced a triple to left center field, scoring Soto, Fukudome, and Lee. He then fouled out to 1st and grounded out back to the mound in his final two at-bats. However, his six RBI’s were the most ever in a MLB debut. The 20-year old Castro is also the youngest short stop in Cubs’ history and the 6th Cubs’ player to homer in his first at-bat. This terrific performance has to leave the Cubs wondering how good this young phenom could potentially be.

The Boston Redsox started out their season against the New York Yankees.  In a close game, the Redsox came out on top starting their season 1-0.  But this early win was one of their only good games played in the first couple weeks of the season.  The Redsox then fell behind all of the American League East teams except the Orioles, who are currently 14 games behind the Yankees.  But things are starting to turn around for the Sox.  They have won three games in a row and have started to gain some momentum.  Following John Lackey’s gem against his former team, the Redsox have to opportunity to sweep the season against the Angles, and go for four wins in a row.  Dice K will be on the bump for tonight, and his gyro-ball should shut the door on the series.They will need some more momentum for the Yankees are coming to town once this series is over, and it will be a great opportunity to gain back some games on the Yankees.

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed second baseman Ben Zobrist to a three-year extension. The financial details of the extension won’t be announced until Monday, but the deal will probably give Zobrist a significant raise over his current salary of $400,000. Included in the deal are club options for the 2014 and 2015 season. Before last season, Zobrist was considered a utility player who could basically play every position besides catcher and pitcher. However, that all changed last year. Last season for the Rays, Zobrist really caught fire. He hit .297 with 27 home runs and 91 rbi’s. He also stole 17 bases and had a .405 on base percentage. He was also named the team’s most valuable player and was voted into the MLB All Star Game for the first time in his career. The Rays are hoping last season wasn’t a fluke and Zobrist can continue to put up big numbers. He will have to if the Rays have any chance of contending in a division that includes the Yankees and Red Sox.


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