Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' first GM looks forward and back

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck LaMar was working hard Friday night, one of the five Phillies officials at the Trop preparing extensive scouting reports for a potential World Series matchup.

But the original and longtime GM of the Rays also paused to reflect on how his former team has progressed, if not the irony of the possible pairing.

LaMar said he would be "less than candid to say I'm not sitting here tonight" thinking back to all the time and effort that he and his staff put into building the Rays.

LaMar said he was proud that more than half the players on the roster were either carried over from his regime, which ended in October 2005, or obtained by current executive VP Andrew Friedman with players that were.

"I think it's a tremendous compliment, not only to Andrew and his staff for taking the great players left them and doing what's best for the organization in keeping the ones they did and trading the others, and they've done a fabulous job of that, but you have to have those players to do that," LaMar said. "And that's a compliment for all the years of hard work and scouting that were done."

LaMar predicted in the spring that the Rays would be much improved but admitted Friday they got to this stage about a year sooner than he expected. And while the baseball world knows the tale, and the job Friedman and manager Joe Maddon have done, LaMar said, "They have yet to recognize that they're as talented as any team left in the playoffs from a pure ability standpoint."

LaMar also said he was glad to see former managing general partner Vince Naimoli "through all the trials and tribulations being recognized now as the man who brought baseball to Tampa Bay."

ROSTER RUMINATIONS: The Rays dropped OF Eric Hinske from the roster to add RHP Edwin Jackson and have an extra arm in their bullpen. And with Jackson now the primary long reliever, they will use rookie LHP David Price in some more potentially intriguing situations. They started Friday, Price coming in with two outs in the ninth to face (and retire) one batter.

"We wanted length and we wanted something that permitted us to use David as something other than just long or extra innings," Maddon said.

Dropping Hinske, who hit 20 homers and played in 133 games, was difficult but made the most sense with the Rays confident LF Carl Crawford is healthy and comfortable with rookie OF Fernando Perez as the backup. "(Hinske) has done a wonderful job for us all year long," Maddon said. "We would not be in this position without him."

EDWIN EXCITED: Jackson was all smiles Thursday when he found out he was being added to the ALCS roster, and he expressed his excitement Friday when it became official.

The best part: "It's a chance to go out and be part of a team, I was part of the team anyway, but to be able go out on the field and actually play and help win a game."

Jackson hasn't pitched since the Sept. 28 season finale, but he said he felt fine having thrown in an instructional league game and several bullpen sessions.

NO MICKEY MOUSE OPERATION: Principal owner Stuart Sternberg said it was "doubtful" the Rays would move a 2009 series to Disney, as they did this season and last, but they "certainly haven't ruled out" going back at some point.

MISCELLANY: The Sox combined on the 22nd shutout in ALCS history, the fourth in an opener. … The Rays joined the 1991 Twins as the only teams to go from last place one year to the ALCS the next. … Friday's was the 24th ALCS game played indoors; dome teams are 9-15. … Maddon plans to use the same lineup tonight, with Gabe Gross in RF and Cliff Floyd as DH.

Rays' first GM looks forward and back 10/10/08 [Last modified: Saturday, October 11, 2008 1:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.