Rays Twins Baseball

Time to bring back the GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: See less evil. We did something we never do. We turned the game off after the second inning. We left the house and had a nice Mexican dinner. the game was over, and this team absolutely makes us sick right now. No pitching. No fielding. No hitting. No fundamentals. No heart. None.

THE BAD: First Inning. Single, infield single, walk, wild pitch, dropped pop up, another infield single, another wild pitch, another walk. 4 runs. Game over.

THE TELLING: This 4-game set against the Red Sox is either exactly what the Rays need or more likely it is the worst possible timing. The Rays know they can compete with the Red Sox, having taken 2 of 3 to start the season, but the Sox are playing at a different level now. The rivalry could spark the Rays. Or they are about to run into a juggernaut while playing like the Devil Rays. But worst of all is that this is a 4-game series. It is so hard to win a 4-game series. Sure it would be nice, but a split is far more realistic, and all a split does is stop the bleeding for a few days.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lance Cormier. 4 shutout innings. 3 hits and no walks. We thought his position on the team was limited with Jason Isringhausen almost ready to join the team. But Joe Maddon has gotta love a reliever than can give him 3-4 innings and save the rest of the bullpen for the next fight.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Great. The one player on the team that is hitting the ball, Jason Bartlett had to be removed from the game after the 5th inning with a sore hamstring. [The Heater]
  • Joe Maddon says he has no intentions of taking BJ Upton out of the leadoff spot, even temporarily. Also Maddon wants to see Matt Garza recognize what needs to be changed during the game, rather than waiting until after the game and saying “I should have done this.” [St. Pete Times]
  • Joe Henderson outlines why this is Joe Maddon’s biggest test yet and wonders how low it can go. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Jonah Keri tries to separate early season fact and fiction…What we learned from the piece is that the Blue Jays are basically the exact opposite of the Rays right now. Everybody on their team is playing above their career norms. [SI.com]
  • Her Rays suggests that Joe Maddon find his inner Lou Piniella for a few days. [Her Rays]
  • Around the Majors takes a look at some of the bigger names with contract options for the 2010 season including Carl Crawford. [Around the Majors]
  • Rise of the Rays speculates on what Desmond Jennings hot start means for him and the Rays. [Rise of the Rays]
  • More Hardball has some fun with  few Rays images. [More Hardball]

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16 Comments

  1. At first I wasn’t sure I bought your 2009 Rays = 2003 Buccaneers. But, the more I watch this team… the more I become convinced. They can change my mind by slowing down the Red Sox. But, I’m guessing Francona wants to put the Rays away nice and early this year. The Sox will be ready. The Rays better be.

  2. Dirtbag Fan says:

    I also got up and walked away, but for some reason i waited until the 5th inning before i’d had enough and turned off the TV… unbelievably horrible.

  3. Jason in PA says:

    Ya I was worried about a WS hangover all offseason… I hate being right when it serves to ruin my day to day happiness.

    I am just so amazed at the inconsistant defense and pitching. And my gosh Upton looks lost at the plate. He is taking pitches right down the middle. He just needs to get back to see the ball, hit the ball. If Aki could learn to pull the ball, there is always an ocean’s worth of room in right center…

    It has been depressing everyone call us a fluke. We knw the talent is there, It is close to impossible to dig out of an 8-18 hole if they lose a buncha games to Boston this weekend.

  4. In the latter innings we started to show more life. I still have faith in this team, but we need less Devil Rays and more Rays.

  5. Justin H says:

    I don’t know what team I’m watching right now the Rays or the Devil Rays? Where’s the 9=8? The Rayshawks? The team we all loved to watch play last season? Just like you wrote this team seems to have no heart, it doesn’t even seem like they care how badly they’re playing. It’s like when the Devil Rays went into a year knowing the best they could do was third place, it just seems like the Rays don’t care. Maybe this series with the Red Sox is perfect timing and will inspire them to pick their game up, but I really doubt it they way they’re playing.

  6. EDS says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Navarro is the iconic figure of it all: total ineptness! He needs to sit for a long time.

  7. Lawrence says:

    I hate to say this but I think the team needs a Jonny Gomes type player in the locker room. Despite his shortcomings at the plate, he was a helluva cheerleader/team guy. He may have been the heart of the team last year and now that is gone.

    • They need somebody to light a fire in their asses

    • Wally Pipp says:

      I agree.

      The Rays got rid of last year’s heart (Jonny Gomes) and soul (Cliff Floyd). Clubhouse presence is just as important to a team like this as is on-field performance. Unfortunately, I don’t see anyone on the current roster who can assume those roles this year.

      I’d much rather have Cliff Floyd and his bum wing on the bench than Gabe Kapler (and his Speedo) in the field.

  8. GatorRaysHead says:

    Those were not wild pitches, they were passed balls. Also, there were two bad plays in the first that should have been outs. The defense let Kaz down from the start, and it looked like he just lost it after those errors. I can excuse Dirtbag. it was a tough play, but one he usually makes. There is no excuse for the dropped fly ball in right or the terrible catching by Navi. Jaso would be better at this point.

  9. St Pete Matt says:

    The Rays are now tied for the worst record in the AL and the second worst record in baseball behind the Nats. Why isn’t anyone alarmed that they’re looking more and more like the 07 (Devil) Rays? Does anyone see this team rolling off 7, 8 wins in a row?

  10. EDS says:

    It is my overall impression that most of the subpar performances are the result of pressing. Shields pressed on the cut fast ball resulting in the HBP and run. Kazmir almost duplicated that last night and over threw his breaker several times. Weak ground balls and popups with runners on. Akinori bobbling the double play ball night before last. Crawford swinging ove a breaker obviously out of the zone. None of this is alarming in the long term. BUT the catcher is a liability. He has hurt this team recently in many ways,,,he can’t get the ball out of the infield in crucial situations; his mechanics are awful…he stabs pitches resulting in missed calls (pitches which could be strikes are balls, too numerous to count); he backhands balls to his right and and does not get his body positioned in front of those pitches, he is pulling up on those thrown low in front of him, etc. ( I guess he is not on the trade lists as probablyhe has so little value right now). I am also alarmed about basic failures…base running (Aybar obviously didn’t have his head on).
    Lets face it, this team has lost series to teams they should beat regularly, and they don’t look very good right now.

  11. Joe D. says:

    I had it on XM, saw the 8-0 score, and turned it off.

    I agree with Prof. sentiments on the series, it huge, it might be just what we need to spark the team or start putting the first nail in the coffin. I hate to put so much emphasis on this early of a series, but you’ve got to imagine that with a poor showing this weekend Joe Maddon, Andrew Friedman and Co.’s wheels will be spinning.

  12. Gus says:

    How can Upton, NEVER an effective leadoff man, coming off a serious injury that affects his swing, continue to hit .180, drag down the order and yet nobody sees that as a problem. Manager Half-Full cites his walks as evidence that he is competent, but he is not at this point. Shake up the order; pick it out of a hat like Billy Martin used to break a slump. Whatever it takes.

    But when management shows no signs of urgency (Price, Davis & Joyce rotting in AAA), I guess you should not be surprised when the team shows no urgency.

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