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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Roger Mooney

Tribune Staff

New Rays president Auld steps into middle of stadium talks

- Brian Auld, 37, now finds himself not only running a major-league team and implementing owner Stuart Sternberg's organizational vision, but he also has moved to the forefront of the team's effort to land a new stadium.

Rays’ Silverman confident Maddon will return

- Matt Silverman, the Tampa Bay Rays’ new vice president of baseball operations, said Wednesday he expects Joe Maddon to manage the team in 2015 and beyond.

Friedman’s best, worst moves with Rays

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Andrew Friedman helped turn the Rays from one of the worst teams in the major leagues to one that reached the postseason in four of the past seven seasons. Here is a look at his biggest transaction hits and misses.

Rays' Silverman 'right person' to take Friedman's role

- When Andrew Friedman, the Rays’ executive vice president of baseball operations, left to join the Dodgers, owner Stuart Sternberg said he knew of only one person to replace Friedman — team president Matt Silverm...

Friedman leaving Rays, accepts Dodgers position

- Andrew Friedman made the Rays annual contenders on a shoestring budget, but now he is in L.A. to head the big-budget Dodgers’ operations department.

Rays Beat: L.A. opportunity could prove intriguing for Friedman

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— The fallout from the Dodgers' early postseason exit just might have the team's higher-ups longingly casting their eyes this way, but the object of their desire might n...

With a solid core, Rays plan just a few ‘tweaks’ in offseason

- In the Rays' 2014 postmortem news conference, GM Andrew Friedman said the team just didn't score enough runs. That, he said, “will, obviously, be a very large focal point of our offseason.”

Run production high among Rays' biggest issues this offseason

- The Rays expect to compete for a division title and they expect to do it with largely the same group that finished a disappointing fourth in the AL East with the team's first losing season since 2007.

Rays Notes: Zobrist hopes to return in 2015

- The Rays hold a $7.5 million option with a $500,000 buyout for 2015 on Ben Zobrist, who hopes to be back next season.

Maddon eager to extend contract with Rays

- With 2014 officially in the books, Rays manager Joe Maddon is entering the final year of his contract. He said before Sunday’s game that he would like to manage for 10 more seasons and that he would like to manage the...

Rays’ fitting loss in finale caps ‘awkward’ season

- The Rays’ disappointing 2014 came to an underwhelming close Sunday at Progressive Field with a 7-2 loss to the Indians. All that remained was to debate whether it was an “awkward” or “disappointing&#...

Maddon talks about his future as Rays prepare for final game

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CLEVELAND – The Tampa Bay Rays end a disappointing season this afternoon against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, which was the site of one of the biggest wins in Rays history — last year’...

Rays notebook: Shutout puts pitching staff in select company

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— RHP Alex Colome helped the Rays place their name again in the record books.

Maddon says coaching changes unlikely

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— Rays coaches are under contract through next season, so unless bench coach Dave Martinez receives a chance to manage another club this offseason, Joe Maddon said he expect...

Archer hungers for more success

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— It was a crisp autumn night, the kind associated with important late-season baseball games, and there was Chris Archer, in control of the moment against an Indians team sc...

Boston stomps Hellickson, Rays 11-1

- Jeremy Hellickson turned in the shortest start of his career, going just 2 1/3 innings and allowing eight hits and five earned runs in an 11-1 loss.

Balfour’s season to forget continues in Rays 11-1 loss

- If only Grant Balfour could hit a reset button and send the season back to the early part when he struggled with his fastball and his command and getting batters out. Maybe things would have turned out differently for him a...

Rays clinch losing season with Fenway blowout

- The Tampa Bay Rays chances of avoiding a losing season ended Wednesday night at Fenway Park in a loss that even Rays manager Joe Maddon called “ugly.”

Myers looking ahead to improving next season

- “I haven't had any fun,” said Wil Myers, who is not shy in talking about how miserable his sophomore year in the big leagues has been for last year's American League Rookie of the Year.

Rays' Escobar likely done for season with knee sprain

- Yunel Escobar will likely miss the final five games of the season with a left knee sprain suffered during the third inning of Tuesday's 6-2 loss against the Red Sox.

Cobb makes case for being Rays ace in 6-2 win

- On an early autumn evening in a game featuring two teams going nowhere, Alex Cobb turned in postseason-like performance against the Boston Red Sox despite not having his best fastball.

Maddon faces busy winter trying to bolster Rays offense

- The Rays begin their final road trip of the season tonight against the Red Sox having scored 598 runs through 156 games, a total that ranked 13th in the American League prior to Monday’s action.

Rays lose home finale to White Sox, 10-5

- Sunday’s 10-5 drubbing by the White Sox in the final home game of the season dropped the Rays’ record at the Trop to 36-45, their worst mark since the 2003 Devil Rays finished with the same record.

Rays notebook: Karns hoping to repeat debut feat

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— So what does RHP Nathan Karns do for an encore?

Rays missing out shows how tough it is to consistently reach playoffs

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— Well, so much for eating last. The Rays’ mantra over these final days of the season is “wait ’til next year,” while attempting a

Rays goal remains in sight

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— The lofty goals that surrounded the Rays way back in March have been whittled down to this: avoid a losing season.

Rays notes: Zobrist wins team's renamed Zimmer MVP Award

- Ben Zobrist was voted team MVP for the second time by the members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, but this one came with a special honor.

Rays eliminated from postseason with loss to White Sox

- Not that it came as a shock Friday night when the Tampa Bay Rays were eliminated from postseason contention. It didn’t. But the 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox made it official.

Loss to Jays sums up Rays’ season

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— You can add Saturday’s loss to the “that’s the 2014 season in a nutshell,” file. Or, perhaps squeeze the game into that file if there is still ro...

Rookie Karns dazzles in debut, shuts out Jays

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— Nathan Karns could have been in Durham, N.C., on Friday, pitching the Bulls to a Triple A title. Instead, he was in Canada pitching in a meaningless game for a team going no...

Rays' Cobb five outs short of no-hitter, but Yankees rally to 5-4 win

- Alex Cobb sailed along most of the night, ending his no-hit bid in the eighth. But the Yankees rallied, with the last three runs coming on Chris Young’s walk-off homer in the ninth against Jake McGee.

Rays notes: Hanigan, Drew and the collision rule

- “Trying to give a guy a place to slide so he can maybe be safe isn’t really my style if I have the ball,” Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan said. “If he wants to slide, he can slide right into me or he can h...

Rays owner Sternberg on 2015: Lower payroll

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— Now that what was supposed to be an exciting season has reached its final weeks, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said itȁ...

Fast start wasted in Rays' 8-5 loss to Yankees

- The Rays batted around in the first inning and sent Jake Odorizzi to the mound with a four-run lead before he threw his first pitch. And that was it as far as highlights for the Rays on Wednesday night.

Rays play at the plate highlights confusion over rule

- It possible that Stephen Drew would have been ruled safe at home plate during the fifth inning had Tuesday’s game been played Sunday or any day this season before Major League Baseball clarified the collision rule at ...

Archer continues to rule in N.Y. in Rays' 4-3 win

- Bases loaded with no outs and the Rays up by three runs in the fifth inning, Chris Archer knew what was happening. But unlike recent outings, this time he passed the test.

Relief pitchers put Rays in good shape for next season

- The Rays retool the bullpen every offseason. This time, the offseason work might have begun a little earlier, and the key pieces to the 2015 bullpen might have already emerged.

Rays notes: Archer says issue is simply execution

- Right-hander Chris Archer, who has allowed 10 hits and 13 earned runs in 10 innings over his last two starts, said his problems are not because of fatigue after logging a career-high 167 1⁄3 innings during his first f...

Rays open 2015 season at home vs. Orioles

- The Rays, who released the schedule Monday, will open the season at Tropicana Field for the sixth consecutive year.

Smyly sets the tone again in walk-off victory

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— If it was indeed Drew Smyly’s last start of the season, if the Rays are going to shut the young left-hander down to limit his workload this year with an eye on...

Familiar formula ends Rays scoreless skid

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— It was, as Rays manager Joe Maddon would say more than once afterwards, formulaic.

Rays setback against Blue Jays sums up season

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— The Tampa Bay Rays had the winning run at third base with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth and ...

Joyce's walk-off single gives Rays the win

- Matt Joyce's 10th-inning opposite-field single scored Sean Rodriguez with the winning run in the Rays' 4-3 win against the Red Sox, only the Rays' fourth walk-off win of the season.

Rays notebook: Geltz gets shot in pressure spot during his debut

- RHP Steve Geltz, pitching with the tying run on second base, allowed a full-count single to Yoenis Cespedes that scored Mookie Betts and tied the score in a game the Rays won 4-3 in 10 innings.

DeJesus returns to Rays after hand fracture

- OF David DeJesus returned to the team after missing 64 games with a left hand fracture.

Rays manage three hits in 3-0 loss to Red Sox

- That dizzying night against the Yankees a few weeks ago when the Rays won to take that last step to .500 seems like light years ago.

Rays bring up three players for September roster expansion

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ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays have brought up three players today ahead of Monday, when rosters are allowed to expand to 40 during the month of September.

Rays notes: Escobar gets a break

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Saturday was a scheduled day off for SS Yunel Escobar and a not a reaction to his making three throwing errors in the two prior games.

Odorizzi delivers clutch outing as Rays shut out Red Sox

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— All the hits and runs, all the home runs the Orioles hit off Jake Odorizzi the previous time he pitched were frustrating, sure, but not as frustrating as what Odorizz...

Another sloppy game, another loss for Rays

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— The good news? The error charged to Ben Zobrist in the first inning was changed to a hit after the game, so the Rays’ 8-4 loss to the Red Sox appeared less slo...