Joe Maddon wants Matt Moore to be the new David Price

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Here’s the tweet from the Rays manager:

Like to use Matt Moore kinda like we did with Price in 08. Let’s see if history can repeat itself. The games will dictate how we use him.

David Price was probably baseball’s top pitching prospect when he came up in mid-September 2008 and posted a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings down the stretch.  Now the Rays are going to see if Moore can do the same thing.

Price actually made one start in September, and his debut appearance lasted 5 1/3 innings in relief of an ineffective Edwin Jackson.  It’s safe to say Moore won’t be following Price in throwing 14 innings over the final three weeks of the season.

However, if the Rays can get by the Red Sox and into the postseason, it’s entirely possible Moore could have a Price-like impact in October.  Price made five appearances against the Red Sox and the Phillies in his first postseason.  He allowed two runs — one earned — in 5 2/3 innings and picked up a win and a save in the process.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.