Rays’ owner Stuart Sternberg was part of a panel discussion about sports in Tampa last night, and he was asked what he has learned about Tampa Bay since he bought the Rays. His answer made me laugh:
“Water is a big divide … You know, we’ve learned really lots about what — I would say — (are) the driving habits of people. And their … ability to sort of navigate bridges.”
I’ve only lived in a place with real traffic for three years. That was Washington, and I took the subway everywhere so it didn’t really affect me. People I still know there, though, pretty much subscribe to the notion that Virginia-to-DC is tolerable and Maryland-to-DC is tolerable, but that Virginia-to-Maryland is almost always a deal breaker. Friends in the San Fancisco Bay Area likewise tell me that one bridge is doable, but if you need to take two bridges to get someplace, dude, forget it.
So, are people in Tampa Bay just one bridge more lazy than people in other cities?
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.