It’s possible that some are overstating the impact of Joe Maddon opting out

I think this is on point. I won’t undervalue Maddon as a manager. Successful managers have success when they have talented players. What makes Maddon great is that he is great with the players and he is well-liked and well-respected. Depending on what talent he inherits and how many resources he can work with, we might be able to see what kind of manager he can be in a different setting.

HardballTalk

The Joe Maddon opt-out news is obviously a big deal, and talk about him and where he may go is going to dominate the discourse for a while. But I feel like maybe the magnitude of all of this is being a bit overstated this afternoon.

Joe Maddon is a fine manager. I’d hire him in a second if he were available. He is a good tactician. He plays well with his front office but doesn’t just follow their orders. He has shown that he can win with kids and with payroll limitations. And unless I’m forgetting some major incident, he does what I think is the most important thing a manager does in keeping things, generally speaking, on an even keel over the course of a long season. The Rays did well with Maddon and whoever hires him is going to do pretty well too.

But Maddon is not…

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Tampa Bay Rays are ashamed of their Devil Rays past

The Tampa Bay Rays used to be known as the Devil Rays. They dropped the “Devil” part of their name in 2008. That’s fine. It’s been a while since anyone has referred to them as that.

But today they are playing a throwback-themed game against the Cubs. They are wearing their fauxbacks since they have no history before the the late 1990s. And the Cubs went to celebrate the throwback occasion by bringing out an old Tampa Bay flag. The Rays didn’t like it.

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Game 163: One of the best phrases in sports

Growing up as a kid, I would remember hearing and witnessing all the Game 7s in sports. The term “Game 7” is such a great term in sports. It’s the finality of something. It’s the last battle for the championship. Just by saying “Game 7,” the gravity of the situation is understood.

But right behind it, in my opinion is “Game 163.” It holds a different meaning but it still holds a lot of weight. For Game 163 means that we have to go one more step to find out who is worthy to enter combat. It means that the battle has been so great, that there needs to be one more fight to determine the victor.

Tonight, we get Game 163 between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays.

These games have always turned out to be exciting games and the idea of a one-game playoff to determine who makes it into the postseason is pretty neat. And as Marty McFly would say, it’s pretty heavy.

David Price chronicles expensive cab ride to Oakland because he didn’t take BART

I should have taken BART.

With the Bay Bridge closed over the weekend and visiting teams to play the Oakland A’s staying in San Francisco, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price (who starts tonight) decided to take the cab to the Coliseum.

BIG MISTAKE.

Instead of taking BART, he was stuck with a cab ride that cost him over $200.

On Twitter, Price detailed his miserable ride to Oakland.

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I applaud the Rays and Tigers for their throwback/fauxback game effort

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Here are photos from last night’s throwback game between the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays.

This isn’t really a throwback game. The Tigers were in the right attire but the Rays wore their theoretical fauxback jerseys Saturday of what might their uniforms could look like.

But overall, if this is a one-time thing for the Rays, I say it’s done very well. The Rays jerseys look fantastic on the field. I wish they had an elastic waistband but other than that, it’s so unique that I am glad they did it.

As for the Tigers, they look fantastic in their duds and I would love to see them wear it again in the near future.

Tampa Bay Rays to wear 1979 fauxback uniforms on June 30

Only a cool manager like Joe Maddon can make this look good.

In 1979, the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays did not exist. But on June 30, the team will wear “throwback” jerseys as if they were around during the `70s. Using the template once worn by the San Diego Padres, the Rays will wear what they think they would have worn had they been around in 1979.

It’s a pretty cool idea and I hope that it isn’t something every recent expansion team decides to do. But the Rays are a different kind of breed. This promotion fits their identity so well and if it’s a one-time thing, I am all for it.

Looking at the actual uniform, I love the orange/sun in the “Rays” name on the front. The cap font screams of some kind of 1970s juice bar sign. I don’t know about the usage of the two shades of blue, but it’s still pretty fun to look at.

Their opponent for the game, the Tigers, will actually wear throwbacks of uniforms that they actually wore.

It’s so unique, I might just even get the Rays cap just for historical fun purposes. But much like the once confusing “Turn Back the Clock” promotion, it’s only good in moderation.