As we gander closer to the Holiest nights of the year, I want to take a moment out and thank the many viewers, commentator’s and baseball friends who have made this year of 2010 so…well glorious.
I might not be sporting 5 Golden Rings, but another A L East banner for the Tropicana Field rafters was an expensive present, but more than enough to send 4 Lords a-leaping in my book.
I thought it was only right to honor and pay a holiday tribute to guys who made a lot of what happened for the Tampa Bay Rays possible in 2010.
No, I am not talking about the Rays 3 Wise Men, Stuart Sternberg (Owner), Matt Silverman (President) or Andrew Friedman (VP of Baseball Ops), even though their leadership and vision, along with over $ 70 million little helpers did play a significant role.
I am talking about the quintuplets of quality, the Rays starting 5 rotation. These five hurlers rocked both the Trop. and everywhere else in the MLB this season to produce 96 wins ( only 1 win short of their 2008 record).
The Rays rambunctious five even tried to produce 5 separate 200+ innings producers, and only got derailed by a late season road bump by Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis and still came within 37.2 innings of the feat.
So it was only right that the Ray Clubhouse new Rock, Rap and Reggae band, The Pitch-Outs should bring you a little holiday cheer.
The band is lead by the dramatic and charismatic vocal soundings of Matt Garza, who gets to those classic Rock falsetto high notes just as quickly as his 95+ high and tight fastball screams over the plate.
His physical nature as the Punch-Outs front man is showcased by him toying with the crowd before delivering a solid move that is more crippling than his backdoor slider.
Behind him we have the always rock solid lead guitar work of the Ace of the quint, James Shields, who sometimes wears a gray beard off stage as a disguise to keep his many fans at bay.
But on stage there is no disputing the talents and ability of this emerging rock legend as his fingers take to the Stratocaster and take you on a melody ride on his crazy train.
On the left side of the stage we have the southpaw David Price who is very noticeable in his blond flowing locks and seems to be the shy guy of the bunch until he get his guitar strap over his shoulder, then he turns into a modern day Bootsy Collins just up there trying to seduce, embrace and groove to the music.
His rhythm guitar is one of the solid reasons this Rays band of hurlers is going places, and might just eventually challenge Garza for some of the band’s spotlight in 2011.
On the bass guitar is country born and bred Wade Davis, who has taken to the music the same way he takes the mound…with authority and has produced one of the best Rays rookie campaigns in the team’s short history.
In his first extended time at the MLB level, Davis has shown he can step to the mound and deliver and be a consistent part of the future of this amazing band. Sky is the limit as Davis enters his Sophomore tour with no signs of letting up or moving into the background.
Last, but definitely not least we have the Tall Texan, Jeff Niemann who was put behind the drum set only because he kept hitting the band’s stage lighting with his head during their earlier sets.
But the big man can definitely hit the skins and showed in 2010 that his beats are as good as anyone out there, and that you can never count him out. With his patented move of jumping up from the drums set and leaping into the air with the band’s last number, the 6′ 8″ Niemann suddenly produces one of the band’s great moments of the night.
So this holiday season it just seemed only fitting to let the band successful CD’s like “Buckled your Knees” ,”Backdoor Slider Blues“, ” KO Blues” or even the emotional passion of “Pitching My Heart Away” should be in the stocking of the ones you love.
The band optimizes the energy and gusto that is the frankincense and spice that encircles the Rays Republic universe. So be sure to watch and listen to the holiday styling’s of The Pitch-outs and look for another CD to drop in April 2011.
From everyone, even the mice at the Rays Renegade abode, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that all of life’s gifts are delivered to you under your glistening Christmas tree or in your stocking this holiday season.