AL East, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports, Tampa Bay Rays

When Johnny Met Manny ……………….

When Johnny Met Manny ……………….

Well holy Moses the impossible has happened and the Tampa Bay Rays are now able to make lemonade out of rat’s pi_s . How else can you explain the idiocy of many of the statements coming from GM Andrew Friedman senior managing partner Stuart Sternberg Granted we know that the organization and team have been beset with financial problems ever since they came into existence and it has been that way ever since . Friedman and Sternberg have continued to berate the fans but have little willingness to spend money but at the same time they’re looking to have a new stadium built at the taxpayers’ expense . And at no time have they actually shown a commitment that they’re prepared to step up to the plate and contribute in part to the building of the supposed new venue. Some solace for the fans eh _____ from two rather conniving individuals who have continued to talk out of both sides of their mouths.


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Slide show for your perusal.

Sternberg having made his fortune in the commodities’ market and on Wall St much like any other millionaire owner in the league has a bauble (Rays) that he can parade as his own personal jewel in his crown. And given the success that the organization has had in recent years having twice won the AL East divisional crown . Now having failed to make their presence felt in the MLB playoffs where they would succumb to the Texas Rangers the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason essentially had themselves a fire sale gutting the team in order to stave off financial ruin. To make matters worse their most storied and beloved player Carl Crawford was signed by the Boston Red Sox and several other players have followed in tow.

Now Friedman and Sternberg are trying to allay the fans’ fears that the team is heading in the right direction even with the moves that have been made. Simply put you can’t dress a sow up as a pig and call it a pig . Neither can you say that the Rays will be able to contend within the AL East especially when the likes of the Red Sox , New York Yankees , Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays will have improved. It’s easy to understand the reason why the division has always been considered to be most competitive in all of baseball . It’s not liable to change at all this upcoming season and it remains to be seen whether or not the coaching staff of the Rays can still have this team playing competitively this upcoming season even with the changes made.

For the fans in attendance at Tropicana Field St Petersburg , Florida this could be a season where that venue will come to be even more so as an elephant’s graveyard where the attendance will if anything border on being bare to say the very least . Instead of that hardcore 15,000 that the organization has come to rely on we could very well see that figure drop below 10,000 . It gives even greater credence to the fact that baseball just doesn’t work in the city of Tampa and it never will. Spin it anyway you want but there comes a time when the fans and in particular Sternberg and Friedman will have to accept the fact that they’re fighting a losing battle. And it certainly hasn’t helped with the continued buffoonery being shown by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , his office and his idiotic impact of the stadium issue for the Tampa Bay Rays . Rather being of assistance to the organization’s plans Selig has been nothing but a hindrance with his nonsensical edicts and public statements on the issue. Telling the team that the only way that they can ever host an All Star Game is to have a purpose built new stadium is asinine, as it was to suggest that he was completely unaware of the whole steroid issue that has been simply rife within the game under his tenure as commissioner !

Now if to create something of a furor and perhaps lure fans into the belief that the good time are here again with them having signed both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez to one year contracts . As to whether not both of these players who are shall we say are past their prime can prove to be productive remains to be seen. But it’s clear that if anything in terms of character they’ll be bringing a great deal with them if not much in terms overall productivity to the Rays.

The two players had unprecedented success as players on the Boston Red Sox having won two World Series and then essentially were either ran out of town or left of their own volition from the organization. Since their departure let’s just say that the fortunes for the Red Sox where GM Theo Epstein and team President Larry Lucchino rule the roost at the behest of principal managing partner John Henry . Can both players contribute to the Rays and make them a competitor within the AL East and throughout baseball will be of interest to the vast majority of fans the print media and broadcast networks who cover the game.

From my own perspective this may well be nothing more than a face saving publicity gimmick but at the same time with both players set to earn in excess of $7.5 million for their effort we could very well see them showing us that they’re not completely past their prime. I do believe however that this team will struggle to be competitive merely because from the standpoint that a great deal will be asked of Evan Longoria and David Price as they try to keep in tact that the momentum that had been created under Joe Maddon’s coaching philosophy. I’ve heard it said that the youth movement on this team will bode well for the Tampa Bay Rays but really given what’s happened in terms of the roster upheavals does anyone truly believe that to be the case ? The Rays may well have been tested over the last few seasons as they saw their glare shine brightly in the public’s presence and perception . But this is a whole new ball of wax and if the truth be told this is liable to be a season where we will see the fortunes of the organization and the team simply falter once again not only from a competitive standpoint but also from a financial one as well.

This upcoming season the team will be on a thread bare budget in terms of salary and once again they will be back in the bottom half of the league in terms of that very aspect. Suffice to say this is one more symbolic point that’s a sad indictment of what’s completely wrong with the game of baseball from an economic and business standpoint as it continues to be about the haves and have nots !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez joining the Tampa Bay Rays ? And do you see the team being competitive this season not only within the AL East but across the entire baseball landscape ? Simply chime in with a comment on this topic and what you you envisage this season within baseball.

NB Picture and slide show details .

(1) This file photo taken Sept. 6, 2010, shows Chicago White Sox’s Manny Ramirez during a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press that Ramirez and Detroit Tigers’ Johnny Damon have agreed to one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, because the agreements had not been announced. Getty Images / Drew Bishop ……….

(2) In this file photo taken Aug. 24, 2010, Detroit Tigers’ Johnny Damon watches from the dugout in the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Detroit. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez have agreed to one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, because the agreements had not been announced. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ………..

(3) In this Oct. 9, 2010, file photo, Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Rafael Soriano delivers the ball to the Texas Rangers during Game 3 of the American League Division Series baseball game in Arlington, Texas. A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press that the New York Yankees have reached a three-year agreement with Soriano, last years AL saves leader. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez ……….

(4)Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon talks with pitcher Andy Sonnanstine (21) as catcher Gregg Zaub, left, third baseman Evan Longoria and first baseman Willy Aybar, right, look on during the third inning of the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Yankees on Monday, Sept. 7, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Yankees won 11-1. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……….

(5) Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays of the New York Yankees during the game on April 15, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ………

(6) Seen here in a role as a relief pitcher David Price (14) of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in game seven of the American League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 19, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The Rays defeated the Red Sox 3-1 to win the series 4-3 . Getty Images North America / Doug Pensinger ………….

(7) Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, left, talks to left fielder Carl Crawford during baseball practice Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays host the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ………..

[8] Matthew Silverman, tram President (left), GM Andrew Friedman (center) and principal managing partner Stuart Sternberg (right) are overhauling the Devil Rays. photo appears courtesy of New York Times/ Phillip Diedrich ………………

Alan aka tophatal …………………………..

MLB News ………………….

Tampa Bay Rays’ 40 man roster . Active roster & depth chart

Rays’ roster 2010

Tampa Bay Rays news …….


Jackie O

Eye candy …….. Jackie O courtesy of Smooth Magazine

More of Jackie O …… so what’s not to like ?


Rick Ross ……. feat’g Styles P ……….. “BMF”


10 thoughts on “When Johnny Met Manny ……………….

  1. Interesting moves by the Rays. I like Manny as a DH. He’s going to hit for a higher average than Pena did. Not sure about signing Damon though. He’s a liability if you put him in the field, but your still better off with him out there than Manny. This is not the defensive team they usually have!

    1. chappy 81

      When it comes to defense this team will be nowhere near the top in that individual particular stat and and offensively it’s anyone’s guess . I do believe that they’ll suffer for that no matter what Maddon’s philosophy has been . They’ve thrown the baby , bath water and tub in order to become simply another cheap ass team . Sternberg , Silverman and Friedman are blowing smoke up everyone’s ass !

      Team stats …………… League stats

      tophatal …………..

    2. chappy 81

      Given the Rays’ history over the first decade of their existence this may well go badly . Vince Naimoli the team’s first owner made Ebeneezer Scrooge seem like a philanthropist on the scale of Bill Gates. Naimoli was a damn tight-wad and wouldn’t part with money once he’d screwed the fans and city of Tampa over royally after the lavish spending on busts like Canseco and others who were essentially high priced mercenaries worth squat !


      Naimoli was a legend in his own mind but in reality he was nothing more than a scum-bag ! Once he and his wife were stopped by TBPD under their belief he was DUI. He spewed some profanity at the cop and asked him ………..” do you know who I am ?”

      tophatal ……………….

  2. chappy81

    This move I think is merely being done to absolve the front office and as a PR move to lure fans in. In no way will it lessen what’ll be a horrendous season for the organization . Maddon and his coaching staff have their work cut out for them . Damon is past it and Manny once he even so much as has a slump he’ll simply piss of his teammates , front office and coaching staff . He’ll want out and that’ll be it as far as his career goes . It’s just Manny being Manny that’s all !



    In happier times with the Red Sox …….. Damon and Man-Ram .

    tophatal …….

  3. I have a feeling you and I are going to go back and forth on this move all season long. When Damon and ManRam win ball games, I’ll be here to say I told you so. When they shit the bed, you’ll return the favor.

    Bottom line though, Al, is that they need to do SOMETHING to get fans in the stands. This should do that. They weren’t competing in that division with the lineup they had. At least now they stand a chance. I don’t see how the Yankees got all that much better this off-season.

    1. Chris Humpherys

      They sank their hopes in that team last season and failed miserably in the playoffs . We all knew that they had to do something but bringing in two players who are past their sell by date ? C’mon now this Naimoli all over again ! The only chance the Rays stand is if both the Red Sox and Yankees’ rosters go down with an infectious disease that incapacitates them for a large part of the season. You’re way too naive to think that this team is even going to contend in the AL East much less make the postseason .

      On paper alone the Rays mightn’t even be the third > best team within the AL East division. As both the Orioles and Blue Jays have improved way more than some might believe. Showalter is no fool and he’ll have the Orioles playing with heart while the Rays will be playing merely to exist and showing some pride infront of a cemetery in terms of attendance at the Trop .

      I’ve said to you repeatedly that Sternberg and his partners need to bring in someone with far deeper pockets than he has . Because what he’s trying to do isn’t working. They’re playing catch up to the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees and it’s now got to stage where they’ll soon be down to their last drop in terms of finance. Mark my words that’s where they’re now heading if they don’t do something from a financial standpoint. They’re not going to be able to afford the likes of Longoria , Price or Upton if they fail again or when their contracts are up.

      Sports isn’t simply just about competing on the field but also competing financially off it as well. And the Rays are now failing miserably in that also . Look at what the Rangers were able to do once Ryan and Greenberg took over the helm there ? They’ve had a cash infusion of tens of millions , a tv contract that’ll fare them well for the next two decades that’s net them in excess of $3 billion . And you’re trying to suggest that the Rays’ ownership has some business acumen ?

      Bring something to the table Chris and not just pipe dreams at this juncture !

      tophatal ……………..

    2. Chris Humpherys

      Do you really believe that both the Yankees and Red Sox will stand pat once the trade deadline beckons during the season ? The Rays may well have to just sit and watch while everything evolves around them .

      tophatal ………

  4. There’s no denying the Rays can’t compete with either Boston or the Yanks financially, who can both buy and sell players on a whim. All handcuffed TB ownership can do is the best they can, making moves when they can. If they can pick up Damon and ManRam for seven mil, then why not give it a shot?

    Remember, they have some bats that were looking to get into that lineup full time last year, i.e. Dan Johnson, Matt Joyce, John Jaso, plus other young talent I’m sure they’ll bring up along the way.

    This move was more about attendance. Would you have preferred they didn’t sign anyone at all and left things the way they were?

    1. Chris Humpherys

      That’s all well and good but the ownership is now trying to blow smoke up everyone’s ass with their rather asinine statements. None more so than Friedman ! If the Rays really want to compete it may well mean them having to bring in a partner with deeper pockets than the front office now has. Because it’s clear that this is heading for disaster if they have another poor season . And when I say poor I mean finishing out of contention for a playoff berth ! You really think that them not being in contention for the division will be a good thing given that they need all the pub’ possible in selling the stadium issue ? Think about it before you come back with an answer .

      And as good as you believe that offense to be it’s their pitching that could prove to be a real problem .

      Chris the move was more about attendance ? It’s been bordering on between 10,000 – 15,000 albeit that the league hierarchy would have us believe it borders on 23,000 (avg attendance) plus . What games was that figure reflective of last season ? I’m not suggesting that they not sign anyone but they need to stop with the bullshit that they’re doing their level best because it’s clearly not been the case.

      Like I said they need a cash infusion from a partner willing to spend and that’s clearly not going to happen with the reins that Sternberg has on this organization . He’s now treating this thing as if it were a lemonade stand rather than a business. I’ve repeatedly mentioned that to you and it’s obvious that you don’t seem to think what I’m say is actually serious or makes sense !

      tophatal ……………..

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