Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

Weekly Nickel 6-4-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Curtis Granderson (left) and Derek Jeter (right) are two of the main reasons why the New York Yankees are right in the thick of things in the AL East as usual.

By Josh Kramer

Can you say playoffs?  The past month and a half has been defined by playoff action.  Last week though, Grand Slam tennis in Paris was added to the slate.  Not to mention Tiger Woods tied Jack Nicklaus with PGA victory number 73.  I thoroughly enjoyed last week, but this week will be even better as we delve deeper into the playoffs and action at Roland Garros.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  A 20-minute long red flag at Dover on Sunday.  12 cars were involved in the massive collision that occurred on the exit of Turn 2.  Hopefully next Sunday will be a little less eventful at Pocono Raceway as Jimmie Johnson looks to jump Greg Biffle atop the Sprint Cup Series.

4.  It took 8,020 and games and 134 pitches from Johan Santana.  But the Mets finally have a no-hitter.  Both Roy Oswalt and Dustin Pedroia are making two very different types of comebacks.  And after a stellar career in which he posted a career .309 batting average, Magglio Ordonez is officially hanging up the spikes.  Also what is the deal in the East?  All teams are within striking distance in both the AL and NL East, with no team trailing first place by more than 3.5 games.  The matchup of the week will take place in the Bronx.

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees:  Every team in the AL East is very much in contention at the moment.  Amazingly, all five teams have a positive run differential.  The AL Central currently only has one team with a positive run differential (Cleveland).  But let’s be entirely honest.  Does anyone truly think the Orioles or Blue Jays will be in contention come October?  The AL East has been a three-team race for years now and will continue to stay that way into the foreseeable future.  The Yankees and Rays happen to be two of those three teams in contention each and every year.

As is typically the case in New York, the Bronx Bombers have been dropping bombs all year long, leading the American League in home runs.  Tampa Bay on the other hand has won in a much different fashion, relying heavily on their very talented pitching staff.  David Price and Jeremy Hellickson have both been stifling the opposition since the beginning of April.  For the Yankees, the Captain (Derek Jeter), who actually just celebrated the ten-year anniversary of becoming the Yankees captain yesterday, has turned into a modern-day version of Ponce de Leon, discovering the baseball fountain of youth.  Also, Curtis Granderson’s insane power has been another key to New York’s success.  The Rays swept the Yankees to open the season back in early April.  New York returned the favor by taking two of three at the beginning of May.  Look for Tampa to turn the tables yet again taking two of three, with Hellickson and Price starting two of the games. Continue reading

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Food for Thought 5-1-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rudy Gay (pictured above) is the main guy in Memphis these days. After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, the Grizzlies will rely heavily on Gay to help get Memphis back into the series.

By Josh Kramer

Today is a special day for “TheSportsKraze.”  Back when I started this blog in September of 2009, I never could have imagined all that I would learn from this experience.  Writing daily on this forum has truly been a blessing and helped me grow as both a writer and as a person.  When my roommate convinced me to start “TheSportsKraze,” I figured it would be a nice little hobby that may get some looks from ten to twenty of my closest family and friends a day.  These days, “TheSportsKraze” has become a major part of my daily routine and is read by hundreds of people from across the globe every day.  Well today, we have hit the 900th post.  Please take it in and enjoy.

Sleeping in Memphis?

All NBA fans had the Clippers/Grizzlies series circled as the one that would provide some fireworks in the opening round. Well the series opener did not disappoint by any means.  I turned the game off after the third quarter.  It was already kind of late, and the Grizzlies were absolutely making a mockery out of “Lob City.”  Shame on me for not watching the full 48 minutes.  The beauty of sports is no game is ever over until the final horn sounds or the final out is made.  I learned this as a young child when Reggie Miller ripped the hearts out of the New York Knicks by scoring eight points in nine seconds on May 7, 1995.

I have been high on the Grizzlies all season.  There is a reason why I picked them way back in December to play deep into the postseason.  The Grizzlies shocked the Spurs last year.  And this off-season, they only appeared to get better.  Through three quarters on Sunday, they looked the part as a major contender in the West.  Then the fourth quarter from hell struck. Continue reading

Food for Thought 4-10-2012

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. The last time the Yankees began a season 0 and 3 was 1998. One of the key cogs to that team which ended up winning the World Series was Tino Martinez (pictured above).

By Josh Kramer

Panic has struck the entire East Coast.  God forbid the Red Sox and Yankees both got swept in their opening series.  For just the second time in MLB history (1966 was the other), the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have started the year 0 and 3 (now both are 1 and 3).  This happens almost every year where a high-profile team stumbles out of the gate.  Last year, Boston was beside itself when the “Fenway All-Stars” started out the year 0 and 6.  They ended up winning 90 games and missing the playoffs due to the modern-day version of the Boston Massacre and one of the wildest final nights in the history of the baseball.  Back in 2009, both New York and Boston were relegated to the cellar in the AL East after six games.  We all know who ended up hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy that Fall (Boston made the playoffs as well). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-9-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Cody Zeller (pictured above) is projected as a sure-fire lottery pick. Yet, he is on the fence about whether he should stay in Bloomington or take his talents to the NBA. He has 20 days to make up his mind.

By Josh Kramer

Sunday was truly a “fun” day in the sporting world. Masters insanity.  Carmelo put on a Broadway-esque performance in the Big Apple.  And John Isner led the US Davis Cup team into the semifinals.  It was a wild Sunday to say the least.  Last week was fun.  But this week is poised to be every bit as entertaining.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Should I stay or should I go?  Many college basketball players across the country are pondering this question as they heavily weigh their options on if they should spend more time at the collegiate ranks, or try to take their talents to the professional level.  Every year there are guys that declare, that really have no business departing. Also though, there are always guys that could have left, that decide to stay for another year and continue to refine their skills 20 days remain for the non-seniors to make up their minds.  Remember, only 60 players will get drafted come June 28th. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Bobby Valentine (pictured above) is the current Red Sox manager due to a horrible September collapse last year. Will he right the ship in Beantown?

By Josh Kramer

Three months and still going strong.  The “Throwback Saturday” experiment has gone better than expected.  For those of you who have no idea what “Throwback Saturday” is, here’s a quick synopsis.  It is a time to look back and reflect.  What was happening on April 7, 2011? How about April 7, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Panic Time in Beantown?

Here is a snippet..

There are currently only two teams in all of Major League Baseball that we can call “defeated.”  Otherwise known as, “winless.”  Surprisingly, both of these teams are perennial playoff teams that reside in what most, including myself, consider the best division in all of baseball.

Were we all too high on the mighty AL East?

Tampa Bay currently sits at 0 and 5.  While the team that Sports Illustrated and most baseball experts picked to win not only the American League, but the World Series, sports the worst record in baseball.  Yes, the Boston Red Sox, the team with the most potent and dangerous lineup in all of baseball sits at 0 and 6.

Is it time to press the panic button in Beantown?

How many games are in an MLB Season?  162 right?  Boston has completed a little less than 4 percent of their games and people act as if the world is ending.  SportsCenter is providing stories on why history is against the Red Sox.  Most internet sites are calling the Red Sox a fraud.  And if you forget what a fraud is, just ask Colin Cowherd what the term means.

Well I am not playing into it, yet.  Sure the BoSox supposedly unstoppable offense has only scored 16 runs on the year, which is tied for second worse in the American League.  Sure Boston’s supposedly, “very solid” pitching staff has given up the second most runs in all of baseball.  38 to be exact, which translates to a little over six runs a game.  Even in Little League, giving up six runs a game is not part of a winning formula.  But they have only played six games.  It is a six month marathon for a reason (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and spring is here.  Come April,  it’s time for baseball season.  There are few minor changes this year to the playoff system, but have no fear, the excitement will … Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer How many times have you heard a person say that baseball is too boring?  That baseball is a sport in which it is impossible to watch a full game on television?  A sport that is longer the American pastime? I am sure you have … Continue reading