The Rays: a little inconsistent on the no-smoking message

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It seems fairly simply to me: you either wear throwback jerseys for a team called “the Smokers” and go with all of the tobacco imagery that entails, or else you just avoid it altogether. The Rays, however, want to have it both ways, by wearing replicas of the old Tampa Smokers minor league team jerseys, but by censoring out the cigar that appears on the front:

Weak sauce, Rays. History is history, and the Smokers had cigars on the front of their shirts.  Either be cool with that and realize that no one is going to start smoking simply because Evan Longoria has a stogie on his shirt or, if that is just too offensive to your tender sensibilities, go in a different direction and throw back to the, I dunno, Tampa Lace Doilies or whatever makes you feel more comfortable.

(via Big League Stew)

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.