• Last day with a reduced schedule…Things should return back to normal tomorrow. Sue us.
  • Tampa Bay Sports Blog takes a closer look at the Rays defense and sees lots of improvement even if the team does miss Delmon Young in right field…Gotta admit, Young’s arm is the only thing we miss about that guy. [Tampa Bay Sports Blog]
  • The Sporting News believes that the improved defense is why the Rays are winning…We love the new defense, and it is certainly helping the pitching, but the Rays are winning because the entire pitching staff believes they can win. Their is a new confidence we have never seen before. [The Sporting News]
  • Bleacher Report thinks Jason Hammel’s control issues on Tuesday night may have cost the team the game and himself a spot in the rotation. [Bleacher Report]
  • Stuart Sternberg was in attendance in Baltimore and spoke about the new-look Rays. [MLB]
  • Bugs & Cranks suggests a new slogan for the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays based on recent comments by Stuart Sternberg. “Two pounds of bologna in a one pound bag”. We like it. [Bugs & Cranks]
  • Carlos Pena called the accusations that he was trying to steal signs “Totally ridiculous”. [The Heater]
  • 15-12 marks the best opening month in Rays history (actually one win was in March) besting the previous best April of 12-12. [AP]


  1. DirtbagFan says:

    Well, it appears that Sonny and Hammel showed exactly how they behave under pressure (knowing that their roster spot is in jeopardy) and it was blatently obvious who answered the call, so to speak.
    Sonny looked really good last night, again.

    I hadn't noticed until Magrane mentioned it in the 6th, but at that point Sonny hadn't thrown 3 balls to any batter... impressive.
    Imagine how hard it would be to hit Jackson if he could get ahead on all of his counts like that!

  2. Robert Rittner says:

    But why do the pitchers feel more confident? At least part of it may be that they know that if they give up contact there is a good chance the defense will get to it for the out. They can pitch with more confidence and without trying to be too fine.

    I don't think there is one overriding factor, but at the same time I do think that defense is among the very important ones.

  3. Scot Gould says:

    Can we start to see the value of Joe Maddon, please? Instead of having 5 relievers finish the last game against the O's, Joe had a top reliever actually pitch, "gasp", 2 innings instead of 1. Given some decent pitchers, maybe some will give recognize that Maddon is a better manager than some give him credit.

    Robert raises and interesting issues - confidence in pitchers. Can we actually "see" defensive efficiency (which the Rays were last at last year) or do we simply sense it (which is much better this year)?

  4. Robert Rittner says:

    I am not sure that defensive stats are as advanced or reliable as others, but the most recent numbers I saw, I think they were the DER approach, had the Rays second in the league-to Baltimore by the way. Last year they were dead last, and by a lot, in every type of defensive measurement.


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