THE GOOD: If you would have offered us 3-3 on a tough two-city road trip, we would have signed for that. So, despite yesterday’s awful performance, the Rays are still playing well. Being 2 back in the division is more of an indication of how well the Sox are playing right now.

THE BAD: Bizarro Andy Sonnanstine. Duke retired the first 8 batters, but after that, A’s hitters were 9-18 with a walk, 4 doubles and 2 home runs…Jonny Gomes career as an outfielder took a major hit yesterday. There were 2 doubles that hit off the base of the outfield wall that probably should have been cought. He also had trouble fielding a ball on the ground a couple of times and missed at least 1 cutoff man. If Sonny wasn’t so hittable, we would suggest that the outcome would have been different if Carl Crawford had not been given a day off…Offense managed onle 3 hits, and none from the 2-6 hitters.

THE TELLING: The Rays still have a 2 game lead in the Wild Card over Baltimore, which means this is a big series coming up this weekend. The Rays have an opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the O’s and reveal to the rest of the league that Baltimore is a pretender, not a contender.


  • Don’t forget to VOTE for Carl Crawford to start the all-star game. If you haven’t voted yet today, go NOW! [MLB All-Star Voting]
  • Tampa Bay Rays’ merchandise sales have risen 70% so far in ’08. Of course a 70% increase of very little is still very little as the Rays still rank 29th in baseball, ahead of only the Toronto Jays. [St. Pete Times]
  • Bill Chastain has a few quotes from other teams in the AL East and how they view the ’08 Tampa Bay Rays. [MLB]
  • Joe Henderson takes a closer look at the Rays vastly improved defense and tells us something that the rest of baseball has been saying since the middle of April: The Rays turnaround in ’08 is due in large part to the improved fielding. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Do the Rays have the best 1-2 starting pitchers in the AL East? Well, the Red Sox would never in a million years trade Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka for James Shields and Scott Kazmir. [DRays Bay]
  • Rays Digest breaks down the early-season contenders for Rookie of the Year. [Rays Digest]


  1. DirtbagFan says:

    I hadn't missed a single pitch of a Rays' game all year (thanks to DVR, and ... until yesterday.
    I was livid when I realized that I would miss the game... well, hindsight being as it is- if i had to choose one game to miss so far this year that would've been the one (or maybe Neimann's second start).

  2. bwaldron says:

    Well, the Red Sox would never in a million years trade Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka for James Shields and Scott Kazmir.

    As a Sox fan, I'd agree with this...but it isn't a slam dunk. The big difference is that Beckett has proven to come up big in the playoffs. But swapping Kaz+Shields for Beckett+DiceK wouldn't significantly weaken the Sox.

    The Rays have set themselves up nicely to be competitive for years to come. Props to Sternberg for locking the right players up.

  3. The Professor says:

    and that is our thoughts on the matter. if your goal was just to be competitive for the next 4-5 years while maintaining a manageable bottom line (as the Rays are) then Shields and Kaz are better options. But the Sox operate differently. their goal is to win it all. And Beckett and Dice-K (especially Beckett) give them a better chance to do that this year.


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