Around the Dock – 7/12

I hope you are enjoying the four day break from baseball that could not come at a worse time for the Rays. The Rays went into the break winning nine of their last eleven including six of their last seven at home. After going 32-12 in the first 44 games, they played .500 ball the rest of the first half closing out at 22-22. They hold a three game lead in the wild-card race while trailing the Yankees by two games in the AL East which is in a pretty good position to be in considering where the team was three weeks ago after falling back into third place. Jason and I plan on putting up a few pieces over this four day break starting with his piece tomorrow about Jeremy Hellickson and his potential workload increase from 2009 to 2010 (hint – he’s almost eclipsed last year’s total already). In the meantime, here are some news and notes related to the Rays:

  • Fox Sports Florida has a neat show coming up on Friday at 10:30 PM and Sunday at 12:30 ET about the Rays’ starting rotation. Rumor has it, Wade Davis actually smiles.
  • You may have seen the trade rumors about the Rays being interested in Corey Hart (I approve!). What you may not have known is what player Baseball-Reference.com considers his closest statistical peer.
  • Is this a depressing pre-cursor of things to come in 2011?
  • R.J. Swindle has been mentioned on this site before as a possibly LOOGY in September; he may not be in the organization much longer.
  • The Durham Bulls lead the International League in home runs (96), stolen bases (100), and runs scored (429) as well as team ERA (3.42).  Dan Johnson also won the home run derby last night at the IL All-Star Game.
  • Good news – we’re not being contracted any time soon.
  • Jeremy Hellickson and Desmond Jennings impressed in the MLB Futures Game
  • J.B. Long looks back at some pre-season points he made and how the Rays are doing against those goals
  • More attendance doubt with a few bombastic reactions. Yawn. I am not faulting people for not going to Red Sox games when the seats are twice the price of a game against the Royals. Next to the stadium’s location, the five-tiered pricing model in place this year is the worst attendance-prohibiter.
  • Four years ago today, Tim Purpura gave the Rays Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot (now Kelly Shoppach) to rent Aubrey Huff.  That is the type of deal that Andrew Freidman needs to avoid making this July.
  • Michael Weber tells us what we learned in the first half about the Rays
  • If you missed my two radio appearances today, check out the new “Where we are” page at the top of the site which shows you where you can find Jason and myself on air and online. I will also be on the XM/Sirius Fantasy Sports Channel Wednesday night on the Fanball Fantasy Drive to talk a lot about the Rays’ first half during the show’s second hour.
  • If you have not yet bought your Dock of the Rays Trade Deadline Primer eBook, what are you waiting for? We hear first day sales were very good and our goal is to raise $2500 to split between Operation Homefront and the Susan B. Komen Foundation by the end of the month.
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About Jason Collette

Writer/Analyst
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