Royals 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 The Giraffe. June, 2004. That was the month Jeffrey Warren Niemann was drafted by the Devil Rays. At that time, we dreamed of 2-hit complete game shutouts, with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk. OK, so it took a while. A year ago, we were beginning to wonder if Niemann would ever get another shot. And now? He is one of the Rays Big 3 and here to stay…Bossman Returneth? BJ Upton was on base 3 more times last night with a single, double and a walk. But the bat speed still is not there. The flyball in the first inning should have been a home run…Zorilla. Another night. Another home run. This one a grand slam…Speed Kills. 2 more steals for Carl Crawford and 1 each for BJ Upton and Matt Joyce.

THE BAD: Nothin’. We tried. We really did. We looked everywhere. OK. How about the Rays trainers? There are 9 players on the DL and Evan Longoria is on the shelf. Don’t the trainers need a little blame here?

THE TELLING: Don’t look now but the Rays have won 4 of 5, and are now 5 games behind the Yankees and Red Sox who are tied atop the East, and 3 games behind the Jays…The Rays are 0-19 when they have scored less than 4 runs. Last year, the Rays were 20-41 (via Peter Gammons)…The Rays broke out “Seven Nation Army” during a Royals pitching change. As far as we know, that is the first instance since the ALCS.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jeff Niemann.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Evan Longoria had an MRI that came back negative, so no DL stint is likely. Joe Maddon said he will hold out Longoria until they reach the regular turf in New York on Friday…Also, Scott Kazmir threw another bullpen session. He will keep working out of the bullpen every other day for another week and then be reevaluated…Maddon said Pat Burrell will hit off a tee today and Jason Bartlett may not be ready to come off the DL even though he is eligible today. [St. Pete Times]
  • Marc Lancaster notes that next Tuesday’s draft will be a new experience for the Rays and that RJ Harrison has a list of about 15-20 players in mind for the #30 slot. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Jonah Freedman of SI.com says that basestealing is on the rise in baseball and Carl Crawford is leading the way. [SI.com]

Chone Figgins on Crawford stealing 6 bases in 1 game: “No team would let me do that,” giggled the Angels third baseman, who ranks third in the MLB with 20 swipes. “We went back and watched the tape and it was funny how he just took over that game. They couldn’t do anything with him.”

  • The Rays Party says there is no need to worry about Carlos Pena’s batting average noting that he is still productive by walking and hitting home runs…To which we would add that prior to last night’s game, Pena had 230 plate appearances. 55% of those ended without a fielder touching the ball (home run, walk, hit by pitch or strikeout). Carlos Pena, putting fielders to sleep one at bat at a time. [The Rays Party]

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18 Comments

  1. Carey says:

    Isn’t it Chone Figgins (the quote about Carl)?

  2. bobrittner says:

    Why does every problem require someone to blame?

  3. Martin B says:

    I know Seven Nation Army was brought out during a pitching change during the Minnesota game on Friday the 29th.

    I remember turning to my wife and saying “I wish people would get more into singing along with this song. It would sound awesome if the whole trop did it, instead of just me and that guy in the stupid toupee.”

  4. The Rays need to finish this series off with the sweep this afternoon. The last 2 times they’ve been up 2 games in a series, they’ve blown game three (with a 4 game sweep in the middle). Close the deal!

  5. Blake says:

    On Seven Nation Army, do you mean the bit where they have the baseballs wearing Joe Maddon glasses singing the “Oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh’s?” If thats the case they have busted that out at all 5 or 6 games I’ve been to this year.

  6. david says:

    “Don’t the trainers need a little blame here?” yes the trainers definitely need to get some blame here. reading today’s interview with Longoria where he states that b/c he wa DH’ing he didn’t go through his normal 15-min pre-game warm-up and stretch routine, and he thinks that is why his hammy tightened up. well Duh!! where’s the trainer to tell him he needs to go through that routine no matter if he’s playing the field or not?!

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      That’s not the trainers’ responsibility that’s common sense.

    • bobrittner says:

      I read that too and wondered about it. It may have been an oversight on the part of the staff, or there may be some other explanation. There is this to consider.

      [LINK REMOVED]

      The Rays medical & training staff has consistently been regarded as one of the best in the business, and we all know how conservative the Rays are about injuries and the care they take to maintain health. I believe the staff received a BP award one year as the best in baseball, although I think the head of the staff has since left.

      If the trainers made an error in this case, it is out of character. No doubt it is a concern, although I still think “blame” is too strong a word and a rather simple-minded way to approach the issue.

      • Sorry. I do not want links to that site on here. They finally went too far.

        And I never said the Rays had bad trainers or a bad medical staff. Think of it this way. If Maddon screws up a lineup card forcing the pitcher to hit, and Rays lose by 1, I would blame Maddon. But I would still think he is the best manager in baseball and would continue to have confidence in him moving forward. But that doesn’t make what happened ok.

        • KillaTapes says:

          If that link was what I think it was, then good call. Bashing Rocco is as low as it goes.

        • bobrittner says:

          I will honor your wish and not link there in the future. I actually tried to find the original article but the piece I wanted was embedded within a much longer article that I thought was distracting.

          I know you were not saying the trainers or medical staff are bad. I probably should have ignored it altogether but consider the word “blame” an unfortunate choice of words. Too many overtones that lead to oversimplification.

          • that is a very fair sentiment. Obviously none of us know what is going on in the clubhouse. But there is at least on the surface, reason to be concerned. Obviously the Longoria incident, but also, some very minor nicks and bruises are taking longer to heal than anybody thought. i did put it in the form of a question, so that the possibility is at least considered. but i can see how the question could be leading and suggestive.

            i do try to avoid too much hyperbole on this site, although i have certainly had my moments. but as I am sure you are aware, I do need to emote from time to time.

  7. Cliff says:

    The Rays are using the “Seven Nations Army every time the opponent changes their second pitcher. It is something they have told the “Maddon’s Maniacs” group to try and get the crowd motivated.
    They did it for Ron Mahay last night, but have been doing it with a better graphics set-up this year.
    Just another fun thing brought to you by Darcy Raymond and the crew in the Ivory tower (3rd Floor).

    • Joe D. says:

      The White Stripes are awesome, and Seven Nation Army is one of the best stadium anthems in 20 years…

      It seems like they play it when a pitcher is removed mid-inning, i know I heard it during the Rays v. Red Sox, in the Crawford 6 steal game..

  8. Don says:

    I think the training staff is doing just fine….
    As long as we can have Zo, Aybar, Joyce, Brignac playing & hitting…….. I’m fine..
    the others get back… when they get back…Go “2nd team” we need more wins!!

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