Saturday, August 8, 2009

Two new Rays become elder statesman for playoff run

As the Rays left St. Petersburg for Seattle, the roster only contained one player older than me: Brian Shouse. Tonight, before they play the Seattle Mariners in game 2 of the 3 game series, the Rays now have 2 more players older than me on the roster: Gregg Zaun and Russ Springer. I'm not saying these guys are old, but Springer was once traded for Jim Abbott, the one-armed pitcher. Zaun has been to the World Series once and that was before the Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first game.

Both of these guys bring a wealth of big league experience to the team. Both have been many places and have seen many things. Arguably, the biggest thing they bring is veteran leadership to a team who is seemingly lacking in that department. Both guys will undoubtedly tell the Rays young players how hard it is to get to the postseason and how it's even harder to be successful in the post season.

Zaun is very familiar with the AL East as a whole. He's been in the division since 2004, so he knows exactly how to call a game against the Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Orioles.  He also provides an improved alternate at catcher as Dioner Navarro continues to struggle.

As for Springer, he's spent most of his time in the National League. He's coming from Oakland 4.10 ERA in 48 games. He's know for his feud with Barry Bonds a few years back.  He hit Bonds rather than let him hit a homer off of him while chasing Hank Aaron. Sounds like he's got a little fire that may do the bullpen some good.

I've been saying that the Rays need some *spark* or *fire* to really get going. Maybe these two guys are just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, we may have seen the last of "The Greatness that is Michel Hernandez" and Joe Dillionaire. Both were DFA'd this afternoon to make room on the roster.


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Bud Light said...

Put a little slam on Hernandez as he is packing..
"His greatness M. Hernandez".... as you better not hope he is picked up by anyone the Rays play this year or later, because I'll tell you this, he is a BETTER catcher than G Zaun and Navarro ...probably put together! Book it!

Michael Weber said...

That's been my nickname for Hernandez since last year. It wasn't meant as a slam, except to say he's journeyman catcher, no more no less

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