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July 10, 2009 at 7:26 am ET
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TGIT177DREF! The Top 177 Devil Rays Ever: #72-69

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

-Jane Austen

In our continuing efforts to preserve and protect the full, proud history of our proud, great and dominant franchise, and to hagiographize the many, many valiant warriors who have contributed to that proud history, every Friday we’ll be counting down The Top 177* Devil Rays Ever….

The 72nd, 71st, 70th and 69th Greatest Devil Rays Ever are….

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72. Damian Rolls OF/3B/2B/DH/1B (2000-2004)

  • DEVIL RAY MOMENT: June 23 2003, Tropicana Field, hit a 3-run HR off Roger Clemens in the 2nd, and then a solo shot off Clemens in the 5th; drove in all the Devil Rays runs in a 4-2 win over the Yankees; also doubled in the game to tie the Devil Rays record for total bases in a game; became the 11th player ever to hit 2 HR off Clemens in one game
  • DEVIL RAY STATS: 266 Games 103 Runs 203 Hits 42 Doubles 2 Triples 9 HR 73 RBI 27 SB 42 BB
  • 27 Stolen Bases Rank 10th on the Devil Rays Career List
  • Second Devil Ray ever to hit a grand slam at Fenway (July 24 2003 in a 15-9 win)
  • 2004 Opening Day Third Baseman

71. J.P. Howell P (2006-Present)

  • DEVIL RAY MOMENT: September 10 2008, Fenway Park, kept the Red Sox scoreless in the bottom of the 11th and 12th, setting up Carlos Pena’s 3-run blast in the 14th as the Devil Rays took the series from the Red Sox and extended their lead to 2.5 games
  • DEVIL RAY PITCHING STATS (through July 8 2009): 123 Games 18 Starts 13 Wins 9 Saves 224 Innings Pitched 223 Strikeouts 117 ERA+
  • DEVIL RAY POSTSEASON STATS: 12 Games 3.00 ERA 12.0 IP 17 Strikeouts
  • DEVIL RAY BATTING STATS: 1 Run 2 Hits 1 RBI .286 AVG
  • Led the Majors with Lowest Percentage Of Inherited Runners Scored in 2008 (11.8%)
  • Tied for Major League lead in Relief Innings Pitched in 2008 (89.1); also set Devil Ray Record for most innings pitched by a Lefthanded Reliever
  • Tied for Most Strikeouts by an AL Reliever in 2008 (92)
  • Second Devil Ray to win first 6 decisions in a season (2008, tied James Shields who did it in 2007)
  • Earned First Devil Ray Win by shutting out the Yankees for 7 innings and beating Randy Johnson (September 23 2006)

70. Brent Abernathy 2B/DH (2001-2003)

  • DEVIL RAY MOMENT: June 30 2002, Tropicana Field, bottom of the 12th, hit a 1-out walkoff RBI single to give the Devil Rays a 6-5 win over the Marlins
  • DEVIL RAY STATS: 198 Games 90 Runs 194 Hits 35 Doubles 5 Triples 7 HR 73 RBI 19 SB 52 BB
  • Homered off Rich Garces for first major league hit in his MLB debut (June 25 2001, at Boston)

69. Jim Mecir P (1998-2000)

  • DEVIL RAY MOMENT: June 9 1998, Shea Stadium, entered in the bottom of the 8th of a tie game with the bases loaded and one out, immediately got a fly ball to short right field and Randy Winn gunned down the Mets runner at the plate to complete the double play; pitched two more scoreless innings and earned the win with the help of Quinton McCracken’s RBI sac fly in the top of the 11th
  • DEVIL RAY STATS: 123 Games 14 Wins 1 Save 154.1 Innings Pitched 125 Strikeouts 3.03 ERA 159 ERA+

Previously….

#177: Kevin “Witter” Witt
#176: Damion Easley
#175: Jason Smith
#174: Justin Ruggiano
#173: Dwight Gooden
#172: Danny Clyburn
#171: Delvin James
#170: Steve Parris
#169: Pete LaForest
#168: Terry Shumpert
#167: Jon Switzer
#166: Chris Singleton
#165: David Lamb
#164: Ozzie Guillen
#163: Jason Standridge
#162: Brook Fordyce
#161: Midre Cummings
#160: Tomas Perez
#159: Juan Salas
#158: Felix Escalona
#157: Mark Guthrie
#156: Scott Aldred
#155: Scott Dohmann
#154: Rusty Meacham
#153: Javier Valentin
#152: Brian Stokes
#151: Chad Harville
#150: Shawn Riggans
#149: Fernando Perez
#148: Carlos Reyes
#147: Nick Bierbrodt
#146: Jorge Velandia
#145: Robert Fick
#144: Paul Abbott
#143: Dan “The Missile” Miceli
#142: Steve Kent
#141: Josh Paul
#140: Antonio Perez
#139: Brandon Backe
#138: Jason Johnson
#137: Chad Gaudin
#136: Andy Sheets
#135: Shawn Camp
#134: Vinny Castilla
#133: Russell Branyan
#132: Raul Casanova
#131: Josh Phelps
#130: Korean Sensation Jae Weong Seo
#129: Jeff Wallace
#128: Terrell Lowery
#127: Norm Charlton
#126: Alan “Al” Levine
#125: Al Martin
#124: The Lethal Weapon Gary Glover
#123: Rich Butler
#122: Brian Meadows
#121: Joe Borowski
#120: Elijah Dukes
#119: Chad Orvella
#118: Josh Wilson
#117: Troy Percival
#116: Tony Graffanino
#115: Geoff Blum
#114: Joey Gathright
#113: Herb Perry
#112-109: Alex Sanchez, Rey Ordonez, Rey Sanchez & Jason Conti
#108-105: Hideo Nomo, Eduardo Perez, Dave Eiland & Travis Phelps
#104-101: Ben “Zorilla” Zobrist, Mike Kelly, Trever Miller & Felix Martinez
#100-97: Dan Johnson, David Price, Al “The Eraser” Reyes & Cliff “Dr. Huxtable” Floyd
#96-93: Nick Green, Tim Corcoran, Doug Creek & Dan Wheeler
#92-89: Jason Hammel, Jose Guillen, Dennis Springer & Cory Lidle
#88-85: Jared Sandberg, Russ Johnson, Gabe Gross & Jason Tyner
#84-81: Danys Baez, Julio Santana, Dewon Brazelton & Alex S. Gonzalez
#80-77: Bobby Smith, Damon Hollins, Greg Norton & Paul Sorrento
#76-73: Ruddy Lugo, John Halama, Seth McClung & Kevin Stocker

The Top 25 Devil Rays Ever (in advent calendar form)

*Based on players’ entire Devil Ray careers and regardless of position. Special thanks to B&C’s Robotto Clemente for crunching the numbers.

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