Athletics Rays 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: Ben Zobrist. Think Troy Percival, only like the *exact* opposite, and that is Zorilla…Matt Garza. He was in danger of losing control early when he loaded the bases in the 2nd, but a strikeout got him out of that jam. He did allow 2 in the 4th and was visibly going through a mini meltdown on the mound. A year ago, he wouldn’t have survived that state of emotion. But yesterday Garza settled down and didn’t allow another run, working into the 7th…Dioner Navarro. Navi managed to score all the way from second base without hurting anybody, especially himself…Jason Bartlett. It has got to be the ball, right? 6 home runs? already a career high? We have long whispered privately that the best way for baseball to get past the steroid era is to tighten the stitching on the baseballs and create another home run era devoid of steroids…Pat Who? Willy Aybar was 1-2 and walked twice and has been doing a pretty decent impersonation of what Pat Burrell should be doing.

THE BAD: Troy Percival. My dog took a dump on a baseball field the other day. It was a truly Percivilian act…From the ‘Can’t Make It Up Department”. BJ Upton made a rare “good” on the basepaths when he beat out a 2-out infield single to drive in the second run of the game. We were all set to sing his praises, when he proceeds to get picked off first base.

THE TELLING: The game was delayed early on by a power outage at the Trop that lasted 19 minutes.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ben Zobrist. Between Ben and Julianna, it truly is Beauty and the Beast.


  • Rays the Stakes has joined the cause and will now only refer to the team as the “Devil Rays” ($27). [Rays the Stakes]
  • Edwin Jackson threw 132 pitches yesterday. ONE. HUNDRED. THIRTY. TWO. [MLB]
  • Joe Maddon couldn’t properly fill out a lineup card and of course this earns him a return to “The Dugout.” [Fanhouse]

Maddon2009: Okay, how does the designated hitter work again?
NotOzzieGuillen: It means that a player bats in place of a pitcher.
Maddon2009: What? That’s not baseball!
NotOzzieGuillen: I know it’s not baseball. It’s the American League.

  • For our female friends, and even some of the males (we don’t judge), Her Rays sees one list of “Hottest Men in Baseball”, and raises with one of her own. A couple of Devil Rays ($28)make the cut, not that she is biased or anything…We do have to wonder why no Dirtbag or more importanly, why no Vulcan Tripod? [Her Rays]
  • The Rays Party examines JP Howell’s recent dominance. [The Rays Party]
  • John Romano predicts a change to the rotation and feels it could be a matter of days. [The Point After]
  • Rays the Stakes weighs the different options for Scott Kazmir. [Rays the Stakes]
  • Four more from the Top 177 Devil Rays ($29) Ever. [Bugs and Cranks]
  • Bleeding Blue and Teal would like to see Ben Zobrist playing shortstop for the Mariners. [Bleeding Blue and Teal]
  • Tampa Bay Sports Blog assesses the Devil Rays ($30) at the quarter-mark of the season. [Tampa Bay Sports Blog]
  • Statistician Magician examines why Jason Bartlett is hitting so well and what can be expected the rest of the season. [Statistician Magician]




  1. Brett says:

    Did anybody catch this quote from Braden?

    “I was bitter to quite bitter about it,” Braden said of the delay. “There’s not much you can really do when the lights go out. Played catch, tried not to get struck by lightning or whatever was going on out there. Nice state, Florida.”

    Is he really insulting our state because of the weather? Seriously?

    • Don says:

      Loser’s lament… “the weather is bad in Florida”
      Give him a break…have you ever been to Oakland …..?
      He has to go back there!!!

  2. Sublime says:

    Let me again get on my, “We shouldn’t have traded Edwin Jackson bandwagon!” The stateline was ok, with 5 walks and 7 strikeouts, but the throwing 99 mph on a strikeout in the 7th inning (I think he struck out the side) and 97 mph in the 8th on a strikeout is SERIOUS! I think about who replaced him, Jeff Niemann, insert joke anywhere you’d like. In getting rid of Edwin, we now only have one power pitcher and a bunch of nibblers. Unless Matt Joyce turns out to be something really good, I think we got duped!

    • JHS says:

      I agree. Edwin has turned into a complete work horse for the Tigers, and is TOTALLY worth every penny of his salary. The kid is due for a monster contract after this year, but hey, if the Rays could actually have seen that PtB goes through really long cold streaks(which is not what this team ever needs) and seen that Willy Aybar is the best player in baseball that is currently not starting, they would have seen that the money they invested in Pat should have gone to keeping a youngster that won a TON of games and would have won some more if not due to their overpaid, old aged closer.

      • leningan says:

        ummm…. Have to day that Zorilla is, “the best player in baseball not currently starting”.. otherwise totally agree. I love Edloss and wish him the best. Let’s just hope the Bat picks it up and Joyce becomes a perennial all star…

        • JHS says:

          Just because Zobrist can play anywhere on the field does not make him the best player in baseball not playing. He doesn’t play every position well, he plays it adequete and provides a solid bat. Aybar plays great defense and provides a good bat at any infield position. Aybar would have more trade value then Zobrist right now if either were on the block.

          • Don says:

            THink of this one…
            Aybar wouldn’t be playing if Burrell was active, and Zobrist wouldn’t be playing if we had a regular right fielder….plus a couple of .150 hitters in the line up to pinch hit for…
            Combined we have the best TWO “substitute” players in either league!
            They deserve better!

        • Sublime says:

          Edloss??? You may have to give him (Edwin) a new name, especially considering how bad the bottom of our rotation sucks! How ’bout we name Sonnestine and Niemann, Nebraska Ave??? LOL!

          • leningan says:

            Old habits die hard… he will forever be Edloss after the 20 something game streak without a win.

  3. Corbitt says:

    Missed a devil count in the her rays note

  4. Dirtbag Fan says:

    No-Win Jackson will ultimately not be a great pitcher.
    Most players who are traded/change teams in their prime tend to have an above average season with their new team before coming back to earth.

    No-Win will always be a wild-card, bottom of the rotation pitcher with great power and little control.

    • Sublime says:

      I have nothing else to do at this moment, so let me argue this point, Dirtbag from what we’ve seen of our “bottom of the rotation pitchers” are you saying that you would take Andy Sonnestine and Jeff Niemann over him at this point in the season?

      • Sublime says:

        People on the board have all these clever names for Edwin, but what’s Andy and Jeff doing at this point??? Nothing. Clever names aside, I think it was a mistake for the Rays to trade him. Maybe Matt Joyce will make me change my mind whenever he gets called up, but as of 40+ games into the season, I don’t see it. I don’t even want to get started on Jeff (Manager had to pull me out in the 3rd inning before I let the floodgates open) Niemann, that deserves its own thread!

        • leningan says:

          Sonny is what he is… pitch to contact, pray for defense, and nibble at the corners. When he gets hit he gets hit… hard. When he’s performing average he will at least get into or through the 5th. I am far more concerned with Kaz, as when he is performing average he walks everyone and pouts at his landing foot. Niemann’s rough outing in Baltimore is looking more and more like the exception. If we got rid of him and he started performing like Eddie, would you clamor for the Giraffe back?

  5. Sublime says:

    I think the games Niemann has won, he’s been the beneficiary of tremendous run support. As opposed to, James Shields who really isn’t getting consistent run support and is having to pitch games 0-0 (this weeks game) or lose 1-0 in the Seattle game. Maybe it’s Ace against Ace when Shields is pitching hence no run support, but I think Niemann’s 4 wins have been more to having tremendous run support those games than his superior pitching in the outing.

    • leningan says:

      4 wins for the giraffe… in each he held the opposition to 3 runs or fewer. Don’t need tremendous run support to win those. Don’t get me wrong though Niemann is clearly a placeholder for Price/Davis, but to say that his wins are solely due to run support is a bit much.

  6. Dirtbag Fan says:

    You can’t possibly judge No-Win Jackson on a handful of starts for Detroit, this is like a reverse image of looking at Michael Jordan’s stats with the Wizard’s and ignoring all the success he’d had in Chicago.

    And you can’t judge the Giraffe on just a couple of starts, because as ugly as its been his career W-L record is 6-5 (55%).

    (Just for fun, even though I just said u can’t compare them, Jackson’s career W-L is 29-32 (48%).)

    The major difference here is that No-win has had several unsuccessful seasons, and now may (or may not) have found his stride, whereas The Giraffe has less like 15 career starts, so can’t be expected to have found his yet.

    If Edwin Jackson finsihes this season above .500 I’ll paypal u $5, I promise.

    • Sublime says:

      $5??? LOL! You say that like that’s an accomplishment, He (Edwin) finished above .500 last year! You gonna give me $5 for that as well.

      This is the question I asked earlier to which I have not received an answer, unless you’ve answered it and I missed it?

      “Dirtbag from what we’ve seen of our “bottom of the rotation pitchers” are you saying that you would take Andy Sonnestine and Jeff Niemann over him (Edwin) at this point in the season?”

      • Dirtbag Fan says:

        Yes, many times yes.
        Jackson is a ticking time-bomb who is performing at his absolute best right now. Whereas Sonny and Niemann are both greatly underachieving, but have still managed 6 wins between them.

        Sonny is what he is, but Niemann has nothing but upside.

        I’m not easily fooled (like you)- Jackson is a disaster waiting to happen. Niemann has a 4-3 record while sucking (the same amount of wins as Jackson has while pitching his best), so imagine what happens if he actually performs to his potential…

        • Sublime says:

          “I’m not easily fooled (like you)-” LOL! Wow, not the personal diss. Why oh Why. We’re Just talkin’ baseball.

          With bated breath I anxiously await The Giraffe’s upside to kick-in! I’m going to start growing my beard and when his upside kicks-in, I’m sure I’ll look like ZZ-Top! “She’s got Leggs” Have a good trip and everyone on the board have a safe weekend. I’m following via Twitter.

          • Dirtbag Fan says:

            Certainly wasn’t a personal “diss” – I’ve just seen too many people fooled by “flashes in the pan”… been there, done that.

    • Don says:

      I’ll bet you $5 he wins more games for Detroit than any pitcher wins for Am. League Champs Rays except Garza/Shields!!!!
      THat makes him #3 on Rays staff this year for some minor league player
      named Joyce??? Help me…..

  7. Sublime says:

    Wow, fun thread.

    BTW, Dirtbag, over on your blog, I liked your take on the Kazmir situation, I would have chosen Option (D) as well. Good Read. I couldn’t reply because I’m not listed with Google or AIM.

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