BY: John Mamola / 620wdae.com
Congratulations to the entire Tampa Bay Rays starting infield on being named finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards which will be announced next Tuesday at 7:00pm eastern time on ESPN2. Evan Longoria, Yunel Escobar, Ben Zobrist, and James Loney all were named as finalists earlier today with only Longoria claiming the award (twice) in the past (2009, 2010).
According to the release from MLB, this year's awards will be the first time where SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) will formally incorporate sabermetrics as a component in determining winners.
To read the full release, click here.
photo credit: Getty Images
Wil Myers great rookie season on the field has lead to postseason awards.
by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
The season may be over, but for Wil Myers, his time to collect hardware for his work in 2013 has just started.
The Rays outfielder picked up his first offseason award of his big league career Monday, as he has been named the American League's top rookie by The Sporting News.
Myers finished voting, which is done by the players, with 33 points, just ahead of Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias (29 points) and Rays pitcher Chris Archer (27 points).
The 22-year-old did not make his big-league debut until July 18, but finished the season hitting .293 with 13 home runs (second in the AL among rookies) and 53 RBI (leading all AL rookies) in just 88 games.
For the entire story, visit The Sporting News website.
Rays bench coach Dave Martinez will interview this week for the Chicago Cubs managerial position.
Martinez played for the Cubs and told Rays beat writer Marc Topkin "I love Chicago, I love Wrigley Field, It would be tremendous."
HERE's more from Topkin with the Tampa Bay Times.
Chicago is talking to several other candidates. Martinez last year was a finalist for the Astros job.
BY: John Mamola / 620wdae.com
It’s been a couple of days since the Boston Red Sox eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays in game four of the American League Divisional Series, and Rays manager Joe Maddon took time to reflect on the season that has just past when he called into the Ron and Ian Show on WDAE. Maddon exclaimed how proud he was of his team winning the American League Wild Card going through a tough up and down year.
“Another wonderful season, I can’t be more proud of our guys than I am” said Maddon. “Very difficult to lose and have to go home a little bit early, but the way we got here is quite incredible.”
With the end of the regular season complete for the Rays, the questions surrounding the team now begin to take shape as the organization begins to craft its roster for the upcoming season at Tropicana Field. Maddon told WDAE that he has yet to sit down with General Manager Andrew Friedman about how the team will approach the offseason. Maddon says he expects to have that meeting in the coming weeks.
As far as watching the remainder of MLB’s postseason, Maddon is finding other outlets to catch up on instead.
“I watched re-runs of The Office last night and some of the NFL football game” said Maddon. “Finally getting caught up on Boardwalk Empire and already got caught up on Homeland, so that’s what I’m watching right now.".
The Rays offseason got off to a pretty bummer start.
Wednesday night in talking to reporters David Price indicated he thinks he'll be traded this offseason.
"That's kind of the way it's happened with this organization," Price said.
Rays beat writer Marc Topkin had THIS story Thursday including his own speculation the Rays may instead wait to deal Price.
Topkin also spoke with several of Price's teammates.
Price said "it's definitely something that weighs heavily on my mind."
His deal has two years left and the belief is when he hits free agency the salary would be in the prohibitive (for the Rays) $20 million-plus range. Next season Tampa Bay would have to cough up around $13 million in the form of an arbitration result.
by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
The Tampa Bay Rays wrapped up a 2013 season in which they won a combined 94 games with a four-game series defeat to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series. However, manager Joe Maddon believes this season's incarnation of the Rays do not need to feel disappointed with how their season ended.
"I'm really proud of our guys," the Tampa Bay skipper said in Wednesday's postseason press conference. "Faced with elimination as often as we were, they could not have done better."
Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman indicated injuries to starting pitchers David Price, Matt Moore, and Alex Cobb likely led to the team not winning the American League East this season, but the front office also got see how some of their young prospects fared at the big-league level.
"It was obviously tough with [approximately] 30 starts missed by the top three starters," Friedman admitted. "But on the bright side, we got a look at Alex Colome. We got a look at Jake Odorizzi. We got even a glimpse of Enny Romero."
One guy who missed hardly any time due to injury this season was third baseman Evan Longoria, who appeared in 160 of the team's 163 regular season games, good for fourth in the American League, a year after appearing in just 74 contests due to hamstring issues.
"That's pretty good, and I'll take that every year," Longoria said.
There's plenty up in the air for this offseason, and while Friedman did not want to go in to specifics about any player, two big names that could be playing elsewhere are closer Fernando Rodney and 2012 Cy Young Award winner David Price.
Rodney will be a free agent at the end of the season, and Price, while under team control for two more seasons, will likely get another generous raise from the already team-high $10.1 million he made in 2013.
"Sometimes the decision is taken out of your hands," Longoria said. "I know that if David had his way, he would be here, and if I had my way, he would be here also."
"It's a sad thought," Alex Cobb remarked. "David has really morphed into our go-to leader, our go-to guy that we look to for direction. It's not a thought I want going on all offseason. I really hope they can figure something out and at least squeeze another year out of him, and hopefully even longer."
Reliever Joel Peralta said he hopes both come back, and talked about his relationship with the closer the last two seasons.
"Fernando and I, you know, we're like brothers," the Tampa Bay setup man told reporters. "If he's not here, I'm really, really going to miss the guy. He's one of the best as a pitcher. He's one of the best as a teammate. We've got a great relationship, and I really hope he's back."
And after finally making the playoffs after 17 seasons in the Major Leagues, reliever Jamey Wright said he'll leave the decision on whether to play an 18th year to those closest to him.
"I can't offer myself a contract," Wright joked. "Hopefully the right people were in the room the other day when my 7-year-old said 'Dad I want to be with the Rays again next year.'"
Click below to hear the press conference and all the sound from the clubhouse.
Press conference featuring manager Joe Maddon and executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Third Baseman Evan Longoria
Starting Pitcher Alex Cobb
Reliever Joel Peralta
Reliever Jamey Wright
Utility player Sean Rodriguez
Photo Credit: Getty Images
By Dory LeBlanc
Tampa Bay Times Rays beat writer Marc Topkin spent every morning since the baseball season started telling listeners who to watch and what to watch out for when it came to everything Tampa Bay Rays.
Wednesday morning, Topkin briefly broke down the 2013 season before getting into what the future may hold for many of the players currently on the roster.
Click below to listen to Topkin's "day after" thoughts and be sure to tune in tomorrow morning to The Sports Page when Topkin talks about the Rays' final press conference of the year.