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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Should the Devil Rays have made a move before the trade deadline? Yes. No.
By Times staff writers
Published August 7, 2005
KEEPING CORE PLAYERS A SHREWD MOVE
Say what you will about his negotiating ability, Chuck LaMar got it right.
There seems to be an expectation as the nonwaiver trade deadline nears that teams out of contention cower to those in pennant or wild-card chases by supplying missing pieces for little or no return.
Not this time. The Rays held their ground.
LaMar explored deals involving closer Danys Baez, left-handed power hitter Aubrey Huff and shortstop Julio Lugo, but he wanted top prospects in return.
When others cried foul, LaMar collected his toys and went home.
The players didn't have to be moved - Huff is under contract for another year, and the Rays hold options on Baez and Lugo for 2006 - and all have played major roles in the Rays' post-All-Star surge.
Though not as significant as the decision to sign Carl Crawford to a long-term contract, the Rays' willingness to hold onto three core players rather than shed salary should be seen as a positive step in the organization's development.
For once, there is talk of the present, not simply the future.
If the Mets and Red Sox don't like it, frankly, that's their problem.
- FRANK PASTOR
WHAT DOES LaMAR HAVE TO LOSE?
Who can blame Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar for being a little gun-shy when it comes to trades?
His decisions over the course of 10 years have been scrutinized and criticized with good reason: Tampa Bay is a perennial cellar dweller with seemingly little hope to contend for a pennant.
LaMar grabbed national headlines last month for trade talks that could have sent Boston's Manny Ramirez to the New York Mets, and included Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff, Danys Baez and Julio Lugo.
LaMar held out his hands and begged for a bunch of blue-chip prospects in return. He got too greedy, and asked for too much.
Boston was unwilling to part with so many promising players.
So do nothing? Trade no one?
Name the last time the Devil Rays were on the national radar for their play?
Do you believe this roster will ever take Tampa Bay beyond 162 games?
Tampa Bay is bound to make a trade at some point that turns a losing franchise into a winner.