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Tampa Bay Rays In Payroll 2014 + Contracts Going Forward: They Should Also Trade David Price To St. Louis For Matt Adams

David Price became a 20 game winner for the first time last season, and it won him the American League Cy Young Award. That is really hard to match, but early struggles and injuries held him back in 2013.  He was 9 - 8, with a 3.39 ERA.  Since he is due a payraise - to the $13 - $15 MIL range, it is my feeling the team should trade him for a slugging 1B.  How about Matt Adams of the Cardinals anyone?  The St. Louis team will need an ace to replace Chris Carpenter - and could bridge the gap for his few years of eligibility.

David Price became a 20 game winner for the first time last season, and it won him the American League Cy Young Award. That is really hard to match, but early struggles and injuries held him back in 2013. He was  still 9 – 8, with a 3.39 ERA. Since he is due a payraise – to the $13 – $15 MIL range in Arbitration, it is my feeling the team should trade him for a slugging 1B. How about Matt Adams of the Cardinals anyone? The St. Louis team will need an ace to replace Chris Carpenter – and could bridge the gap for the team before Free Agency eligibility in 2016.  It was too bad Hak-Ju Lee was hurt for some of 2013, as that would have been a perfect package to help bringing back another Starter.  Perhaps the Rays should use Matt Joyce also as bait?  Maybe they could a prospect Starter after all.  The team figures to be around $55 – 57 MIL before Price.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am of the belief that the Andrew Friedman and Stu Sternberg have been the ‘model franchise’ in the AL over the last 6 years. 

Not only do they compete in the vaunted AL East versus the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but they have made the playoffs 4 times in that span, including a World Series Loss to the Philadelphia in the 2008 year. 

Had Evan Longoria not been hurt for the majority of the 2012 season, one could argue that the club was poised to make another playoff appearance to make it 6. 

So how are they doing this?  Their team payroll is roughly one-third of the Yankees and the 40 % of the Red Sox total Payroll. 

The Rays are smart enough to let their higher priced Free Agents walk, or even trading them before they are due significant pay raises. 

They are also using the philosophy of the ‘John Hart‘ Indians of the Pre-Milennium Cleveland Indians.  Once it was established that Evan Longoria could play at the MLB Level, they signed him to an 8 year contract. 

They did the same thing with Starting Pitching Matt Moore last year with a 5 year deal for the rookie based on one playoffs of decent pitching. 

It is a risk sometimes to do this, yet the rewards can save you Millions in future payroll if the new player (s) outperforms his/their contract (s).

Rays Highlights 2013:

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The Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitching Is Not As Strong As It Was In 2012: They Miss James Shields!

The Tampa Bay Rays came into 2013 off of a great 2012 campaign. They finished third in the East but they did end the season with 90 wins. Doing so, they were expected to win the American League East this season. Picking up Wil Myers from the Royals for James Shields was a huge move for them. Was it a mistake now that we look back and the Rays pitching is falling apart without Shields' 200 innings.

The Tampa Bay Rays came into 2013 off of a great 2012 campaign. They finished third in the East but they did end the season with 90 wins. Doing so, they were expected to win the American League East this season. Picking up Wil Myers from the Royals for James Shields was a huge move for them. Was it a mistake now that we look back and the Rays pitching is falling apart without Shields’ 200 innings?  Tampa has many teams nipping at their heels for the 2nd Wild Card Spot in New York (2.5 Games back), Baltimore (3.0 Games Back), Cleveland (3.5 Games Back) and the Kansas City Royals are 4.5 Games Back.  They must correct their pitching for the final 3 weeks.

Ryan Ritchey (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

The Tampa Bay Rays rely on their pitching and defense more than any aspect of the game. Having great young pitchers is what they live by, and it has worked for their team.

But, it has been the complete opposite in 2013.

Injuries to multiple guys in the rotation has set them off track and now have to catch up to the Red Sox in the division. David Price and Matt Moore are the studs of their staff, but David Price struggled early and also went on the Disabled List along with Moore.

It is going to take a lot for them to win the division, but there is always the Wild Card, and when you are in the playoffs you never know what can happen.

Alex Cobb Hit In Head By Line Drive: Parental Guidance Advised!

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The Pitching Artist Formerly Known As Fausto Carmona Needs To Be DFA’d!

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Sunday, Apr.28/2013

Through five outings Hernandez is 1-4 record with a 5.28 ERA in just over thirty innings of work. His kryptonite this season has been the long ball in almost every start Hernandez gives up at least one long ball.The long ball has been a big issue for Hernandez this season, giving up eighteen earned runs in a little over thirty innings this season. One good spot is that even though the sinker baller is not getting many of those groundballs he is used to, he has been striking hitters out at a good rate.  In three out of his five starts, Hernandez has struck out seven batters and in the other two he struck out at least four per start. While only walking an average of three per start.

Through 5 outings, Hernandez is 1-4 record with a 5.28 ERA in just over 30 IP of work. His kryptonite this season has been the long ball.  In almost every start Hernandez gives up at least one long ball – giving up 18 ER in his time thus far in total.  One good spot is that even though the sinkerballer is not getting many of those groundballs he is used to, he has been striking hitters out at a good rate. In three out of his five starts, Hernandez has fanned 7 batters and in the other two Game Starts – he punched out at least four per start. He is also walking an average of 3 hitters per start.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent): 

Roberto Hernandez,  ( AKA Fausto Carmona), was supposed to be insurance for the Tampa Bay Rays this year.  The club was supposed to have Jeff Niemann re-assume his spot in the Starting Pitching Rotation – along with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb and  Matt Moore to round out the top 5.

James Shields and Wade Davis. were dealt away to acquire Wil Myers on the basis of this assumption.  However, Niemann was been hurt – and we are still a few weeks away before Chris Archer is brought up for good.  Thus the club has had to use the beleagured ex Indians chucker.

Roberto Hernandez lone good start for Tampa Bay:

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The Rays Need To Call Up Wil Myers Pronto!

2 And A Hook Podcast Talks About Calling UP Wil Myers – 25 Minute Mark

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Thursday Apr.18/2013

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future for many years to come. The club has featured a futile attack with the bats - hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .204//284/.588. They have scored only 39 Runs - while allowing 59 Runs through 13 Games.

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future for many years to come. The club has featured a futile attack with the bats – hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .204//284/.588. They have scored only 39 Runs – while allowing 59 Runs through 13 Games.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

First off, I wanted to say that I completely respect the Tampa Bay Rays – and especially am an avid supporter of the head office – including GM Andrew Freidman.  I will get to all of this in this article.

It is time to call up Wil Myers to the big club! 

The club is mired in a slow start at 4 – 9 and are already 5 Games Behind the AL East Division Leaders ‘Boston Red Sox.

The team traded away Veteran Pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City in order to acquire the top hitting prospect.

Here is why the time makes sense.

Service time for Super 2 Arbitration Status and Free Agency Year aside, this clubs current offense is abysmal despite having great pitching ability.

Wil Myers Highlight Reel:

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Tampa Bay Rays Player Roster In 2013 Part 2 – The Pitchers: State Of The Union

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Sunday, Mar.03/2013

The Rays led the Major Leagues last year in ERA (3.19) and were 3rd in team SO.  They also converted 50 of 58 Saves.  Even more impressive was that they were 45-31 with a 2.60 ERA after the ALL-Star Break.  They traded veterans Wade Davis and James Shields away for top level prospects.  Will they be able to duplicate their 2012 numbers with their young talented pitchers improving the club internally?

The Rays led the Major Leagues last year in ERA (3.19) and were 3rd in team SO. They also converted 50 of 58 Saves. Even more impressive was that they were 45-31 with a 2.60 ERA after the ALL-Star Break. They traded veterans Wade Davis and James Shields away for top level prospects. Will they be able to duplicate their 2012 numbers with their young talented pitchers improving the club internally?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The Rays are a team built on their strong pitching and timely hits.  The majority of their hurlers are homegrown.  The unfortunate part about all of this is that the Rays have a Stadium problem.  Tropicana Field just doesn’t bring in enough revenue in order to pay their pitchers once they become eligible to be Free Agents.  Let’s face it, when you can’t bank on a pitcher being healthy for the duration of his contract, the management will be hard pressed to sign a pitcher to a long – term, 9 figure contract.

The Tampa fans had better enjoy seeing David Price for the next 3 years – because he is on a path to the kind of dollars that will see him leave town.  The Rays have made their investment in their franchise player already in Evan Longoria.  So here continues the continual revolving door.  The good news is that the organization has stockpiled the kind of talented Minor League System that should be able to brunt the force of such a catastrophic loss forthcoming with the reigning AL CY Young winner.

Price might just be the premier Left Handed Pitcher in the MLB right now.  After him in the Starting Rotation is Jeremy HellicksonMatt Moore, Alex Cobb and Jeff Niemann.  The team alsoadded Roberto Hernandez (Don’t call me Fausto,) for added insurance.  There are 2 highly touted prospects with both Chris Archer and Mike Montgomery possibly seeing some time up with the big club.  They also could see Jake Odorizzi challenge for a spot in the rotation.

David Price Highlights in 2012:

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Tampa Bay Rays Player Roster In 2013 Part 1 – The Hitters: State Of The Union

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Sunday, Mar.03/2013

Ben Zobrist has quietly tuned into one of the best all around players in the game.  He has finished in the top for WAR in 3 of the 4 years - including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009.  At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year.

Ben Zobrist has quietly turned into one of the best all around players in the game. He has finished in the top 10 for WAR in 3 of the last 4 years – including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009. At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year in 2013.  It may be his last season with TB.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent)

Part 1: The hitters:

2012 saw the Tampa Bay Rays miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They would finish a very respectable 90-win season and finish third in the AL Wild card. The offseason saw much of what Rays fans are used to from this small market club. Impact players such as B.J. Upton (ATL), Jeff Keppinger (CHW),  and Carlos Pena (HOU),  would move on to greener pastures and sign elsewhere. That meant GM Andrew Friedman and his team would get to work. They would pick up options on SP James Shields, CL Fernando Rodney, and C Jose Molina. They would decline the option on DH Luke Scott and later sign him back.

The offseason would also see the reworking of a long-term deal to keep the Rays 3B Evan Longoria in a Rays uniform at least through the 2022 season. But with Free Agency looming for “Big Game” James the Rays would do what they do best and send Shields, Wade Davis, and a PTBNL (Elliot Johnson) to the Royals for a prospect package that included future rotation regulars Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi and MLB.com 2nd best prospect OF Wil Myers. The Rays would shore up the middle of the infield by Signing and trading for the Blue Jays previous middle infield of Yunel Escobar (MIA) and Kelly Johnson (FA). To replace Carlos Pena, the Rays would sign Free Agent James Loney.   The organization also brought back Joel Peralta on a deal that included a record three Club Options.

Desmond Jennings Highlights:

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Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Part 4 Of A 5 Part Rays Series

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Sunday Mar.03/2013

Will ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha.  The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future

Will Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future.  As a Controllable Player for years, he changes the Salary structure of the Team to Lower the committed dollars from what Shields and Davis would have made.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

New Changes to the old article in Purple: 

I am of the belief that the Andrew Friedman and Stu Sternberg have been the ‘model franchise’ in the MLB over the last 5 years.  Not only do they compete in the vaunted AL East versus the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but they have made the playoffs 3 times in that span, including a World Series Loss to the Philadelphia in the 2008 year.  Had Evan Longoria not been hurt for the majority of the season, one could argue that the club was poised to make another playoff appearance.  So how are they doing this?  Their team payroll is roughly one-third of the Yankees and the 40 % of the Red Sox total Payroll.  The Rays are smart enough to let their higher priced Free Agents walk, or even trading them before they are due significant pay raises. 

They are also using the philosophy of the ‘John Hart‘ Indians of the Pre-Milennium Cleveland Indians.  Once it was established that Evan Longoria could play at the MLB Level, they signed him to an 8 year contract.  They did the same thing with Starting Pitching Matt Moore last year with a 5 year deal for the rookie based on one playoffs of decent pitching.  It is a risk sometimes to do this, yet the rewards can save you Millions in future payroll if they player outperforms his contract.

Rays Highlights 2012 Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is advised:

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The Rays Trade And Draft Record Is Impressive: However Most Of The Best Players Are Now Ex-Rays

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Tuesday, January.08/2013

The Rays Management has been a lot better under the tutelage of the these 3 gentleman.  It is too bad that cant secure an MLB Park with the amount of revenue to pay their great players once they become great.

The Rays Management has been a lot better under the tutelage of the these 3 gentleman. It is too bad that cant secure an MLB Park with the amount of revenue to pay their great players once they become great.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent)

The Tampa Bay Rays have had a great history of producing great MLB talent ever since the current regime of Stu Sternberg, Matt Silverman, Andrew Friedman, and Joe Maddon took over. Their system, is to build talent up in hopes to sign to club friendly long-term deals and have them produce until the price tag becomes just too high and then get the next era in from trades .When it comes to pitching however its a whole new ball game. The Rays have an unmatched system for finding pieces from all over and putting them into a mix that at best could be described as ” an Island of misfit toys” but it works. If you take a look at the Rays bullpen the last couple years you see a couple of guys stand out that really had no place anywhere else. 

In 2008, Grant Balfour became what no body thought he was, a great pitcher. In 2008 Balfour went 6-2 in 51 games with a 1.54 ERA and a staggering .89 WHIP. Balfour was signed that season for just above the league minimum at $500,000. Balfour would go onto to Oakland a few years later and signed for a little over 3 Million Dollars.

B.J. Upton Highlights – Parental Guidance is advised

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The Tampa Bay Rays: The Pitchers 1998-2012: Part 3 Of A 5 Part Article Series

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Friday, December.28, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

James Shields ALL-Time so far. David Price may not take very long to surpass all of is Franchise Records James Shields has been the teams best chucker of ALL-Time so far. David Price may not take very long to surpass all of his Franchise Records with Shields heading to KC  now

James Shields  enjoys most of the Teams  ALL-Time Pitching Records so far.  David Price may not take very long to surpass all of his Franchise Records with Shields heading to KC now.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Rays had several lean years of pitching before a starter really made his mark.  Out of the gate, Roberto Hernandez had helped the team with closing at least.  In the early years, the best pitching was done by Rolando Arrojo, followed by Victor Zambrano, before he was traded for Scott Kazmir.  The Mets/Rays trade was the foundation for the pitching staff finally evolving.  Soon James Shields was up with the big club.  In 2008, the teams 5 starters towed the hill for all season in what would be an eventual World Series Birth.  Newly acquired Matt Garza, joined Shields, Kazmir, Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine for double-digit wins and winning records.

David Price was next to join the staff in 2009 and he has not looked back since. Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore joined the pitching staff in the next few years after that.  The stable of bullpen relievers keeps coming and going. J.P. Howell has been the biggest mainstay there.  Even with departing starters of Davis and (the Franchise Leader in several pitching categories) Shields, the team is not bare at the kitchen cupboard.  The Rays finished 1st in Team Pitching ERA last year for all of the MLB.  The next closest team in the AL was the Oakland – at almost a third of a run more. 

The Rays have been blessed with some great years recently out of lower salaried closers.  Whether it was Troy Percival, Kyle Farnsworth, Rafael Soriano or Fernando Rodney, Andrew Friedman has had a knack for gluing together a bullpen on a  shoestring budget.  With David Price winning the Cy Young Award in 2012, the best pitching may be yet to come for the AL East Team.  Honorable Mentions went to these players, but they were not the same caliber as everyone else:  Esteban Yan, Andy Sonnanstine, Kyle Farnsworth  SP/RP  Rick White RP  Lance Cormier and RP Jim Mecir.

Scroll Down past the Franchise Links for the Pitchers or click on the Read The Rest Of This Entry Icon just past the Video Clip.

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History: The Tampa Bay Rays: The Franchise 1998-2012: Part 1 Of A 5 Part Article Series

The Hitters  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Hitters 1998-2012: Part 2 Of A 5 Part Article Series

2013 Team Payroll Part 4 of 5:  Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012

Tropicana Field Expert Part 5 of 5:  An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith

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The Tampa Bay Rays: The Franchise 1998-2012: Part 1 Of A 5 Part Article Series

Thursday, December.20, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5. The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The many Rays Logo's over the years.  Is the best of this franchise yet tom come

The many Rays Logo’s over the years. Is the best of this franchise yet to come?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Tampa Bay Rays Franchise can be summarized into two different categories:  “The Devil Rays Days” and the “Rays Days.”  The Devil Rays endured 10 straight losing seasons to start the club’s history.  From 1998-2007, was a complete gong show (645-972) and last place finishes in a tough AL East every year, except for 2004, when they finished 4th, although they did stockpile several top Draft Picks based on their horrid regular seasons.  In 2008, all of that changed when the ‘Devil’ was literally and figuratively knocked away from the Tampa Bay team.  Their young stars finally saw their potential realized and they appeared in the 2008 World Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Franchise would lose in 5 hard-fought, weather fulfilled games, however the team was now one of the model clubs in baseball.  From 2008-2012, the club has gone 458-352.

The Rays have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 since, plus featured two other over .500 records in 2009 and 2012.  The club has now had 5 winning seasons in a row.  There is still a long way to go as they feature the worst winning percentage in MLB History, with a 1103-1327 Franchise Record (.454).  The next worst team is the Padres at .463.  The Arizona DiamondBacks were the NL Expansion cousins of the Rays and they feature a Win Percentage of (.498), which is second overall for the Expansion teams.  The Arizona DiamondBacks also have made the playoffs 5 times and won the World Series in 2001.  Still if you asked anyone right now, the Rays would gladly be the team everyone picked.

Franchise Series Links:

The Hitters:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Hitters 1998-2012: Part 2 Of A 5 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Pitchers 1998-2012: Part 3 Of A 5 Part Article Series

2013 Team Payroll:  Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012

Tropicana Field Expert:  An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith

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ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, Tommy Toledo, Ichiro to Yanks, Greinke, Billy Hamilton, Jeff Niemann, Pavano and Colby Lewis

Sunday July 29th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: Two days folks. That’s all the time that is left in the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline. All baseball eyes will be on news wire as we expect many more trades to go down by the deadline. I have set the over/under of the number of moves to happen since the Giants got Marco Scutaro at 20. What is your pick?

Many of the big names that were rumored to move have been dealt with. Zack Greinke is an Angel. Scutaro a Giant. Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante are Tigers. Brett Myers and Francisco Liriano are members of the Whit Sox. Hanley Ramirez joined the Dodgers. But Cole Hamels stayed in Philadelphia, while Huston Street and Carlos Quentin remain in San Diego. Who are the next big names to move? Will Ryan Dempster finally go to L.A. or Atlanta? Will Matt Garza move despite not being healthy? Josh Beckett? Aramis Ramirez? Shane Victorino? Does Houston even have anyone left to trade now that even Chris Johnson has been traded? We will get the answers to all these questions over the next 2 days.

From our prospects file, a name to keep an eye on is Tommy Toledo. No- he is not a rock star or adult movie actor. Tommy is a pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers system. He gets my vote for the best baseball name. Think about- what a name for a closer. Now pitching for the Brewers, #13…..Toooommmyy…..Tolleeeeedoooooo….. Yes, just a great ball name and yes, he can pitch too. Tommy tore up A-ball this year, pitching for Wisconsin of the Midwest League. 7-1 in 21 games, 1.95 ERA, 6 saves, 0.838 WHIP and 31/11 SO/BB. Standing 6’3″ and weighing close to 200 lbs, the 23-year old Tommy Toledo is a baseball prospect to follow. His Twitter handle is @TommyToledo13. Follow him, say hello…and make sure you say that the Reports sent ya!

For our Batting Stance Guy featured video of the week, we present Gar’s look at the New 2012 MLB Batting Stances. BSG at the start of the season took at look at some new stances that will have you laughing all the way to the batting cage:

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

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