Wednesday October 13, 2010 | 08:50 PM

As I usually do when I'm checking out stories on the Tampa Bay Rays, I look to my old paper, the St. Petersburg Times.

This headline stood out: "Starting Kelly Shoppach was the biggest slipup for Tampa Bay Rays"


In John Romano's column, he points out that Shoppach was a defensive liability in the divisional series against the Rangers, especially in Game 5. Shoppach was also hitless in the three games he played and, apparently, does not manage a staff well.

Shoppach was once a prime prospect for the Red Sox, and one of the first stars for the Sea Dogs when they became a Boston affiliate (batting .282 with 12 home runs in 2003).

But Shoppach, 30, batted .196 for the Rays this year. He will likely be back with the Rays, Before the season, Shoppach signed a two-year contract with a club option for 2012. He is scheduled to make $3-million next year. While Boston could eat such a contract without blinking, Boston it's not so easy for a team with a payroll like the Rays.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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