Smilin’ Eric Hinske, he of the perpetual grin that bordered perhaps a bit too much on psychotic, has left the building, joining AL East knockabouts The Tampa Bay Rays. And the enthusiasm certainly shines through in this quote:

“I’m excited to join the Rays,” said Hinske in a telephone interview. “After talking to [Andrew Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations], I thought it was the best fit for me. Obviously I wanted a Major League contract, but I didn’t have any offers. So I’m excited to be a Ray.”

What more can we say about the 2002 Rookie of the Year, other than he batted .204 for the Sox in 2007, made at least one spectacular catch, and got a mohawk. He will be missed.