Nationals 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: Gabe o’ the Day. No home runs in the first 2 months but Gabe Kapler homered for the second straight game. This one proved to be the game-winner 1 pitch after the normally sure-handed Nick Johnson dropped a foul pop-up…Pat is Back. Nice to see Pat Burrell back in the lineup after missing 29 games.

THE BAD: Matt Garza. Garza struggled with his control, walking 4 in 5.2 innings…Tough Luck In AL East. In the span of 30 minutes both the Red Sox and Yankees went from what looked to be sure losses to victories. The umpires appeared to miss a game-winning home run for the Phillies and then refused to review the call and the Mets dropped a game-ending pop-up that allowed 2 runs to score for the Yankees win.

THE TELLING: Pat Burrell was back in the lineup but he was not in his customary 5-hole. Ben Zobrist batted 5th with The Bat hitting 6th.



  • We have a report from the game that David Price was sporting a jersey last night that read “ME TOO” on the back. Anybody have any idea why? (thanks Clayton)
  • Jon Heyman adds to the Pedro Martinez speculation writing that he spoke with a Rays official who says there is a “slight” chance the Rays will sign the future Hall-of-Famer…Just more evidence that this was more than just somebody watching a friend throw and further suggesting that the local media was a little too quick to dismiss the reports. []
  • Scott Kazmir threw 45 pitches in a simulated game and will next throw 60-70 pitches for Charlotte next week. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Jeremy Hellickson threw 2 innings in an extended spring game. According to Stacy Long, the Rays want Hellboy up to 4 innings before they will activate him. [Biscuit Crumbs]
  • Rays Prospects has a valuable resource up. They will be tracking the signings of this year’s draft picks. [Rays Prospects]




  1. Dirtbag Fan says:

    My "Cheese & Whine" post had very different thinking than your "Good, Bad, Telling"... especially in regard to Garza

    • Sam A says:

      You could make a case either way for Garza. He recovered nicely after the rough first inning which was good, but he didn't get through the sixth which meant the bullpen had to be perfect. Considering Niemann's short start Friday and Sonny going tonight, that may come back to bite the team.

  2. Rayhawk says:

    I thought Todd had a great interview with Gabe K, lets hope he continues to get lots O nookie, should be above the Mendoza line by Colorado....;o)

  3. Don says:

    If Kapler hits another 10 home runs in a row he "might" make up for all the runs (games) he has cost us..... with his .100 batting avg.

  4. bobrittner says:

    Price was sporting a jersey with "me-too" on the back, and Kazmir was pointing to it as if he wanted the cameras to pick it up. I have no idea what it meant.

    At the game I was saying to my son that Kapler's swing looked long and slow to me, unable to handle even the mediocre fastballs Villone was throwing. The home run looked to me as if it was all arms and it just snuck over the wall.

    Of course, his low batting average has little to do with evaluating how well or poorly he has played. Rather his out making and lack of power, although the 7 doubles are not bad, are good reasons to view his performance as very disappointing.

    I think you are over-stating the point when you say the local media has dismissed the reports. Both Lancaster and Topkin are merely passing on what they are hearing from team officials; neither is opining independently that there is nothing to the rumors or that the rumors should be dismissed.

    As we know, the Rays are notoriously closed mouthed about their intentions. Both reporters relate the facts in front of them and the messages the team is providing regarding those facts. Neither man is in the Dominican Republic and neither is going to pass on internet or other unsubstantiated speculations about the seriousness of the Rays' intentions regarding Pedro.

    • I may be over-stating the point on Pedro but both of the local beat writers drew their own conclusions after the initial report. Yes, it was based on what the Rays were saying, but as you say the Rays are very tight-lipped. So it seemed a bit premature to say that there was probably nothing to the report. On top of that, there have been 2 or 3 additional reports since then with more details that they haven't even addressed yet. So it appears to me that they are sticking to their original conclusion that the original workout session was almost meaningless.

      • bobrittner says:

        I am guessing they have sources within the organization and are reporting what they glean from them. Further I don't think they feel it is responsible to report on speculations outside the sources they trust. If they receive information or clues that there is more to it, they will likely amend their initial reports.

        I do think you often raise interesting questions about how the local media reports. From my reading of the local papers they seem to have cultivated a good relationship with both players and management and trust that they will not be steered wrong while accepting that they also will not be allowed to scoop until the Rays are prepared to publicize something.

        There is a fine line of judgment involved in what to report, what to speculate on and what to leave alone until the evidence is clearer. There is also a line between alienating sources and providing unbiased and sometimes critical coverage. In my view the locals generally do a good job in making those judgments. I know some people are less impressed. But what I see are fair-minded reporters and columnists who seek to inform rather than incite and are more interested in accuracy than in sensationalism.

  5. bobrittner says:

    I also think one can legitimately view the Garza outing as good or bad.

    At the ball park, I thought he looked terrible. He didn't seem to have control of any pitch, and when he did, he didn't seem to have command in the strike zone. Many of his outs were screaming line drives, and he also gave up quite a few hits on 2 strike, even 0-2, counts.

    On the other hand, after the first inning, he held the Nats despite his troubles. He never seemed to lose focus and did get 5 Ks in his 5.2 innings. Rather than try to overpower everyone, he mixed in all his pitches to keep them guessing. I saw him early last year, and when things were going badly, he simply lost control of the situation entirely and began to just throw harder rather than smarter. This time he muddled through and gave the Rays a chance to come back.

    Isn't it a plus when a pitcher who is lacking his good stuff or command on a given day nonetheless holds it together into the 6th?


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