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Rays let go of longtime hitting coach Derek Shelton

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For the first six seasons of Derek Shelton’s career with the Tampa Bay Rays, it wasn’t his fault. This year, evidently, it was. The Rays fired Shelton, a longtime target of fans’ displeasure, Tuesday and replaced him with minor-league instructor Chad Mattola. Tampa Bay has long struggled offensively, but some observers thought that was because hitting talent is more expensive, and therefore more difficult to obtain on a budget such as the Rays. Tampa Bay also has struggled to develop…

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