Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blog Is Closed, Temporarily

I'm gonna change some things up on this blog, good things...keep your eyes peeled. I've been busy in the past 2 weeks and I'm finally up for a vacation...

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Unveiling....The Official 2005 D-Rays Season Preview: Part 1-The Line-up

After a few days of deliberating, I decided that I should take Jay and Jim's advice and make my own season preview... Here goes nothing.... I've broken every player down into 3 categories(THE STORY, WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT? and PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS)

The Line-Up
1. LF- Carl Crawford

THE STORY:After going the whole offseason thinking that he's gonna be our Starting Centerfielder until Rocco returns and possibly after, Lou drops the bombshell that he's gonna keep CC at Left Field. CC didn't mind it, seeing that Left Field is his natural position.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Stolen bases, consistant hitting at the top of the order, triples(Chicks also dig the somewhat longball), bunt singles and Gold-glove Defense. Not much more to say about CC.

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 60 Stolen Bases, 15-20 HRs, 100 runs scored, 70 RBIs, 8 Outfield Assists and a batting average between .280 and .300. I also think that Carl will make his 2nd consecutive trip to the All-Star game. Also, to Rays Fans' glee, he will sign a long-term deal with the Rays.

2. CF- Alex Sanchez

THE STORY: After a 2004 season where the Tigers seen Alex hit for a .322 average, they decided that he wasn't worth keeping any longer. Alex was signed on the same day as Alomar and Bautista's retirements, which many Rays seen as the first few signs of the apocalypse. He was being considered to be our starting LF, then Lou proclaimed that he was going to be our starting RF and this weekend he stated that Sanchez will be our starting CF(his natural position) and most likely bat 2nd in the lineup.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Strikeouts, Stolen Bases, more strikeouts and horrible defense. His OBP was only .334 last year when he batted .322, so we shouldn't get our hopes up when we see that nice batting average. Alex is just going to be warming up the seat for Rocco's return and should provide Rocco-like slap-and-hack hitting without the potential for Home Runs.

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 36 Stolen Bases, 5-10 HRs(if we're lucky), .300 Batting Avg., 101 Ks in 82 games(Opening Day til Rocco's July 4th return), 60 Runs Scored, 46 RBIs, 5 Errors, 6 Outfield Assists and 4 Excedrin Headaches for Lou. Alex won't be as horrible as some people predict him to be, but he still will drive most of us crazy like Cruz did last year.

3. RF- Aubrey Huff

THE STORY: We knew going into Spring Training that Huff would be playing a corner outfield position, but we weren't sure which one. The Aftermath of Bautista's retirement ended up with the Rays moving Huff from LF to RF. Huff just wants to stay at one position for the entire season, which has yet to happen in his career. Also, Trades rumors continue to swirl around Rays camp regarding Huff.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Think Scott Rolen-Lite, He's got the offensive numbers just not the golden glove. Huff will most likely maintain his golden boy streak of averaging near 30 HR/100 RBI/.300 Batting Avg numbers.

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 34 Homeruns, 120 RBIs, .315 Batting Average, .930 OPS, 50 doubles and about 100 Runs Scored. Expect an eye-opening season by Huff. He's gotten some help on offense and his numbers will show that. However, he will continue to prod at the Front office for offensive support by opening their wallets a bit more. Also, he'll step into more of a leadership type of role on this young team. He'll also let Delmon take over the RF spot when he makes his debut, but will warn him that he'd better produce or he'll take it right back. Could be the other half of the Rays' First All-Star duo of this century...


4. DH/1B- Josh Phelps

THE STORY: After years of being blocked by known hard-hitting players and Ben Broussard, Phelps was one of the Rays top signees of this offseason. He's meant to cure the Rays deplorable DH problems. He's pretty been promised what will end up in a career number of At-bats for him(400+) and some opportunities to play some 1st base.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Monster Homeruns and oh yeah, strikeouts. He's always been great against Southpaws and we haven't been given much of a chance to see what he can do against Righties. Lou has been known to improve batters and sluggers, look what he's done with Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner(Thanks Jim). He's also an average fielder and may get a few starts hear and there.

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 38 Homeruns, 90 RBIs and a .274 Batting Average. He'll be a huge surprise to some Rays fans and will show all the doubters in Toronto what they could've had if they would've given him a chance. He'll hit most of these HRs in the 2nd half of the season, which would negate him from any All-Star considerations. He'll be signed to a 2-3 yr. extension late in the season.

5. SS- Julio Lugo

THE STORY: Same old Lugo, nothing new going on with him. Just laying the tracks for Upton's eventual return to St. Pete. He just wants to make sure that Upton is at his tip-top best before he gives him the job.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Decent hitting, decent Power, stolen bases and fewer errors. Yup, since his offensive numbers are pretty decent for a short-stop..he'll be able to relax more and his defense should improve vastly from last year.

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: A 20/20 season with a .290 Batting Average, 90 Runs scored and 80 RBIs. Oh yeah, he'll end the season with only 14 Errors. The thing is, will he end the season with the Devil Rays? I don't think that he will, just because Tampa feels the need for BJ to play everyday for us and with "The Wiz" helping Upton that shouldn't take long. Lugo will provide to be valuable, nonetheless in our trading of him. He should get us a nice bat or a shiny top prospect. KEYWORD: SHOULD

6. 2B-Jorge Cantu

THE STORY: This past season has been a wild rollercoaster ride for Jorge. He came out of nowhere and launched himself on to the Rays radar in Durham when he hit 20+ Homeruns. Then he impressed the Lou and the Rays enough in St. Pete when he smacked 20 doubles and kept his batting average over .300. Lou guaranteed him a spot on 2005's roster, which Cantu took into mind and continued to smack the ball in the fall leagues. However, the signing of Alomar looked like it would hinder Jorge's progress...yet he took it all in stride. Now, with the retirement of Alomar and the way he's been hitting in Spring Training...he's sure to continue to get better.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Doubles, Homeruns, more doubles, decent batting average, some strikeouts, an error here and there and an occasional walk or two. How Jorge does this season is up to him, he worked hard for 6 years in the minors for this chance and now, through a retirement, he has the limelight put on him.

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 24 Homeruns, 75 RBIs, .320 Batting average, 80 strikeouts, 10 walks and 40 doubles. I also believe that Cantu will cement his spot in the line-up for years to come and we won't have to worry about looking or needing a 2nd baseman for many years to come. I also see Cantu signing a 2 to 3 year contract extension.

7. 1B- Travis Lee

THE STORY: Travis left Tampa last year for what he thought were "greener" pastures. Unfortunately, he was proven wrong when he spent most of the season on the DL with a completely screwed shoulder. However, he never burned his bridges and Lou & LaMar were gladly to welcome him back.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Gold-glove defense at 1st and an occasional hit or two...

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 5-10 Homeruns, 38-50 RBIs, .275 Batting Average and 1 Gold Glove.


8. 3B- Alex Gonzalez

THE STORY: Hasn't really done much up to this point in his career, spent most of his career playing great defense and short-stop for the Cubs. So it was surprising when Lou stated that A-Gone was our starting 3rd baseman, a spot that Alex has only played for 10 games in his career.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Good defense and an occasional game-winning HR

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 10 Homeruns, 40 RBIs, 3 Errors and a .250 batting average. He'll play alot until Upton makes his return and then he'll join a rotating triangle at 3rd and Short-stop with Lugo, Upton and A-Gone


9. C- Toby Hall

THE STORY: Same old Toby, still hasn't been forced into showing his true potential.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?: Decent Defense and shotty hitting...same thing he's consistantly done his whole career.

PREDICTED STATS/PREDICTIONS: 5-10 HRs, 40 RBIs, and plenty of excedrin headaches for Lou and Rays fans. Why, oh why, can't he fix that horrible batting stance? Maybe we can get a decent Catcher out of one of our trades this season...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Q&A Time with Everyone's Favorite Devil Ray, Seth McClung

Introduction: First of all, I'd like to thank Seth for being such a great interviewee. I am so lucky to have this opportunity and I hope that I didn't dissapoint him with "fluff" questions. Anywho, I hope you all enjoy this interview. Thanks -Jake


Jake: One of the biggest questions coming into thisseason for the Rays fans is "Is Seth completely rehabbed from Tommy John Surgery?" I'd like to knowhow well your arm is feeling. I've heard that in the game your arm got injured in, you actually heard it"pop", is there any truth to that? When I separated my shoulder, I heard the pop and wasn't in immediatepain, but when a tendon just snaps like yours did, youhad to have been in immense immediate pain. Sorry if I'm bringing up unhappy memories.

Seth: I didn’t hear it pop, I felt it pop. I was pitchingto A-Rod, I had just thrown him a pitch low and awayfor a ball and I wanted to elevate the ball on the next pitch. I threw that pitch as hard as I could andI could feel my elbow separate.

As for being healthy, yes I am healthy. I do feel I will be stronger next year, but I am as strong as I have ever been.

Jake: Being as tall as you are, do you feel that you havean advantage or disadvantage over hitters? I feel thatheight (being tall or short) gives its own advantages. How do you feel about it? Also, when you were growing up were the growth spurts slow and sporadic spurts or was it one major spurt? On my way to 6'5", I had small growth spurts which sandwiched an 8 inch spurt.

Seth: I feel my size has more up side than down side. First my height is good for getting a downward angle to the plate. Second, I am a big, strong, mean-looking guy out there. I think you see me on the mound as ahitter and know you’re in for a battle.

Disadvantages of my size would be that I am a large guy, I am 6’7ish 255-265ish and I have to constantly battle to keep at my playing weight.

I grew a lot when I was younger but I would have to say over all it was spread out well. When I was 10 I was 5’7”, at 12: 6’0”,at 14: 6’4”, at 16-20: 6’6”and at 21-up: 6’”7”


Jake: On a lot of Rays Message Boards, you're mentionedas being one of the most outgoing players and an unanimous pick as the Rays biggest "Fan Favorite". How do you feel about that?

Seth: I would first and foremost like to say thank you. I know I play a game for a living and I know people pay money to walk through the gates to see my team play. Ijust try to treat people like people. I am just a product of good parents.

Jake: One of my past interviewees, Carter Gaddis of theTampa Tribune, picked you as his biggest sleepers coming into Spring Training and one of his personalfavorite players on the Rays. How do you feel about?Any messages that you'd like for me to pass onto him?

Seth: Thanks for your confidence in me. I am an easy guy to write off sometimes, but I think Carter has a goodidea about how much of a fighter I am.


Jake: One thing that I've learned about Major Leaguers is that they usually have a few humorous minor league stories that they have witnessed. Are there any that you'd like to share?

Seth: In A ball, Rocco and I where at a restaurant parking lot in Columbia South Carolina, when this carfull of girls drove by. One of the guys with us yells at them. They stop the car and put it in reverse and come to talk to our group. Well these young ladies were not the best looking group, so our friend would not go talk to them, in there embarrassment they forgot to put the car in drive. When they went to drive off she slammed on the gas and backed right into a light post. We all took off running and that was the last of it.


Jake: Also, I've learned that Rookie Hazing usually happens once you make it to "The Show". Other than the infamous "Rays in Dresses" one, what was your first "Welcome to the Majors, kid" experience?

Seth: I had to sing a song on the bus.


Jake: If you had to live with any other Rays player, past or present, who would you choose? Who are your currentbuddies on the team?

Seth: I do not have many close friends on the team, I mean it is not like High school or anything where you're best friends with your team. We are around each other for about 8 months out of the year, so I do have friendships. I would say the best friends I have onthe team would be Joey Gaithright and Doug Waechter. I have also spent a lot of time this spring learning and talking to Neagle and Fossum.


Jake: If you had to choose your favorite baseball (orbaseball-related) movie of all time, what would it be?

Seth: It would have to be “for the love of the game” There is a scene in the movie where Billy Chapel is walking off the mound in the world series game and he looks up in the stands and his parents are there watching him. That part always gets me. I hope to one day have that experience as a son and as a father.

Jake: What has been the best advice that you have been given at any time in your baseball career?

Seth: “Play to win” My family is a sports family and mydad has a saying and it is “if we are keeping scoreplay to win” I don’t have fun when I pitch I have funwhen I win.


Jake: I've heard that you are an avid watcher of manymessage boards, do you ever post or do you just watch to see what fans opinions are of you or your buddies?Also, if someone rips on you badly, how mad do you get about it?

Seth: I have a lot of down time and I enjoy the internet. I do come across things said about me. I do not answer them in a public forum. I have wanted to before,especially when the people posting say something that I feel is completely wrong, but I know if you are passionate enough to post your opinions about the game on a website that you're probably watching a game or two a week and that makes you some one who helps keep our game the American pastime. I just take what is negative and store it in my mind. I feed off of the negative. I have always had the odds stacked against me. I have made many people wrong and I will continue to do so as long as some people continue to doubt my ability.


Jake: Outside of baseball, what are your biggest hobbies? Do you play video games, watch movies, fish?

Seth: I like the Playstation 2 and X box, I am prettygood. I also bought a Jet Ski in the season when I was rehabbing my elbow, I didn’t get to ride it much until they cleared me to do so, but when I did I had a blast. I also deeply love basketball and have a passion for helping and coaching kids. I have coachedt hree teams, all three finished first or second withone undefeated season. I have to give the credit tothe kids though. I demand discipline and hard work;they were the ones who put the ball in the hole.


Jake. Could you explain your normal off-season process? Do you take an extended vacation until January andwork yourself into shape until Spring Training startsor do you make sure that you work out a little bit every week?

Seth: As I have stated earlier in this interview I have a hard time keeping my weight down so I do continues conditioning all through the off season. I do take trips here and there. I do not leave home without my running shoes though


Jake: It's pretty much well-known that you are a verycharitable person, was that ingrained in you at ayoung age or have you always felt the need to help those who aren't as lucky as you've been? I heard today about how you drove after playing a game thisweekend to see Paul C. Smith's daughter play in abaseball game. You seem to have a big heart, Seth.

Seth: I do a lot of things you will never hear me talk about, I feel like since I am a baseball player I get too much attention for the things I do. I just do what I can. I am a person who likes to help out. I do run a program back home in West Virginia that is a very large undertaking and need to find corporate sponsors. The West Virginia Rush Athletic Program was developed to help kids in West Virginia get the most out of their athletic ability and for some of these kids,help them make it to college on there god-given ability.

So if anyone reading this would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the WV Rush please check out our website for more details www.wvrush.com

I am very proud of the work done so far on the program, I have gotten great help from my volunteers and would like to make sure they know they are appreciated.


Jake: There was a report that one of your fellow teammates, Rob Bell, turned down the opportunity to beABC's newest "Bachelor", has anyone joked with himabout that? If they had come to you with that opportunity (pending your current relationship status), would you have accepted it or declined it?

Seth: I would love to maybe have a small part in a movie or TV show or something, but as far as something like that I don’t think I am what they are looking for. I don’t have the same look as Rob Bell; he would have been prefect for "The Bachelor." He caught some ribbing for it from the guys, but Rob has what I call a“vernacular assault” that is fast and lethal.


Jake: Do you have any personal picks as the biggest break-out player in the entire Rays Organization? If you do, would you care to share them?

Seth: Watch out league, Carl Crawford is still yet to "break out". I think he is going to be a super star in this game.


Jake: In Closing, are there any comments that you'd like to leave Devil Rays fans?

Seth: Thank you for your continuing support of our franchise, keep your faith with our youth. I have faith that through us (the youth) we can turn thisthing around. I would also like to ask all the Yankees and Red Sox fans in the area where they live? I see a lot of these die hard Yankee and Red Sox fans with 727 and 813 phone numbers!!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Video Game Review: MVP Baseball 2005

Wow, I feel like a liar right now. I mentioned that in my last post that "I was back and better than ever." I mentioned that I'd be posting alot more since it was the onstart of spring training. Wow, it makes me look like I'm a phony. Anywho, I'll explain my absense, First off, I've been just lazy lately and whenever I get off of work I'd play MVP '05 or GT4. I've been also lacked in posting at my other blogs(Rays Talk, Ya Gotta Believe and SWM Rays). That's starting to change because I've been doing some research for future articles and I have a few solid post-worthy subjects. Well, that's that and I'll post my official review of MVP.

Overall Presentation: One of the great things about the MVP is the crispness of the players. The fields look like the actual fields and the players faces are almost perfect matches of their real-life counterparts. What's not to like? The play is solid and they appear to have worked a bit on making the fielding a bit harder than last year, when every catch rivaled Willie Mays' "over the shoulder" catch. All of last year's major glitches have been fixed and adjusted, I'll be more in-depth about that later.

Controls: Even if you've never played this game, the controls are a piece of cake. While the game loads before you play, it'll give you a refresher on what buttons do what. The only flaw that I see in the game is the in-game menu(L2) is a bit complicated and the bullpen causes the buttons to be a bit more sensitive(the player you have warmed up will replace the pitcher with a slight nudge) and pressing triangle at any time causes the manager to storm out and argue a call. Other than that, no major problems with the control.

Hitting: Vastly improved from 2004's edition of MVP. No more of the "Lefty" glitch. Also, if you need help figuring out how to hit, you can play a few rounds of the new "simon says" hitting game and you'll be ready to hit against any pitcher you face. I admit that it seems harder to hit a homerun in a real game than in previous editions, but HRs don't matter much to me in video games anyways. No real problems here. Hitters eye didn't really help me, but I can see how it works and can help people adjust.

Pitching: One of the first things that I heard before this game came out is that the pitching is drastically harder. In my opinion, it's the exact opposite. I've had to restart my dynasty mode just because of the easiness. In my 2nd game played in MVP, I pitched a "Perfect Game" with Mark Hendrickson. I usually average between 4 to 10 strikeouts a game and I've yet to walk 1 batter. One of the things that I enjoy about this game is that the computer's pitchers are very, very intelligent. It's hard to get solid contact off of any "good" pitcher. If they notice that you swing at pitches out of the zone, they'll continue to pitch out of the zone. I'm starting to think that the inventors of Questec had something to do with the pitching in this game.

Modes: In this game, you have loads of choices to make. You can select Dynasty mode where you are in charge of improving the team in a 3-year period and beyond. You'll see your minor leaguers grow and improve, becoming all-stars and hall-of-famers in front of your eyes. In this year's edition, you have "Owner Mode" where you control everything about the team. The roster, the mangers, the training staff, the scouts, stadium prices, etc. You are also in charge of building a new stadium from the ground up. You start with a 12,000 capacity and work your way up to a humongous stadium. The way you do that is garner fans' attention by having special promotional days and setting suitable ticket prices. Also, that means if you're a Rays fan, you don't have deal with idiot moves by Vincenzo and Chuckles anymore. Gotta love that....

Here's the wrap-up of the review:
Pros:
-Baseball America helped with the player rankings, so we no longer have problems with insane stats.
-Player progression is vastly improved, Delmon Young is a monster from Day 1 on.
-Ability to edit players' hot/cold zones, ratings, appearance without being penalized.
-Pitching meter is fun to work with.
-Customizable game sliders. If the game seems too easy, make it harder for you. I've tinkered a bit with the sliders and I've yet to have any insane statistical games.
-Managers get to argue call

Cons:
-SCABS, if your player is a prospect or not a member of a MLBPA, you have to edit the name and appearance of him. Jon Dowd= Barry Bonds, Larry Friese=Kevin Millar, Kendrick Morales=Delmon Young and so on.
-If your manager gets thrown out, you can no longer warm up pitchers by yourself...Your bench coach warms up pitchers IF he feels the need for one and you can't pick which one of his replacements is coming out.
-Owner Mode is very complicated and hard. I tried it and could hardly get any fanbase.

Overall Score: 8.5 out of 10

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I'm Back and Better than Ever!

For the last few weeks my posts here have been few and far between. The last few days, outside of working, I've been resting and trying to keep my mind intact. I've got some good news for you guys, pretty much.. First, most of you know about my little thing with ESPN which fell through from variables outside of my control. Next, I've been accepted by MVN to write on "Rays Talk", which I will write new material for(outside of the stuff I write here). Also, I'm going to do series previews for Jay on Raysbaseball.com. Jay, I'm definitely going to do those, I've finally decided that I'm going to. I'm also working on getting a few interviews during this season. I've also gotten my Fantasy Baseball teams to work on(2 Private, 2 Public, 1 ESPN). This is surely going to be a fun year for me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The 2005 Amatuer Draft Preview: First Looks

I put my brain to work today and decided that it would be great that I keep myself and everyone else in tune with College and HS baseball in preparation to this June's draft. Since it's very early in the season, I'm just going to list who my preliminary picks on who I think that we could possibly pick at #8.

1. Justin Upton(HS OF)- Yes, right now he's listed as Baseball America's guess as this year's #1 Pick, but the same thing was said about Stephen Drew last year and he's not even close to being signed yet. We've got the upper hand if Justin falls to us, seeing that we have BJ in our system already and he's visited TB plenty of times.The only drawback on Justin is that we're already vastly deep in outfielders.

2. Brian Bogusevic(College[Tulane] 1B/OF/SP)- A two-way player at Tulane and shows flashes of brilliance at both.This weekend(2/11-2/13) he pitched a brilliant game(13 Ks) one day and had the game-winning hit in the next game(1-1, 3 RBIs). We could use his two-way capabilities and let him figure out what he wants to do. He plays at 2 positions that we could use some depth at(1B and Pitching).

3. Sean O'Sullivan(HS SP/3B/OF)- Has been dubbed one of the top prospects in prep baseball since he was 12. He's a star as both as batter and pitcher. Will probably be drafted as a 3B, but could always be converted into a SP if there was a need.

4. Jed Lowrie(College[Stanford] 2B)- Was one of the best 2B in college and looks like got even better during his offseason. So far he's already hit 4 HRs and its still the beginning of his season. His stock is rising fast and he looks like he could be a very good pick for any team.

5. Alex Gordon(College[Nebraska] 3B)- Not since Darin Erstad has there been such a highly-touted player coming from Lincoln. Alex Gordon has always been a great offensive 3rd Baseman, but that isn't even what makes him so great. It's his defense, which at times seems scary because he does everything so natural.

6. Ryan Braun(College[Miami(FL)] 3B/SS)- BA's Top Freshmen in '02 seems to have gotten his stroke back and has already hit 4 HRs in 7 games for Miami. An injury hampered him last season, so keep an eye on him in case it flares up again.

7. Jeff Clement(College[USC] C)- One of the best hitting catchers in the history of college baseball, but there's some work needed to be done on his defense. Would be an upgrade to the current Toby Hall-Kevin Cash platoon.

8. Wade Townsend(College[Rice, sorta] SP)- It would be great if we could get 2/3rds of the "Rice Trio" in 1 rotation. He's been said to have improved his game alot and gotten stronger, but who knows what a year away from baseball can do to him.

9. Cesar Ramos(College [Long Beach St.] SP)- Former Rays pick in '02 has only gotten better since we drafted him. When I watched him pitch in last year's college World Series, I almost forgot that Jered Weaver was the ace of that staff. Wouldn't mind seeing him again.

10. Stephen Head (College[Mississippi] 1B/SP)- Has one of the nicest swings in college baseball and almost just as good in pitching. They'll probably make him choose a position by the end of the season and we'd be happy for either position.

**I'd like to thank Baseballamerica.com for the names**

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Why Are Rays Fans So Against The Signing of Neagle???

I'm reading various Rays/MLB message boards and all I see is bitching and moaning on the signing of Denny Neagle...for what reason, He could be a flop? He could tarnish our team name? He could trap himself inside Mons Venus and not leave unless his demands are met? I don't see a legitimate reason why we should complain about taking a chance on a decent veteran starting pitcher. Nomo may be a question mark because he made his career out of using a forkball pitch and has to rely on a fastball if hitters are prepared for the forkball. Out of the 2 Pitching signees, who would you rather see on the mound? I'm sure that I wouldn't be the only one who would choose Neagle. So he made a mistake in Colorado, so what? Everyone makes mistakes, his mistake was just magnified when it was brought into the limelight. Does offering money for some "Sexual Healing" ruin his pitching mechanics? Probably not, unless he's a sadist. I wouldn't be surprised if Neagle had a better year this year in Tampa than any year that he was in Colorado. First, he's out of Colorado which will affect his pitching splits dramatically in the positive direction. Second, our signing him at the league minimum will probably make him want to pitch "lights out" so that he'll (A)get a contract extension from us or (B) garner attention for another team to sign him to a multi-million dollar contract.