THE GOOD: Carlos Pena continues his torrid pace, hitting another home run, his 25th and 10th in last 22 games…BJ Upton returned to the lineup and took out his frustrations on the Rangers, hitting a line drive double down the left field line and following later with a home run to right-center. It was only his 2nd HR since the All-Star break. He drove in 3…Winning series. After getting shutout on Saturday by the worst pitching staff in baseball, the Rays bounced back to take the rubber-match. The Rays are now 8-0-1 in series since the All-Star break and have stretched their lead in the East to 5 games in the all-important loss column. Remember, the Rays were a half-game behind the Red Sox at the All-Star break. So, while everybody has been predicting the imminent doom of the Rays, they have actually played 5 games better than the Sox in the last 29 games…Winning on the road. The Rays just finished their longest road trip of the year at 7-3 and are now 11-6 on the road since the All-Star break after finishing the first-half at 19-25 away from the Trop.

THE BAD: Unlike the rest of the league, the Rangers schedule Sunday home games at night, due to the unbearable heat of Texas in the Summer. But ironically, the high yesterday was only 88. But thanks to the scheduling, the Rays likely did not get home until about 5am…The Red Sox are on the road for the next 9 games, but unfortunately, they get the Orioles starting today, while the Rays must take on the best team in the AL.

THE BAT-SHIT CRAZY: Joe Maddon deciding to walk Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded in the 9th inning. It was good because it worked. Dan Wheeler got Marlon Byrd to strike out. It was bad, because it brought the winning run to the plate in the form of a player that had just hit a walk-off grand slam against the Yankees two weeks ago. It was bat-shit crazy, because it was only the second time in 60+ years that a player had been intentionally walked with the bases loaded. Not to mention, for about 0.04 seconds we thought Grant Balfour was going to go kangaroo on Papa Joe when Maddon came out to the mound following the walk.

THE TELLING: Juan Salas looks like he ate Troy PercivalJuan Salas is now the only member of the 2007 opening day bullpen that is still with the organization…BJ Upton was back in the lineup, and batted leadoff with Aki Iwamura getting a day off…Was anybody else worried about the safety of inanimate objects in the clubhouse after Joe Maddon pulled Grant Balfour?…The Rays now have a 96.6% chance of making the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus, with a 74.0% chance of winning the division…Don’t look now, but the Rays are only 1.5 games behind the Angels for the best record in the AL…The Rays magic number for the playoffs is now 35 with the Red Sox, White Sox and Twins all sharing the same number of losses…

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • We had the honor of writing a “Rest of the Season” preview for the Rays at The Hardball Times…Most of the thoughts have been seen here previously, and it is a bit more long-winded than you guys are used to, but if you ever have a desire to see what Rays Index on amphetamines would look like, head on over. [The Hardball Times]
  • So this is what BJ Upton apologists have turned to? They are sitting at home timing Rays batters to first base. We assume they are trying to show that Upton is not the only player that doesn’t hustle. Seriously. We can’t make this shit up. [DRays Bay]
  • Troy Percival says his knee is feeling much better and he may not need the arthroscopic surgery originally scheduled. If this is the case, he could be back sooner than previously thought. [MLB]
  • Marc Topkin does a nice job of breaking down the Rays and their remaining schedule. [St. Pete Times]
  • Rake Blog wonders if the Rays should trade Carl Crawford this off-season, noting that CC may have a perceived value that is much higher than his actual value. [Rake Blog]
  • The Rays say that today’s game will be played, but tomorrow’s contest is “in doubt”, due to Tropical Storm Fay. [The Heater]
  • Gary Glover has landed a major league job with the Tigers. [Detroit Free-Press]
  • The Rays are only the 4th team in MLB history with 5 starters 26 or younger with at least 20 starts. [Bradenton Herald]
  • Bill Chuck agrees with us…The Yankees are roadkill. [Fox Sports]
 
 

12 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I dont have a problem with Maddon bencing Upton. It isnt difficult to run 90 ft 4 or 5 times per game. What I am curious about, is why other players arent held to the same standard. I have witnessed just about every player on this team jog to first on routine groundballs this season, yet BJ is the only one to be pulled.
    You can rip DRaysBay all you want. SOme may have been sticking up for BJ, but many were pointing out the he isnt the only one not getting down the line in a timely manner.
    It irritates me to no end when players dont hustle, but why is BJ the only one being held to this standard.
    BTW, nice to see you ripping another Rays blog.

  2. Robert Rittner says:

    “So this is what BJ Upton apologists have turned to? They are sitting at home timing Rays batters to first base. We assume they are trying to show that Upton is not the only player that doesn’t hustle. Seriously. We can’t make this shit up.”
    ___________________________________

    No, but you can make up entirely erroneous interpretations of the discussion about Upton and the position many have taken that is less condemnatory of him than much of popular opinion.

    For example, I have no problem with the benching, and I also think the “double standard” argument oversimplifies the issue considerably. My primary objection has been to labeling Upton rather than simply criticizing specific errors of judgment he has made.

    I know you are merely commenting here on the timing of runners, considering it a foolish endeavor. But you frame as part of the larger issue of what you call “Upton apologists” and that is misleading in my view in suggesting that it is some last ditch effort to argue a point. Your assumption is wrong and your interpretation wildly inaccurate.

  3. David says:

    i am going to assume that bc you are posting as “anon” that you are one of the two guys that sat at home on a Saturday night with a stopwatch. and then posted said times to the internet at 2:00am.

    you do know that the Rays already know all those times right? they have a quality assurance coach that times all the players. and we are to believe that two guyswatching on TV have times that are wholly accurate?

    and one of the best things about Rays Index is that the Prof doesn’t sit around kissing everybody’s asses everyday. maybe if DRays Bay stopped kissing ass so much, they would post something worthwhile every once and a while. That site hasnt been shit in months.

  4. Anonymous says:

    the reason Upton was held to a higher standard is because he had already been told that he needed to cut it out and then on a ground ball with 1 out, he carried the bat with him halfway to first.

    did any of those guys that were timed, carry a bat halfway to first with them?? i doubt it. Upton is a lazy piece of shit. i would rather have Perez in CF next year

  5. Raysimus Maximus says:

    well i think Upton needs to be moved at some point, but not bc of his lack of hustle. there is just NO chance he ever signs a long-term deal here. He is going to want $100MM. He won’t get it. But he thinks he will.

    And i am not sold on Perez, but prefer him to Ruggiano.

  6. Anonymous says:

    yeah. i am still trying to figure out if RJ was saying Upton shouldn’t have been suspended or if a bunch of other guys should have joined him?

    as for my 2 cents. I have no problem with a manager/coach/leader holding the best players to a higher standard. too often it is just the opposite

  7. Maddonite says:

    i don’t know about Upton, but whole-heartedly agree with that one blog that thinks we should trade Crawford this off-season. pretty soon, he is going to start losing value. he is still young enough that another team might feel he still has upside

  8. The Professor says:

    RR,

    i understand what you are saying, but in defense I would have likely said the same thing had it been just the opposite done by “Upton Haters”.

    on this site i haven’t really taken a side, as i feel it “is what it is”.

    i think that Upton *at times* has given less than 100%. i think every player has their moments. the individual act probably did not warrant a benching, but Upton really gave Maddon no choice. it was too close to the last incident. Maddon risked losing a little respect from the rest of the players if he did nothing. like the parent that threatens to pull the car over and never does.

  9. Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

    4.3 is NOT an average time to first base for a major leaguer.

    It IS an average time to first base for a DRAFTED player or INTERNATIONAL FREE AGENT.

    Most major leaguers run slower than that now that they are no longer 18-22 years old.

    i remember having this very conversation with a scout for the Mets once. One kid asked why the times were so important because there are plenty of slow players in the big leagues. the scout gave us Dave Magadan as an example.

    until a player can prove they are a good hitter, there need to be other skills. very few amateur players are “sure things”.

    he told us that he helped scout Magadan and in high school he was 4.2-4.3 to first base. But when he was in the majors he was more like 4.9-5.0. Running was no longer an important skill for Magadan because he hit pretty well.

    So most of those times in DRB are more in line with AVERAGE major leaguers.

  10. Rays Mancini says:

    DRB is nothing anymore. i used to love that site. Now it is just the same 5 commenters bitching about the same 5 topics EVERY FRICKIN DAY.

    i havent read DRB since maybe April. Still have them on my RSS, but i never stop to read.

  11. steve-o1285 says:

    I go to DRB for gameday threads. Some of the posters are very creative and informative. The pictures and videos are hilarious as well, but I find the content on this site to be of more quality.

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