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  1. It looks like the bar is set pretty high for Mr. Percival. One appearance, one save and he makes "who's not?" Look, I don't like the edge of your seat excitement that Percy brings to the table, but saving a 2-run game at Fenway doesn't exactly scream "I suck!" He may have given up the Vtek homer, but he was able to get through Pedroia/Papi/Youk (with help, of course). That's a tough first save of the year.

    Here's a question: Why did it seem so logical after last season to get rid of Percy, yet the team chose to keep him? I don't know the answer. I'm genuinely curious. Is he just holding a spot for Izzy?

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    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      He's Maddon's guy. Simple as that.
      No one expects Izz-ring-em-up-housen to replace him.

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  2. Dirtbag Fan says:

    For what its worth I like this new "segment"... a lot

    Although I've come to expect better titles from you (ie Showershoe Fungus).

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    • yeah, i really mailed it in when i named this segment. But in my defense, a lot of the other segments started with boring names and evolved into something more colorful. I will work on it.

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  3. R. Miller says:

    It is only one game for Percy, but it is of the same vintage as 2H '08. He does not appear to be the closer for a contending AL East team and that is what is so frightening. It is hard to point to a place on the Rays roster that screams "weak-link" other than at the closer slot. So....it is going to be hard for many Rays fans to settle-in until Percy is replaced with someone working less close to the edge. Luckily they have Izzy, who may be more of the same, and lots of young, fresh arms to chose from. And who knows, Balfour may bring a repeat of '08 and slide right in.

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    • But, Maddon & front office seems pretty insistent that Balfour is *not* the guy. If he was, wouldn't they have transitioned him in the off-season. I'm sure there is some meta-physical baseball reason behind Balfour not being able to close. In fact, I heard more talk of Neimann as a closer this spring than I did Balfour. For some reason, Joe loves Balfour in the 7th or 8th, but not in the ninth. Even last year, he went with Wheeler most of the time as opposed to Balfour in the ninth.

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      • R. Miller says:

        Balfour is a kind of an older, fragile psyche, that has often failed to deliver repeat performances. Relying on one pitch is always iffy, so I don't think Madden want to push it. I wonder about a trade for someone like Heath Bell of the Padres. They need starters and won't contend anytime soon.

        Or maybe Villanueva of the Brewers when Hoffman returns -- they are not starter rich either. It just seems to make sense to find a longer term solution than Percy or Izzy. The geriatric closer era needs to come to an end before this season is further jeopardized.

        Also, I haven't seen anyone mention it on these threads, but I think after a few months of play, we may be talking about moving Sonny to make room for Price instead of Niemann.

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        • your last point is one i have been thinking about recently. Maddon and Hickey have said in the past that they think Sonny could be very good in the bullpen. I have been hesitant to bring it up, just because i need to see what Niemann brings to the table as a starter this year. but it is certainly possible, especially if you think Price AND Davis need a spot next season.

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          • R. Miller says:

            After the first inning last night I was feeling a bit queasy about my post, but looking at Neimann's full effort I think he will settle in. I agree with your assertion about Price and Davis however. Likely our best five are Shields, Kaz, Garza, Price and Davis. That could be the look later this year even. If Sonny and Neimann go to the pen, then you have back-up plans should any of the starters go down.

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  4. Don says:

    Who's not.....forgot....how about:
    Gross: .111
    Joyce: .100
    Who needs them.....Help BJ!!!

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