In 2007, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were in their second season under skipper Joe Maddon. Tarell Basham Jersey . They actually finished with a better record in ‘07 than they did in ‘06 but only marginally, going from 61 victories to 66. They had a slugging first baseman in Carlos Pena who ripped 46 homers and drove in 121 runs while batting .282. They also had an up-and-coming outfielder in B.J  Upton who hit  300 while ripping 24 homers and driving in 82 runs. The Devil Rays had two pitchers who managed to get into double digits in victories in James Shields who went 12-8 with a 3.85 ERA and left Scott Kazmir who racked up a 13-9 mark with a 3.48 earned run average. They also had a closer in Alberto Reyes who saved 26 games. Otherwise, it was pretty grim. They scored 782 runs but surrendered 944. The team ERA was a horrendous 5.53. Their attendance of 1,387,603 was the worst in the American League. Back-to-back years like ‘06 and ‘07 could have been enough to  cost some managers their jobs, but the Rays had a plan  and they also had some blue chip prospects on the way. In 2006, they drafted a highly regarded third baseman in Evan Longoria third overall,. In 2007 they grabbed hard throwing lefty David Price number one. Those were their best two picks since B.J Upton in 2002. In 2008 Tampa Bay got rid of the Devil and became simply known as the Tampa Bay Rays. The turnaround season was remarkable. They went from 66 victories to 97. They shaved their team ERA from 5.53 to 3.82. The Rays actually scored eight fewer runs in ‘08 than they did in ‘07, but they cut their runs against by 273 to 671. All five of their starters, James Shields, Edwin Jackson, Andy Sonnanstine, Matt Garza and Scott Kazmir -- all betweenn 24 and 26 years of age -- won in double digits with Shields and Jackson leading the way with 14 apiece. Four of the five pitched at least 183 innings. Shields had a staff high 215 and four of the five starters made at least 30 starts. They also added veteran closer Troy Percival who saved 28 games. He also had a great support staff in J.P Howell. Dan Wheeler and Grant Balfour who chipped in with 17 victories. Though Penas numbers dropped off a bit to a ,247 average with  31 homers and 102 runs batted in, Longoria emerged as a force with 27 homers and 85 RBIs while batting .272. Former Blue Jays rookie of the year Eric Hinskie chipped in with 20 homers and 60 runs batted in off the bench. The key though was pitching depth. That 2008 staff had eight pitchers who established themselves as manager league starters including  Shields, Garza, Jason Hammel, Jackson, Kazmir, Sonnanstine, Jeff Niemann and Price who pitched in relief late that season. The 2008 Rays went all the way to the World Series where they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in five. Over the last six seasons they have racked up a record of (550-423) and been to the post-season four times. The only thing that hasnt improved greatly is their attendance. The incredible season of 2008 boosted the turnstyle count by nearly half a million from the year before to 1,811,986. But by last season the numbers had diminished again to 1,510,300 -- the worst in the American League. The Rays has still never come close to matching the attendance figures of their inaugural season of 1998, when they drew 2,506,293. Its sad really, but at least it is living proof that a well managed, small market club can compete and in fact thrive in the American League East. The Blue Jays have the star power in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, some possible blue chippers in Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus, a decent bullpen and a couple of solid veteran pitchers in  R,A Dickey and Mark Buehrle. They just havent been able to stay healthy enough or keep grinding out pitching prospects the way the Rays have. Its still too early to predict how the A.L East is going to unfold in 2014, but in some circles, the Rays are already being called to win the division with the Blue Jays to finish last behind Baltimore. The Blue Jays are still waiting for some kind of solid return on the Roy Halladay trade. Back on December 16th of 2009,  they shipped "Doc" to the Phillies  for Kyle Drabek, Travis DArnaud and outfielder Michael Taylor. They wound up flipping Taylor to Oakland for Brett Wallace and then sent Wallace to Houston for Anthony Gose. The Astros designated Wallace for assignment this week when they signed veteran right hander Jerome Williams. Wallace never really developed as a hitter and didnt play well enough defensively at first or third. The Jays are still waiting for Drabek and Gose to arrive as major leaguers and DArnaud was used as part of the package to get R.A Dickey from the Mets. I bring all this up because Halladays illustrious career is now over.  The Phillies are going to honour him on their alumni weekend this summer during a series against the Mets. On Aug. 8 the Phils will hold a special ceremony for Roy and will give the fans a special Halladay bobblehead. That same weekend on Aug. 9, the Phillies will induct Charlie Manuel to their wall of fame. Tarell Basham Youth Jersey . Grimes signed a $32 million, four-year contract to remain with Miami. The deal, which includes $16 million guaranteed, rewards Grimes for his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to miss almost all of the 2012 season. Tarell Basham Womens Jersey . Both moves were announced Tuesday. The Titans had waived Matthews on Saturday when they promoted wide receiver Michael Preston from the practice squad.5. The Minor Penalty Shot - Rule changed in 1941(photo: District Sports Page)Goalies have it pretty rough. Before the exclusion of the spin-o-rama play, most rule changes certainly werent made with a goalies best interest in mind. Smaller pads, bigger net, the dreaded trapezoid. But at least they can be thankful that the minor penalty shot rule from 1941 no longer exists. A shot which was awarded to an opposing team if a goalie committed a minor delay of game infraction.What is a minor penalty shot? The shooter was granted an open shot at the goalie from 28 feet out. Think a free kick in soccer without the wall. The shooter could skate up to the puck for their shot, so long as they didnt pass the line when they fired the puck. Brian Rolston may have wanted to lobby for reinstating this rule before his retirement.4. Goalies Cant Freeze The Puck - 1929(photo: City of Toronto Archives)There was a rule change that stated that goalies could not freeze the puck, and if they did it would result in a faceoff 10 feet away from the goal. And heres the kicker, during the faceoff, no player except for the goalie was allowed to be between the faceoff circle and the goal line. Thats right, if a goalie froze the puck, the ensuing faceoff would have all the players north of the faceoff circle except for the guy taking the faceoff and the goalie. Incredible! 3. Allowing Forward Passes - Rule Changed in 1929(photo: What Culture)This ones the rule that essentially changed everything. Hockey transformed from a bizzaro game of rugby, to the fast paced, higher scoring sport that is today. Youve got to think a rule like this caused a higher amount of offsides calls with the number of attackers trying to position themselves behind the puck. Not to mention the difficulty of correctly calling such a rulle, considering the speed of play. Tarell Basham Colts Jersey. You thought the flying V was useless before? Imagine how inffective it wouldve been with the predictability of knowing the puck had to be continuously passed backward. We gotta say, whoever originally came up with the idea of disallowing forward passes must have been a special type of Cake Eater. Tough, but fair title.2. Stand-Up Goalies Eliminated - Rule Changed in 1917(photo: SB Nation)In 1917, the rule that penalized a goalie for dropping to the ground was removed. Yes, this does indeed mean that prior to 1917, anytime a goalie dropped to the butterfly, his team received a minor penalty. Imagine how significant this rule change was and how the "hockey purists" must have been in quite the uproar. "How is anyone supposed to score with the goalies dropping to their knees like that? Youre ruining the game!" 1. Player Not Allowed to Use Goal-tending Equipment When Replacing Goalie - Rule Changed in 1937(photo: YouTube) Nowadays if a goalie commits any sort of penalty below a game misconduct, they still have the luxury of remaining on the ice and having one of their teammates serve the two to five minutes for them. However, before the 1941 season, this was not the case. If a goalie did the crime, he served the time.So what, right? You might be saying, thats what a backup goalies for. Well, before 1937, it was a position player who was tasked with replacing the penalized goalie and heres the kicker; the substitutes werent allowed to borrow any of the goal-tending equipment. No leg pads, no blocker, no glove, not even the stick. If that rule had still existed in up until 90s, wed have to wager that any team featuring Ron Hextall in net would be the most scored against in the league by a healthy sum. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '