An IoT conversation: A Maddon-ing Exchange

February 15, 2012

What do you see in this picture of Joe Maddon? For one IoTer, it's a two-time AL Manager of the Year. For the other, it's a .500 manager with a losing playoff record.

Jeremy, a Rays fan, was excited to hear Tuesday that reigning AL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon is going to be in Tampa for another three years. Jimmy did not share his enthusiasm, possibly because he’s a Red Sox fan. What follows are the friendly text messages that we exchanged on the subject:

Jeremy: Bad news for you: The Rays are about to sign Maddon to a 3-year extension.


Jimmy: Good move. When you’ve got a chance to lock up a guy with an 11-14 career playoff record, you have to do it.


Jeremy: If you want to talk playoff record, doesn’t that make the Rays’ win in the ’08 ALCS look worse for the Red Sox?


Jimmy: It does. But 2 World Series titles look much better. Let me know when the Rays win something.


Jeremy: Remember the 2011 Wild Card? Or how about the 2010 AL East?


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Manny done being Manny in baseball

April 10, 2011

After signing a $2 million contract and getting only one hit before his abrupt retirement, Manny Ramirez has reason to laugh all the way to the bank. (US Presswire)

Take a good look at this RBI single by Manny Ramirez against the Baltimore Orioles.

That was Manny’s only hit in 17 at-bats this season as a Tampa Bay Ray before he abruptly retired Friday. Given the $2 million contract that he signed with the Rays in the offseason, I figure that makes this the most expensive single in Major League Baseball history.

From, here’s why Manny is no longer being Manny on a baseball field:

Ramirez had “an issue” under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and informed the league he is hanging it up rather than “continue with the process under the program.”

The statement, in full, reads as follows: “Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Rather than continue with the process under the program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the drug program will be completed. MLB will not have any further comment on this matter.”

The New York Times, citing two sources, reported Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug during Spring Training.

If the issue involving Ramirez was a drug violation, he would be facing a suspension of 100 games.

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Rays contraction, ownership rumors about new stadium

March 7, 2011

Tropicana Field

When I moved to South Florida a few years ago, I really had no interest in any of the pro teams down here. Then in 2008, the renamed Tampa Bay Rays won me over by capturing an AL East title with a quirky manager, a young team that played a fun brand of baseball and a fraction of the payroll of the Yankees and Red Sox.

Jimmy has since taken to referring to me as a “bandwagon Rays fan.” I won’t say much in my defense except for this:

a) If there is such a thing as a Rays bandwagon, it’s not all that big.
b) I seem to remember Jimmy wearing a Red Sox hat an awful lot starting somewhere around 2003.

With that bit of disclosure out of the way, a couple of interesting Rays news items have popped up over the last few days.

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Seattle’s floating baseball field and other stadiums that never made it

March 5, 2011

This proposed baseball and football stadium would have floated on Elliott Bay in Seattle. Fly balls would have been a great adventure for outfielders who would have played there. (From the Seattle Municipal Archives)

Thanks to Greg Ponder — my wife’s brother-in-law, my Spring Training ticket supplier and one of the biggest baseball fans I know — for sending me this slideshow of sports stadiums that never got built. The featured designs are testaments to the issues involved with getting stadiums from the conceptual phase to construction, from securing funding and public buy-in to making unusual ideas work.

My absolute favorite design is the floating, retractable-roof stadium that was proposed for Seattle in the early 1960s to attract pro baseball and football teams to the city. According to the Seattle Municipal Archives, the stadium would have floated on Elliott Bay, blocks from the site of the 1962 World’s Fair — “if a way could be found to keep the playing field level.” For some strange reason, a funding referendum got shot down in 1966, partly over “questions about the project’s feasibility.”
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