Losers are losers for a reason. And, the Tampa Bay Rays are losers.
Since entering the American League 10 years ago, the former Devil Rays have compiled a winning percentage of .399. That’s the worst in baseball history.
Despite getting rid of their previous scumbag owner, Vince Naomoli, and having a solid base of great young players the people in the Rays organization still think like losers. There’s too much carryover of deadwood from the previous administration.
Despite raising payroll this season, Tampa is always looking for ways to save a buck and usually it’s at the expense of nickle-and-diming their own players.
The latest example occured yesterday when Tampa sent rookie infielder, Evan Longoria, back to the minors.
Longoria is definitely the Rays starting third baseman of the future. After a superstar college career at Long Beach State, the Rays picked him with the 3rd overall pick of the 2006 draft, signing him to a $3 million bonus. Scouts label him a “can’t miss” star.
Longoria has been the Rays starting third baseman for all of spring training this year. He hit .262 with three homers and 10 RBI. More importantly, he PROVED to the front office and his teammates that he should be their regular third baseman.
But, Tampa sent the 22-year-old back to Triple A, Durham, just to save a couple of dollars. By sending him down now, Tampa will retain their rights to Longoria through 2014 (instead of 2013). They also delay his eligibility for arbitration for another season.
They may have saved a couple of bucks in the short run, but is this really the message the club wants to send its key young players? I mean, the Rays are already thinking of how to screw Longoria SIX years from now.
The team is also risking souring Longoria’s relationship with the club before he’s even played a game with them. Naturally Longoria was disappointed with the decision,
“It’s a tough thing to swallow; just going to go back down and keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. “There’s a lot of reasons for it, but it’s not really my say on that. It’s what the front office has to say and they made the decision.”
And, of course, the other Tampa players and fans will be sure to notice this. Why should fans come to the park when the club isn’t willing to put its best players on the field? The Rays finished 29th in MLB in attendance last season.
Entering their 11th season the Rays have proven yet again that on AND off the field they’re losers.