The Rays are number one!

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No, not in the AL East! In terms of critical violations of health codes at its concession outlets in their home stadium!

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reviewed health department inspection reports
for food and beverage outlets at all 107 North American arenas and
stadiums that were home to Major League Baseball, National Football
League, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association teams
in 2009. At 30 of the venues (28 percent), more than half of the
concession stands or restaurants had been cited for at least one
“critical” or “major” health violation . . . At Tropicana Field — home of the Tampa Bay Rays — every one of the
stadium’s 47 food and drink outlets inspected incurred a critical
violation during inspections within the past year, according to Florida
inspection reports.

Not that the Rays are the only ones doing poorly in this regard. The story has a nice interactive map showing just how terrible every ballpark, stadium and arena is doing in all four major sports. I note a very large number of violations in Florida, though that could just as easily be a function of more stringent inspections in Florida than a difference in actual problems. When you look at stuff like this you’re bound to find differences in how things get reported.

And while the details in this kind of report don’t make me feel all that good, I’ve read enough books over the years that lead me to believe that we really don’t want to hear the details about anyplace we eat.

Hot dogs on me, everyone!

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays; Yankees land Brandon Drury

AP Photo
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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.