A few almost-championship links to start your day ...
• Just because the Rays failed to win the World Bleepin' Series doesn't mean their awesome 2008 season should pass without a parade.
Belatedly, while also acknowledging that some of the '08 personnel were elsewhere because, well, they ain't with the team anymore, the entire current Rays roster enjoyed a victory lap of sorts around downtown Punta Gorda, Fla. in Charlotte County, their spring home.
Punta Gorda, from the Spanish, meaning "fat kicker."
Joe Maddon rode in a Rolls Royce and some players toured in vintage cars, or this retrofitted troop carrier from D-Day 1944, when the Allies stormed Normandy.
The guys later signed autographs.
The mayor of Punta Gorda called the event "a huge deal." Harumph! [The Heater]
• Meech juxtaposes the Rays' parade from the P-o-V of Pat the Bat, who experienced something else with the Phillies this past October. [The Fightins]
• Let's go back in time to watch some unique Philly parade video. [Big League Stew]
• Oh, and Chase Bleepin' Utley is hip to starting opening day. [MLB.com]
• Tim Hudson gets into it with AJ-C beat writer Dave O'Brien because of the Ken Griffey debacle. Does Hudson really think whatever O'Brien wrote, no matter how ignorant, wrong or misleading, influenced Griffey's decision one iota? It's not like the Braves said Griffey was coming to Atlanta. [Talking Chop]
• Braves' GM Frank Wren isn't playing the "Blame the Media" card. Of course, many others do play the "Blame Frank Wren" card. [Lookout Landing]
• Wisconsin's governor proposes selling Brewers vanity license plates to help pay for Miller Park. "Great idea," a commenter says. "I will get one as soon as I can find a job and afford a car." [Brewers Blog via Wrigleyville23]
• Is your publicly financed sports facility worth the tax dollars that were required to build it? [Sabrenomics]
• These non-baseball-card cards look awesome. [Dinged Corners]