DRG here again to get you through the weekend. I can be reached here..
- The Good: To quote a commenter from last night: Akinori Iwamura… you beautiful, beautiful small little Japanese man. Although I might worry a little for Aki’s safety today. He did a nice little bat flip and walked the first few steps down the line to admire the blast. Don’t get me wrong. I loved it. And in reality the Sawx are the last team in the world that could ever complain about something like that as long as Manny Ramirez wears the Scarlett Hose. But still. Aki might get a little buzz this afternoon if a pitcher gets an opportunity…Oh yeah and the bullpen, Again. 2 runs in the last 30 innings pitched from the bullpen. That’s right. 2 runs in the last 30 innings pitched from the Tampa Bay Rays relief corps.
- The Bad: Jello Shots. Seriously? Who the hell thought Jello Shots was a good idea?
- The Telling: This worked yesterday, so I will try going to the well one more time. The last time the Rays won 6 in a row was August 3, 2005. The winning pitchers during that streak were Scott Kazmir, Casey Fossum, Doug Waechter, Mark Hendrickson, Seth McClung and Travis Harper. No shit…Also if the Rays win today they will be 3 games over .500 after 25 games. It looks like that would be the latest in a season that the Rays have ever been 3 games over .500. In 2004 they were 40-38 but never got to 3-over. The latest they have ever been 3-over was way back in 1999 when the Rays were 11-8 after 19 games.
- Today: Huge matchup of Aces as the Rays go for the sweep. It is Josh Beckett versus James Shields.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Only surprise here is that Andrew Friedman didn’t make this move sooner. Elliot Johnson has been sent to Durham and Andy Cannizaro has been called up to take his place. With Jason Bartlett’s shoulder problems, Joe Maddon undoubtedly would prefer to have a natural shortstop on the bench to back him up. [Rays Report]
- There is speculation around the Rangers that new team President Nolan Ryan may ask Gerry Hunsicker to come on board as the new GM. [ESPN via Lone Star Ball]
- Marc Topkin takes a look at the Rays surplus of starting pitching and comes to the same conclusion that many including The Professor have been saying for a while, Andy Sonnanstine is likely the odd-man out and could be headed to the bullpen with Scott Dohmann being DFA’d. Even with the 3-hit shutout, Duke is just the better option in the bullpen. [St. Pete Times]
- Red Sox skipper Terry Francona is impressed with what he sees in the Rays. [MLB]
- What a difference a year makes for the Rays bullpen, where Gary Glover is the only reliever that was with the Rays at this time last year. [Tampa Tribune]
- The Rays rank first in affordability in the major leagues. [MLB]
- I am amazed at how many stories have been written that say giving Evan Longoria a long term deal so early is very risky. All these stories make the same argument: Prospects flame out all the time. They will then go on to list all the top prospects that never panned out. Only they only list pitchers. The only top hitting prospect that anybody ever mentions is Rocco Baldelli and he has what appears to be a rare genetic disorder. His had nothing to do with miscalculated scouting. Top hitting prospects *never* fail. They may not turn out to be all-stars, but they never fail. There is basically ZERO risk in the Longoria deal. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]