It was announced this morning that former Clearwater Thresher Josh Tobias has been traded to the dreaded Boston Red Sox for RHP Clay Buchholtz.
Tobias started with Lakewood and ended with Clearwater. He is young but showing strong potential. Buchholtz is on the downside of a good career. He has one year (and 13-million dollars) remaining in his current contract. He may be ok as a temporary stop gap measure while waiting for some of the minor league pitchers continue to develop and mature. That being said, Buchholtz has had issues in the past, ending up in the bullpen on more than one occasion.
Tobias, while young, has shown signs of great potential, with a strong bat. Tobias has a .301 batting average while in the Phillies’ system. You can see his bat strength in this video from the final game of the Threshers season where he hit a strong homer to right. See HERE.
Will the gamble of giving up potential talent for a stop gap pitcher pan out? Only time will tell.
We won the lottery. No, not Powerball, the Rays’ Ticket Lottery. For the first time ever, Baseball Ross and I entered a playoff ticket lottery and won.
I guess you’d say the Rays are my second team. The Phillies, even as maddening as they can be, are still my favorite team. However, now that we live in Clearwater, I must admit that I kinda like my now home town team.
We had heard horror stories from friends about how hard it is go get to the Trop, how horrible parking is. Just horror story after horror story about how difficult everything is when it comes to going to see a game at the Trop.
So we planned ahead. We got maps of approved parking lots and when we could, bought parking passes ahead of time and we decided to leave hours early.
It worked out. For the first game, we didn’t get a parking pass due to a “burp” with the ticket buying site. We left for St. Pete early and followed suggestions by a neighbor on how to find parking and….it worked.
A local sports bar, Ferg’s which is across the street from the Trop had a big party and we headed there after parking.
Ferg’s is your average sports bar, average food but they do provide a place to hang out before a game and have a really cool outdoor area complete with TVs, which is where we hung out.
Another cool thing is that if you walk the walkway/underpass from Ferg’s to the Trop, there are home bases embedded in the sidewalk outlining major events in St. Pete baseball history. Like this one:
Since it was our first game, we splurged and went with some pricy tickets that had food included. We got to eat in the “Bank America Club” and even had waitress service at our seats! That was pretty cool.
We also spent a lot of time exploring. The Trop is now home to the Ted Williams’ Hitters Hall of Fame.
They had some really interesting displays there. I think you might recognize this guy:
We also paid a visit to the Ray Tank. Personally, one of my favorite features! I LOVE to pet rays. For some reason they just fascinate me.
In fact, the Rays’ game winning home run that night went into the tank right about where the left side of the picture is.
The only real downside to this visit was our sight lines.
There are two bad things about our seats:
1. The incline is not very great so when you get a woman that’s 6 feet tall with 4 inches of teased hair on the top of your head…you won’t see much.
2. I had a WALL in front of me that kept me from seeing the Rays dugout and any fouls that went down the right side.
The best thing was the TV that was on a five second delay so we could see what we missed.
I did sit at the end of the aisle until those people arrived so I could get these pictures: