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The greatest (Devil) Rays of all time

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  October 9, 2008 12:29 PM

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Outfielders
Jason Tyner: This scrawny slap-hitter was supposed to be the next Brett Butler; he turned out to be a poor man's David Hulse, which is strange since David Hulse was the poor man's David Hulse. He played parts of four seasons for the Rays, hit zero home runs, and posted successive adjusted OPS numbers of 41, 70, 33, and 92. In retrospect, Derek Lowe couldn't have handpicked a better candidate to make the last out of his no-hitter.

Ben Grieve: The No. 1 overall pick by the A's in '94, he looked like a surefire superstar when he whacked 27 homers and drove in 104 runs at age 24 in 2000. But Billy Beane, who apparently knew something, shipped him to Tampa Bay in a three-way deal before the '01 season, and his career promptly and spectacularly fizzled. He was out of the majors for good in '05 at age 29. There's a compelling story here somewhere.

Gerald Williams: His nickname, "Ice," described his usual condition at the plate: he was a career .255 hitter.

Designated hitter
Jose Canseco: The biggest meathead in the history of baseball, and by a comfortable margin over the San Diego Chicken.

Starting pitchers
Ryan Rupe: If you remember that this enormous, erratic Jeff Juden clone pitched in four games for the 2003 Red Sox, well, you must be Ryan Rupe.

Tanyon Sturtze: Now this is what you call a lousy year: In '02, the Rays' "ace" posted a 5.18 ERA, allowing 273 hits and 89 walks in 224 innings for a WHIP of 1.61 and an adjusted ERA of 85. His won-lost record? 4-18. I'm still wondering how he won the four.

Victor Zambrano: He is to Jim Duquette what Larry Andersen is to Lou Gorman.

Relievers
Estaban Yan, Jesus Colome, Doug Creek, Travis Harper, Jorge Sosa: Come back, fellas. The late innings just aren't as fun without you.

(As is always our request with this sort of thing, tell us who we missed in the comments.)

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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