As many expected, Tampa Bay Rays’ rookie outfielder Wil Myers won the American League Rookie of the Year award earlier this week. Myers won easily, and Rays’ starting pitcher Chris Archer placed third in the voting. Both had a large hand in Tampa Bay’s trek to the off-season. In a year in which it seemed there was an injury du jour, the 1-2 punch of Myers and Archer more than carried their load. The scary thing is, both will get better. Right now, they are tremendous young talents. Down the road, that talent will dovetail with experience. The American League East doesn’t look forward to seeing new-and-improved versions of two kids who already have a leg up on many others in the league.
How have I gone this far into the post-season without expressing concerns about the Rays and their relationship with the city of St. Petersburg, and more importantly, their contract to call Tropicana Field home? It seems to be go-to topic whenever small-market teams are discussed. Super agent Scott Boras believes the Rays should possibly call New Jersey home. Yes, attendance at The Trop’ was at the bottom of the league this year. And yes, this has been a concern for several seasons. But hopefully, there’s some way to keep the team in the Tampa Bay region, if not in St. Pete. Yes, I have a vested interest in the Rays staying put: Tampa/St. Pete is sort of a second home for our family. I’ve had family in the region since the early sixties.
Who knows what the Rays will do this off-season regarding spending/selling? The MLB Winter Meetings are to be held in Orlando from December 9th to 12th. While the Rays never go crazy during this time of season, I’m betting there will be plenty of suitors for David Price. I hate to say it, but I can’t imagine Tampa Bay being able to re-sign the big southpaw. With his history and talent, both on and off the field, look for it to be a sellers’ market for the Rays. The club will certainly wish to get something for the rights to Price before they lose him to free agency. No, I don’t want him to leave the Tampa/St. Pete area. But I can’t imagine him staying. At this point, baseball ceases being a game and becomes a business. Even so, I sure wish someone would drop umpteen million in the Tampa Bay’s lap so they could keep him.
- The grinding work will continue behind the scenes for Tampa Bay. In the meantime, the team continues serving the community.
- I mentioned Scott Boras earlier. The agent, feared by owners everywhere, once played for the St. Pete Cardinals. I got to see him play on several occasions, as a buddy of mine was also in the St. Louis organization. I remember him swinging the bat pretty well. But he carries an even bigger bat when entering into negotiations on behalf of those he represents. Here’s a look at what he did while in St. Pete.