Rays Blue Jays Baseball

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: Carl Crawford. That’s it. His solo home run was the only bright spot on the day.

THE BAD: Getaway Blues. In their last 16 road series, the Rays are now 4-12 in the final game of the series. They are 20-18 in all other road games...Pat Burrell. The Rays could only manage to get more than one runner on base in an inning twice, in the first and the sixth. The common theme in those two innings was Pat Burrell. In the first he ended the inning with a groundball back to the pitcher and the sixth he ended the inning by striking out…Offensive. In between the first and sixth innings, the Rays managed only 1 baserunner, an Evan Longoria leadoff walk in the fourth. He was quickly erased on a Ben Zobrist double-play.

THE TELLING: Carlos Pena was 6th in the lineup again…The Rays are now third in the AL in scoring after leading for most of the first-half.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Brian Shouse is expected to be activated today with Dale Thayer sent back to Durham. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Wow. Apparently plenty of tickets are still available for the Yankees series. That’s not good. [St. Pete Times]
  • Several of the Rays talk about how big the upcoming stretch of games is, however Joe Maddon says it is too soon to call it “make or break.” [St. Pete Times]
  • Joe Henderson says if the Rays are going to make a move in the East, now would be a good time. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Add the Dodgers to the Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez mix. [Fox Sports]
  • Her Rays offers some notes to a few Rays. [Her Rays!]
  • TampaBayRaysFan.com has a new look. [Tampa Bay Rays Fan]
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8 Comments

  1. The Rays can't afford to mess around with the Yankees. If they're going to make their move, now is the time do it.

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  2. Amanda says:

    Wow ... I was about to say something else, but I just looked at your Tweet in the margin about the final game in a road series, and even though you mentioned it before, it just really struck me now. Again, you know what that reminds me of? I'll harken once again back to the Lightning, after they won the Stanley Cup, the next year was the lockout, and the year they came back to defend, it was too late for Dave Andreychuk to play again. The Lightning lost their true leadership, and the young leaders who were supposed to learn from the wiley veterans apparently learned jack squat about how to compose yourself like a winner. That's exactly what this Rays team has become. With no Floyd or Hinske there to box the ears of the young pups, they've been come lazy, too content to rest on their laurels. And for this game, they laid an egg for the pitcher who's been keeping them in any chance of making the playoffs. Well done, guys. *sigh*

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    • bobrittner says:

      There is not a shred of evidence to support these assertions. They are based purely on wild speculation itself a product of sports cliches that fill time on the radio and space in the columns of lazy writers.

      If anything the evidence is to the contrary, although I would not put much faith in any such analysis in any case. But if you are looking at evidence of contentment vs. effort or resting on laurels vs. striving to improve or being lazy vs. working hard, then a string of comeback victories should signify the latter in each case. One would think that lazy, contented teams do not overcome 8 run deficits or pull games out in the late innings.

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      • Beth says:

        Bob, for the most part I agree with you 100% -- fans like to make assertions about players getting "lazy" or "not trying" when the do poorly -- in reality I would imagine more players are prone to fail because they are trying too hard than because they are "lazy." You just don't get this far in professional sports if you are not extremely competitive.

        BUT....the stats on getaway games are too skewed to be coincidence, don't you think? I'd be curious to compare the Rays to other teams on this count -- does EVERYONE stink on getaway days?

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        • bobrittner says:

          I don't think 16 games mean very much as a pattern. There may be some cause/effect, or it may be pure coincidence, but unless one can demonstrate the cause/effect it seems to me just batting at phantoms to make claims of any sort.

          When teams or players are going badly, the first instinct of fans (and ersatz analysts) is to malign their character. Suddenly they become over-confident or lazy or lack the killer instinct. That is not thinking; it is frustration speaking. Even players will do it, almost always after the fact.

          That is when people search for answers in veteran leadership or harsher discipline without having the slightest idea whether those are relevant to the situation. That is when fans complain about optimism without recognizing that it was exactly that relentless optimism that turned this franchise around or that there are often clear statements of dissatisfaction with performance, both by players and management. Since it does not fit into preconceived notions, those statements are ignored.

          I do not discount the impact of strong personalities on a team. I do think that Floyd helped last year. I think Percival's arrival helped the pitching staff gain confidence. I don't claim it is all about numbers. But there is nothing in the performance of this team that suggests it has let down or lost its competitive edge.

          Isn't it interesting that when a player goes bad, suddenly the very things he might have been praised for when he played well become criticisms. So Percival's temper tantrum at the fan interference was interpreted as pique and nastiness rather than competitive zeal. And this year Kazmir's statements about fan indifference and his own mystification at his poor performance are seen as excuses rather than honesty.

          Last year Crawford was often criticized as spoiled and selfish for his unwillingness to play CF or hit leadoff. This year he is back in favor. Obviously it is not his character that has changed but his performance. Attacking character is simply the easy way to sound authoritative.

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  3. Beth says:

    On get-away days...I had noticed that the Rays seem to have their worst games on these days. They are often day games following night games, too, so I had thought fatigue was part of the problem (although the other team should be just as fatigued, right?).

    On lagging ticket sales to the Yankees series: I always have mixed feelings about buying tickets to these "prime" games. On the one hand, I hate to see all the Yankees/Red Sox fans filling the stands. On the other hand, I am just as happy to see the Rays play the Royals as the Yankees, and I can practically see two games for the price of one "prime" game.

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  4. Myrna says:

    This series with the Yankees is important for fans to attend and support our team! I'm going to the game tonight and I hope the attendance scale isn't tipped on the Yankees side. I care about every team they play at the Trop, but mostly the ones where we can gain some ground on the leaderboard.

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  5. Amanda says:

    Re: Attendance. Here's one thing I don't think I've ever heard from any giving an arguement on why the stadium should be moved out of Pinellas county. Bear with me, because I'm going to need to set this up.

    When the ABC commission gave its latest report, they said that in most markets, at least 50 percent of the fan base lives 30 miles or less to the stadium. In the Rays case, only 20 percent of the fan base lives within 30 miles or less.

    Here's the sticky wicket on that "30 minutes or less" for the Pinellas County. That 20 percent is probably just Pinellas County (and possibly Bradenton because of the quickness they can get to the Trop via the Sunshine Skyway, but I digress). Now then, think of it this way. Let's take a 35,000 crowd in the middle of the week. (I think Opening Day with the banner celebration was a on a weekday.) So 20 percent of a 35,000 crowd is 7,000 people. That also means that 28,000 are coming from outside of Pinellas County.

    Now I have heard the arguement that "well, everyone goes over the same bridges ... why can't the Hillsborough people do it like the Pinellas people do it for the Bucs games." Here's the big difference, and here's the point I don't think I've EVER heard brought up. It's the difference between 28,000 fans (let's say 15,000 cars) all trying to get onto a small penninsula while fighting rush hour traffic and only 7,000 fans (let's say 3,000 cars) leaving that same penninsula if a stadium was built in Hillsborough.

    I've done it all. I've driven there from Titusville on the east coast, I've driven there from the University area when I was going to school (to see the Lightning, but that's when they were pulling big crowds down there), I've driven there from Lutz, I've driven there from Brandon, and I've driven there from North Carolina last year to see the Minnesota series. With the flow of traffic, I just think the best place to put a new stadium would be at the fairgrounds or in the South County area. Putting it there, right where 75 and 4 meet, right near where the Crosstown dumps out, would easily eliminate entrance and exit concerns.

    Or just change the time of the games to 7:30. *shrug* I'm not fussed.

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