In a post several days ago I called Randy Winn the only original Devil Ray to still be playing in the Majors. I was wrong and he is not. The player that I had overlooked, that is until I was watching the replay of the Marlins vs. Phillies game late last night/early this morning and I saw this guy come to plate and knock one out of the park off of Josh Johnson. He is an original Devil Ray and he is the ONLY Devil Rays player in the starting line-up for the inaugural game that is still in the Major Leagues. He is Miguel Cairo and if he makes their postseason roster, he will be in the playoffs this year. These two autographs of Miguel Cairo are examples of the very autographs I have from the 1998 D-Rays team. At the time (back in ’98) I probably had autographs of the whole team, but quitting collecting several times and dabbling in e-Bay for a while, few things from back then are still part of my collection. Currently, I have Larry Rothchild, Bobby Smith, Kevin Stocker and Cairo. Miguel Cairo has had a long career, playing for 14 seasons for 8 different teams. He broke in with the Blue Jays as a 22-year-old second baseman. Since then, he’s been traded, selected in an expansion draft, released, re-signed and played in AAA. He keeps on hanging on and keeps finding jobs with big league clubs. He has played every position except catcher and pitcher over the years, but came up as a second baseman and can still play the position. Now he is more of a pinch-hitter, reserve infielder-with the Phillies this year, he wasn’t called up till late August and has only played in 27 games this season. Most of his games have been solely as a pinch-hitter, but he has seen time in the field at SS, 2B and third. He is batting .267 for the Phillies and his home run last night was his first. That is pretty much on par with his career numbers-over 14 seasons Cairo has played in 1227 games and is a career .266 batter. His best years were with Tampa Bay where he was their starting 2nd baseman for their first 3 years as a ballclub. Over those 3 years he played in 389 games, hit 9 homers and stole 69 bases. He was a superb fielding second baseman and in 1998 he and Kevin Stocker turned 109 double plays. After leaving the Rays he was mainly a utility guy, except for 2004 when he was the Yankees starting 2nd baseman. That year he played in 122 games in the regular season for the Yanks, he hit .292 with 6 homeruns and 42 RBI. Cairo has never made it to the World Series, but he has playoff experience with the Yankees and the Cardinals. He has played in 19 postseason games and hit one homerun, drove in 6 and has a career playoff batting average of .328. I always root for the Ex-Rays and there are quite a few of them still alive for the postseason. I plan on profiling them, one by one, once it’s determined who will be in the playoffs. I don’t dislike the Tigers-Edwin Jackson is still one of my favorite players (and ex-Rays) ever. I am a fan of Curtis, Brandon, Porcello and even Verlander. Bobby Seay is an ex-Ray, too, but not so much of a fan of his. I still have to root for the Twins in game 163. Their comeback has been amazing; I am caught up in the Kirby Puckett nostalgia of the Twins and will always root for Delmon Young no matter what team he is on. Denard Span is a Tampa native and is high on my list of fav non-Rays. The offense that Kubel and Cuddyer have put up of late is amazing and I think everyone loves Joe Mauer. The fact that the Twins have gotten this far without perennial MVP candidate Justin Morneau is pretty amazing, too. I finally have the night off and I will be watching and rooting for the Twinkies. I am still undecided on what team I will back for the playoffs-I can promise that it won’t be the Yankees or the Red Sox. More on that later. For now, I have to go and fix or replace my radiator. Wish me luck. Oh, by the way... The cards are both 1998s which seemed appropriate. Miguel signed these TTM while playing for Lehigh Valley earlier this year. Oh, and all of my wantlists have been updated as I am slowly chipping away at my needs. Go Rays! Go Miguel Cairo! Troll out.