Devil Rays @ Detroit Tigers
A 3-game set…Tampa Bay is 42-68, 25.5 games back in the AL East…Detroit is 61-49, a half game back in the AL Central…The Rays are 16-35 on the road…Justin Verlander pitches for Detroit tonight. He is 11-4 with a 3.49 ERA…Edwin Jackson takes the mound for the Rays. He is 2-11 with a 6.56 ERA.
(a conversation between Joe Maddon and Jim Leyland in Leyland’s office before tonight’s game)
Papa Joe: What are the chances that my team can beat you guys tonight Jim?
Papa Jim: (taking a long slow drag on a cigarette) Well, that’s pretty difficult to say.
Papa Joe: (sporting a giddy school girl smile) Hit me with it! I’ve come a long way to see you, Jim. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Papa Jim: (lighting another cigarette) Not good.
Papa Joe: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Papa Jim: (lighting up his third cigarette since the conversation started) I’d say more like one out of a million.
Papa Joe: (looking confused, and then breaking out in a big smile) So you’re telling me there’s a chance.
(Joe Maddon turns and skips his way out of Leyland’s office)
Papa Jim: (blowing smoke rings) There is no way this ends well.
(Jim Leyland shakes head and pulls out another cigarette)
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- After Joe Maddon’s latest comments on BJ Upton we have to wonder if Rocco Baldelli has a future with the Devil Rays. Maddon expressed that Upton is clearly a better hitter and a more confident player while playing the outfield. [Devil Rays]
Because Upton looks so athletic in center field, Maddon was asked if Upton is wasted when he plays second base…”Not so much wasted, he’s looking very natural out there,” Maddon said. “I think from what I’m seeing, he will always hit better because that’s a mentally easier position for him to play.”
- We applaud Carl Crawford’s latest comments in which he expressed his frustration with this season. While some take the comments to mean that CC wants out, we see a young player that is growing into a team leader and letting it be known that the status quo is unacceptable. [tampabay.com]
“This year hasn’t went as planned, so I don’t know anymore,” Crawford said. “I’m just trying to wait and see what happens toward the end. Every year is a new year now…This year has been a setback, and I’m not used to setbacks. I’m frustrated with this season. It ain’t been a good year.”
- Jason Hammel threw a bullpen session on Saturday and he believes he will be able to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday. Joe Maddon is waiting to see how the shoulder feels today and tomorrow before making a decision. [Herald-Tribune]
- We may have been a little quick on the trigger earlier this season when we anointed James Shields as the Rays’ ace. [The Ledger]
- Jonny Gomes has done what Jorge Cantu could not. When benched, he kept his mouth shut and performed when given the opportunity and worked his way back into the everyday lineup with strong numbers. [tampabay.com]
- Don’t look for Akinori Iwamura to make any appearances at second base this season. Joe Maddon believes that is a move better suited for Spring Training. [TBO]
- BJ Upton’s younger brother Justin, made his major league debut for the D-Backs, 4 days younger than BJ made his debut. [TBO]
- The Devil Rays are expected to announce their new name and colors on Nov. 11. [tampabay.com]
- Former Devil Ray Jason Tyner finally hit his first major league home run after 1,220 at bats. [SFGate]