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This piece by John Romano goes above the fold today. A must read…Joe Maddon is a manager that is not big on team meetings, but there were three this season that set the tone for the 2008 Rays. The “genius” label is tossed around in sports as loosely as a teen girl tosses around the label “best friend”. In both cases, the overuse takes away from the significance. In the case of Maddon, we will just call him a brilliant tactician. He doesn’t push buttons often, but when he does, you can be sure the move is well thought out, well planned and perfectly executed. Come to think of it. That pretty much describes everything about the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. [St. Pete Times]

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, we ran a bunch of “Webtopia” links in the evening “Happy Hour” feature. [Rays Index]
  • Joe Maddon said the goal will be to inflate Daisuke Matsuzaka’s pitch count. Maddon also said that it is not out of the question to go back to James Shields in game 4 if needed…That does not seem likely considering how well Andy Sonnanstine pitched against the Red Sox in September. [Boston Globe]
  • The Biz of Baseball has some quotes from Joe Maddon from the yesterday’s team workout. [The Biz of Baseball]
  • Manny Stiles breaks down the ALCS position-by-position and gives the Rays a slight edge. As usual, Stiles is short and too the point…Who are we kidding. This piece is over 5,200 words. To give you perspective, the average column in one of the local papers is usually under 1,000 words. [armchair gm]
  • Marc Lancaster spoke with JP Howell. By our count Howell said “man” seven times during the interview. And he sure loves his PB&J and Doritos, man. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe sure picked a funny time to rip the Rays because of their attendance, considering the playoff games all sold out in less than an hour. And that is without a sizable season ticket holder base. [Boston Globe]
  • Sox and Pinstripes wants less cowbell in the ALCS…Because you know, cowbells are a million times more annoying than some drunken bandwagon Red Sox “fan” wearing a pink hat and screaming every obscenity in the book and doing their best job to pick a fight. [Sox and Pinstripes]
  • Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe sure wants there to be bad blood in this series. Terry Francona and several players were asked about the potential for something to happen in the ALCS and they all sound as if they are not even considering it, which is smart considering what is on the line. But not satisfied with those responses, Kilgore finally gets a couple to give weak “I guess it could happen” responses. One thing we have learned from some reporters. If you ask questions long enough eventually you will get the answers you need for a story, even if the story is a stretch. [Boston Globe]
  • Sox and Dawgs takes a look back at all 18 games between the Rays and Red Sox this season. [Sox and Dawgs]
  • Joe Maddon says it is too easy to put a Cinderella label on the Rays. He says that it is no fluke that the Rays are in the position they are in. BJ Upton says the biggest difference is just believing they can win every time they take the field. [MLB]
  • Pete Williams of The New York Times writes that the success of Tampa Bay sports franchises are no longer overshadowed by the Yankees. [New York Times]
  • Tito Francona An AL scout offers his thoughts on each player in the Rays lineup. [Boston Herald]
  • Hacks with Haggs breaks down various odds for the ALCS. The Red Sox are the favorite to win the World Series at 7/4 and the Rays are second at 5/2. The best odds of a Ray to win the ALCS MVP is BJ Upton at 7/1. There are 5 Red Sox with better odds to win the MVP. [Hacks with Haggs]
  • Ticket prices for the ALCS are going sky high and the fear is that those tickets are more likely to be scooped up by Red Sox fans wearing pink hats. [Bradenton Herald]
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3 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    I don't think those are Francona's evaluations of the Rays. There's a quote from Francona about how the two teams are very familiar with each other because they're in the same division, but then they go on to quote 'one AL scout' or something like that. Just FYI.

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  2. The Professor says:

    /fixed

    thanks for catching that

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  3. Mark says:

    If they want LESS cowbell that just means that we have to give them MORE.

    If some is good...

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