All four Rays infielders were nominated were nominated for Gold Glove awards, but none won.
1B James Loney lost out to Kansas City's Eric Hosmer.
2B Ben Zobrist lost out to Boston's Dustin Pedrioa.
SS Yunel Escobar lost out to Baltimore's JJ Hardy.
3B Evan Longoria lost out to Baltimore's Manny Machado.
Watching the odd scene at the controversial ending to Saturday's World Series game, Rays third-base coach Tom Foley could relate to the uncertainty that surrounded the obstruction call that gave the Cardinals the 5-4 win.Full Story
Nine years ago, in the last and potentially only other modern-era MLB game to end on a walkoff obstruction call per baseball-reference.com, Foley had a similar feeling when the umpires cited Mariners SS Jose Lopez for obstructing Carl Crawford's view from third base of a fly ball being caught in leftfield and awarded him home, giving the Devil Rays an unusual 2-1 victory.
"It's just one of those things,'' Foley said Sunday. "You hate to lose it that way, but you love to win it.''
Foley hadn't thought of the Aug. 6, 2004, play until we talked - "I wouldn't have even remembered it if you hadn't asked me about it,'' he said - but quickly recalled how unusual the ruling was.
"That's the only time I'd ever seen that called, obstruction for blocking the view of the runner,'' Foley said. "A lot of guys do it. ... A lot of people teach it.''
With Crawford in position to tag up on Tino Martinez's fly to leftfielder Raul Ibanez, Mariners 3B Willie Bloomquist drifted out to serve as a cutoff man and Lopez slid over to cover third. Crawford bluffed a break for home - he was actually retreating to third as Ibanez's throw sailed right to the plate - as 3B umpire Paul Emmel made the obstruction call and waved him home.
Crew chief Joe West said afterward both Lopez and Bloomquist were guilty: "In this case both the shortstop and third baseman attempted to impede the runner from seeing when the ball was caught by screening him from the play. When they made that play on him (Ibanez's throw), because of the obstruction, you have to score him. That's the rule."
The Mariners, naturally, were extremely upset, manager Bob Melvin adamant there was no obstruction and branding it "the worst call I've ever seen.''
The Rays were a bit confused - "I was wondering what was going on,'' Crawford said then - but quite pleased with the result.
Kind of like what Foley saw watching Saturday night's game on TV, as Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks was called for a more physical kind of obstruction after St. Louis' Allen Craig tripped over him following an errant throw to third, then stumbled home and was called safe even though the ball beat him.
"What a wild finish, huh?'' Foley said. "I saw the first celebration, the Red Sox going crazy thinking they got a double play. Then I saw the Cardinals celebrating. But it was the right call. Even though he didn't have intent - we don't know that - but we saw his feet come up. But (the umps) got it right. It was the right call. Wild.''
From some - but not all - Sunday print editions:Full Story
By MARC TOPKIN …
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
Shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Ben Zobrist were among four Rays infielders named finalists for AL Gold Glove awards.
Manager Joe Maddon suggested at various points during the season that all four of the Rays infielders were having Gold Glove caliber seasons.
He was correct, as on Friday, all four were named among three AL finalists at their positions: 1B James Loney, 2B Ben Zobrist, SS Yunel Escobar and 3B Evan Longoria.
Winners will be announced Tuesday night.
While the awards traditionally have been decided by vote - most recently of coaches and managers, the process was changed this year to include a sabermetric component. Rawlings Sporting Goods, which awards the Gold Gloves, collaborated with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to devise something called the SABR Defensive Index that will account for 25-30 percent of the votes.
The annoucement of the finalists is a device to build suspense for the announcement.
1B - Loney, Baltimore's Chris Davis, Kansas City's Eric Hosmer.
2B - Zobrist, Boston's Dustin Pedroia, New York's Robinson Cano
SS - Escobar, Baltimore's J.J. Hardy, Kansas City's Alcides Escobar
3B - Longoria, Baltimore's Manny Machado, Texas' Adrian Beltre. …Full Story
Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, who already interviewed with Cubs, is also a candidate for the Nationals manager job.
It's not clear if Martinez has already interviewed with the Nats, who are looking to replace Davey Johnson.
Martinez in past offseasons interviewed with the Indians, Blue Jays and Astros.Full Story
Bigger announcements are coming in November. but Rays OF Wil Myers on Monday won the first of what could be several top American League rookie awards when he was honored by The Sporting News.
Tampa Alonso High product Jose Fernandez, who made an impressive debut with the Marlins, was the National League winner.
Myers received 33 votes in the balloting of major-league players, with Detroit SS Jose Iglesias getting 29 and Rays teammate RHP Chris Archer 27.
MLB Network analyst and 17-year veteran Cliff Floyd told The Sporting News: "I just remember how strong and how good he looked hitting the ball to the opposite field. That's always something that stands out to me-as a guy who pulled the ball myself so much-that I look for youngsters who come up and are able to use all fields. He's definitely one of those guys who stood out to me." Full Story
The BBWAA rookie awards will be announced Nov. 11.
Rays bench coach Dave Martinez returned home from his interview with Cubs officials enthusiastic about his chances to be hired as their next manager.Full Story
"I thought it went well,'' Martinez said Saturday. "I thought it went really well.''
Martinez, 49, talked extensively during his visit with baseball operations president Theo Epstein and executive vice president/general manager Jed Hoyer and other members of their staff, and also met briefly with team chairman Tom Ricketts. In addition to the standard topics, Martinez said they had detailed talks about lineup construction and game preparation, and watched some video sequences after which Martinez was asked what moves he would make in those situations. "Game-in-progress kind of stuff,'' he said.
Martinez said he was now waiting to hear back from the Cubs on the next step in the process. The Cubs reportedly have interviewed Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, former Indians and Nats manager Manny Acta and former D-backs manager A.J. Hinch. There have also been reports of interest in Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.
"They said they'd get back to me soon,'' Martinez said.
Martinez previously interviewed for manager jobs with the Indians, Blue Jays and Astros. He has been the Rays bench coach the last six seasons.
UPDATE, 10:38: Here is a statement from the Rays on Guerrieri:
"Taylor's actions are very disappointing. We will continue our work to educate him on the responsibilities he has not only to himself, but to his teammates, his coaches, the Rays organization and our fans."
DEVELOPING: Top pitching prospect RHP Taylor Guerrieri, the Rays No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, has been suspended 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy.Full Story
Guerrieri, according to MLB, twice violated of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse, which is believed to be marijuana.
Guerrieri, 20, was already sidelined for most of next season after underdoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on JUly 24. According to MLB, the suspension will be served while he is on the disabled list, so he will not miss additional time. …
The Rays completed their trade for RHP Jesse Crain on Wednesday, sending minor-leaguers LHP Sean Bierman and INF Ben Kline to the White Sox along with an unannounced amount of cash.
Bierman, a 2012 10th-round draftee from the University of Tampa, split 2013 between Class A Bowling Green and Charlotte, going 6-5, 2.55. He previously was drafted by the Reds and attended Vanderbilt before transferring to Tampa.
Kline, a 32nd-round pick in 2012, hit .246 with 15 RBIs in 40 games over three lower levels this season. He was the MVP of the Rays Gulf coast League team in 2012, hitting .347-1-16 in in 36 games.
Crain was acquired July 29 with a strained shoulder and did not recover in time to pitch for the Rays. He is expected to have a minor surgical procedure and will be a free agent.
Crain improved enough through tireless rehab and a minor-league outing to be activated the final week of the season, but felt something warming up for the Sept. 23 game and was not able to pitch. He eventually was placed back on the 60-day disabled list so the Rays could use his 40-man roster spot. …Full Story
Want to talk about the the decisions facing the Rays in the offseason? The Bucs' 0-5 start? The off-field drama surrounding the team? The beginning of the Lightning's season? College football? Whatever's on your mind, join Times sports columnist Tom Jones for a live chat Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Full Story
Rays bench coach Dave Martinez will interview for the Cubs manager's job later this week.
Martinez, who started his career with the Cubs and returned briefly in 2000, said he was excited by the opportunity.
"I really am,'' Martinez said. "I love Chicago. I love Wrigley Field. ... It would be tremendous.''
Martinez, 49, has been the Rays bench coach for six seasons - during which the Rays have made four postseason appearances.
Martinez has previously interviewed for manager's jobs with the Indians, Blue Jays and Astros, and was said to be a finalist last off-season for the Houston job that went to Bo Porter.
"Every year that I have under my belt I'm a lot more confident and a lot more prepared for the challenges of being a manager,'' Martinez said.
Even more so with the Cubs.
"I love the idea of being part of winning a championship in Chicago,'' Martinez said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge.''
Former D-backs manager A.J. Hinch, former Indians and Nats manager Manny Acta and Padres bench coach Rick Renteria are reported to be candidates in Chicago as well.
Rays ace LHP David Price said Wednesday night he expects to be traded this off-season.
"If you go with what's been done in the past, I guess you're going to have to think you're going to get traded,'' Price said. "That's kind of the way it's happened with this organization when pitchers kind of get to this period in their career. We've seen it happen a couple of times already. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know what's happened in the past.''
In theory, the Rays are positioned to go either way:
Deal Price now, while he's two years from free agency and maximize a return that should exceed what they got when similarly trading Matt Garza and James Shields.
Or bring Price back, more likely on another one-year arbitration-framed deal, figuring on a raise from $10.1125-million to $13-million or so, than any kind of longer-term arrangement, while preserving the potential if they're not in contention to trade him in July and if they are after next season, albeit for a lesser return. …Full Story
We'll have more later today in words and video on tampabay.com, but here are some highlights from today's Rays season wrap-up interviews:
Manager Joe Maddon said he felt the proabably played to their potential, and got beat by a better team.
Maddon said he expects all coaches - whose contracts are up - to return.
Several players said they hope the Rays find a way to keep David Price - who left before the media availability - and executive VP Andrew Friedman said he wouldn't comment on "what-if" situations.
Friedman said they have interest in bringing back several of their potential free agents, and they would like to add more speed.
Closer Fernando Rodney is one of those free agents, and teammate Joel Peralta said Rodney would be willing to take less money than he could get elsewhere to return.
3B Evan Longoria said though the ending was disappointing, it was important to keep perspective on how the season was successful overall, though he felt the Rays got away from their even-keel approach and were too emotional at times.
Friedman said even with turnover expected and the payroll unlikely to grow - and possibly be cut - he expects them to be a competitive team again next season.
The Rays' season ended with a 3-1 loss to the Red Sox in Game 4 of the ALDS Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. Watch the video to relieve the last game of the season for the Rays. Full Story
DIRK SHADD | Times
Stuart Sternberg speaks to the media before tonight's game.
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg predicts that the Rays will win Game 4 of the ALDS tonight at Tropicana Field and force a Game 5 Thursday in Boston.Full Story