Lots of rumors flying around now that Theo has concluded his meetings, and, surprisingly, A-Rod has drifted to the back burner. There's still the big question of Lowell, of course, and his decision to take or leave what is reportedly a 4-year deal with Boston will affect whether or not Boston decides to go after Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is a powerful hitter (.320, 34, 119) but drew lots of raised eyebrows when he returned from last year's offseason significantly fatter than before. Maybe he could explore the Curt Schilling route and work weight incentives into his contract? Heh. Hehe. Fat kids are funny. The other, more scintillating, rumor is that the Sox may be considering a trade for either Dan Haren or Johan Santana. Quite frankly, both of those rumors turn me on. Santana deserves to be on a team that will actually give him run support. Dan Haren is a badass. The current Sox rotation is exciting, yes, but very young, and while a trade for either Haren or Santana would surely mean giving up either Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz, the thought of following Beckett with a Haren or a Santana in the #2 is enough to get a girl pretty excited. Phew, is it hot in here?
Blah blah Brad Lidge blah blah. Yeah, the way to escape your demons is to move to the losing-est team in the history of baseball. Good luck with that. And, in other exciting news, rather than attempting to trade for some big names or explore new management possibilities, Tampa Bay has apparently decided to forgo off-season trade maneuvering altogether and simply change their name and brand identity as the surest route to improving their ballclub. They will no longer be called the Devil Rays, but simply the Rays, and will be sporting the spiffy new logo below:
Um, yay, I guess? I mean, clearly SOMETHING needs to change down there. [Note: That's what she said.] Maybe this is the magic bullet the hapless Devil Rays -- oh, excuse me, the RAYS -- need. I was going to suggest something like signing some damn pitching, or at least teaching your players how not to get thrown out of games, but what do I know? At least one Ray is excited about the change:
"It feels like a fresh start," left fielder Carl Crawford said. "It's like that feeling of going to school on the first day. You get to wear the new uniforms. It feels good. You know what they say, 'You play like you feel.' We feel good, we look good, so hopefully, we'll play good."
Crawford has seen his share of losing, but with the team the Rays had at the conclusion of the 2007 season, he has a renewed optimism about the direction of the franchise, and said that he felt the changes reflect that new direction.
"Most definitely, I'm the most optimistic I've been," he said. "I get to play beside B.J. Upton every day, hopefully hitting in front of him, and Delmon [Young], too. If you can't get excited about playing in that outfield every day, then you don't have a pulse. ... I think this is the best potential we've had since the club came into existence."
Bear in mind that this "potential" Crawford is referring to has nothing to do with any actual trades or changes in the front office. This is strictly based on the name and logo change. Maybe this will become like one of those heartwarming family movies, where the Rays will play really well and make it to the playoffs with their new uniforms, but then something terrible will happen to the new uniforms and they'll have to play in Game 7 of the World Series without them, and they'll be terrified that they can't win without the uniforms, but then Wade Boggs or someone will show up and reveal that IT WASN'T THE UNIFORMS, THEY HAD THE POWER INSIDE THEM ALL ALONG and they'll win the Series and everyone will learn a valuable lesson about life and love.
But probably not.