Red Sox 16, Devil Rays 10.
Thank you Red Sox.

Thank you for reminding us that the team we root for is still the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They aren’t the Twins, or the A’s or the Indians. They are indeed the Devil Rays. Thank you for erasing that warm and fuzzy feeling we have had for the last couple of weeks. It was starting to go to our heads. Thank you for scoring 16 runs and reminding us that our starting pitchers are not the mid 70s Orioles and that our bullpen is not the mid 90s Yankees. Thank you for reminding us that the Devil Rays do not go into a place like Fenway and sweep the best team in baseball (a thought that may or may not have crossed our minds when the score was 8-1). Thank you for reminding us that we root for a team that has now blown a lead of 5 or more runs 186* times this season. Thank you for reminding us that even if the Devil Rays can score 7 runs in 3 innings off of Tim Wakefield, the baseball gods (for some unknown reason) will not allow Wakefield to lose to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Thank you for reminding us why sometimes we read a story on the Rays and we think the team changed their name to the Lowly Devil Rays.

Thank you Red Sox. Thank you for pissing in our wheaties.

*we don’t have the stomach to look up the actual number

Switch-hitting is naturally a very difficult thing to do anytime, but it is especially difficult for a catcher. We have said it before, that catchers are notoriously slow developers with the bat. This is rarely unexpected. As catchers, they are asked to concentrate on the defensive aspects of their position much more in the early stages of their careers. While other fielders get to spend a large amount of time in the cage, catchers need to work on blocking pitches, footwork on throws to second, sitting in on pitchers meetings, catch pitchers during their bullpen sessions, have their heads rubbed for luck, etc.

So the amount of time spent on the offensive aspect of their game is already reduced. Now take that and cut it in half for a switch-hitter as they need to do everything twice, once from each side of the plate.

For the second straight night, Dioner Navarro was forced to bat right-handed against a right-handed pitcher because of a sore wrist. How did he do? He collected a career-high 4 hits. Now granted, two of those hits came off of Tim Wakefield and one of the other two was an infield single, but at some point it would not surprise us if the coaching staff looks to make Navi a full-time right-handed batter. While his average is similar from both sides of the plate (.220 vs. .221), his OPS is considerably higher from the right side (.703 vs. .599) hitting a home run once every 17.2 at bats as a right hander and once ever 83.3 at bats as a lefty. This is even more pronounced when one considers that most switch-hitters are better left-handed hitters because that is what they do more often.

A switch-hitter can get away with having a “weaker” side if he is still producing overall. While we still believe that Navi is going to be a very good major league hitter he may be hindering himself, and the team, by continuing to bat from both sides of the plate.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • The timing of this headline was unfortunate. [Devil Rays]
  • The Tampa Tribune is a little late with a story about how the Rays are going to limit their starting pitchers down the stretch, considering the topic was covered everywhere else about 3 weeks ago. And the timing is especially puzzling considering they decided to run the story the day after Scott Kazmir threw a season-high 118 pitches. [TBO]
  • Did you know Delmon Young was ejected Monday night? Neither did we. Apparently Young tossed his helmet back on the field from the dugout after being doubled off of first base in the 9th inning. We understand that sometimes an umpire makes a bad call and emotions get the best of you. But if you are going to act like a child at least do it when the umpire actually makes a bad call. Replays showed that Delmon was out. [tampabay.com]
  • There has been a lot of chatter about Bill Madden’s comments, comparing Carlos Pena’s breakout season to that of Brady Anderson of the Oriole’s and his suspected ties to steroids. To this point we have left it untouched and for a good reason. IT IS THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. It is a friggin’ tabloid. The only reason it has a circulation is because a) it costs 50 cents while the New York Times is a dollar, b) They write sensational shit like this to try and get us riled up, c) it has lots of pictures, d) lots of New Yorkas like to read garbage. [Rays Talk]
  • We felt there were a lot of different directions we could have gone with yesterdays “Hangover” title, but Sports of Boston trumped us. [Sports of Boston]
  • John McDonald of the Blue Jays, a free agent-to be, signed an extension with the Blue Jays. So for those of you who desired a shortstop for 2008 with a good glove and the 32nd worst OPS (.604) among major league short stops (minimum 200 plate appearances) will have to look elsewhere. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • For the second time this week, the Rays called up a player from the Durham Bulls who just began the IL Championship series. This time it was Raul Casanova. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rays DFA’d Tim Corcoran. Corcoran, who was in the middle of the championship series with Montgomery, said that he will re-sign with the Rays to finish the series if he clears waivers. [TBO]
  • There are some new Boyz in the Rayz Blogosphere. The ninja mask is a nice touch, but we hate websites with auto-loading music (so if you click on the link, you’ve been warned). We also wonder about their choice for a blog name, DRayzBoyz. Next season the Devil Rays will drop the “devil”. Will they need to change the title of their site in 2008? Will DRaysBay? [DRayzBoyz]
 
 

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