THE GOOD: Admit it. You rolled your eyes like we did when Stuart Sternberg predicted 50 home wins for the Rays this season. The Rays are now 52-19 at home after sweeping the O’s.
THE BAD: The Rays are only 5-7 against the Yankees this season, and 3-3 at home.
THE TELLING: The Rays lead the AL with 17 bases loaded walks this season. And that does not count being hit by pitch with the bases loaded which we think has happened a couple of times. Carlos Pena has been walked with the bases loaded 7 times, most in baseball…BJ Upton is the first player in franchise history, not named Carl Crawford, to steal 40 bases in a season.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Yesterday we indicated that the biggest loss this off-season could be Gerry Hunsicker, with rumors swirling that he could be headed to the Rangers. Now Bill Conlin thinks the Phillies should consider hiring Hunsicker for their upcoming GM opening. [Philadelphia Daily-News]
- It is September and the Rays are in first place…so brace yourself for all of the stories about playing “one game at a time”, treating games like it is “May 2nd” and how the Rays are still trying to “prove people wrong”…First up, Bradenton Herald, then the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, MLB.com.
- Apparently Martin Fennelly thinks the pressure of the pennant race doesn’t start until the arbitrary date of Sept. 2. [WARNING: Numerous incomprehensible sentence fragments ahead] [Tampa Tribune]
- Marc Topkin also says pressure of pennant race suddenly starts today…At least his is readable. [St. Pete Times]
- A Tribune columnist knocking the Yankees? Say it ain’t so! [Tampa Tribune]
These Yankees are just about the biggest mess you can buy for $209 million. The clutch hits that always used to be there have been harder to find. The pitching has been generally miserable once you get past Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte.
- Yesterday we mockingly asked if anybody would write stories about how good attendance was this past weekend…Well, we actually found one, sorta. [Sports Biz By Senno]
- The September schedule is not an easy one. [Baseball in Tampa Bay]
- One Red Sox blogger thinks the Pink Hats will win the AL East. Why? Apparently it is a “hunch”. [Sox and Pinstripes]