85131419SD016_TAMPA_BAY_RAYThe 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: Carlos Pena. El Gato is officially on fire with 2 more home runs yesterday. But is it too little, too late?…Pat Burrell. The Bat hit another home run and continues to quietly put together a very Burrellian second-half.

THE BAD: The Bullpen. Maybe the one area of the club that kept this team afloat for much of the season, so it is only fitting that it is the bullpen that is starting to come undone as the season goes down the drain. Four relievers combined to give up 6 runs in 2.2 innings.

THE TELLING: After complaining earlier in the week about being dropped to 9th in the batting order, BJ Upton was dropped even further yesterday, all the way to Joe Dillon’s recently vacated spot at the end of the bench…Coolstandings.com now says the Rays have an 18.0% chance at making the playoffs. Meanwhile, Baseball Prospectus says the number is 24.3%. That number was 46.1 a week ago. That is the baseball version of “having a bad week.” The Rays are now 4.5 behind the Red Sox, and 5 back in the loss column. But it is worse than that. The Rays aren’t chasing just one team. They would also have to leapfrog Texas is 3 in front of the Rays. If the Red Sox go 24-25 over last 49 games the Rays would need to finish 28-20 just to tie.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Carlos Pena

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays have invested in the Orlando franchise of the new United Football League and will host a regular season game at the Trop. [St. Pete Times]
  • The Rays investment in the UFL team in terms of dollars is not that much…Keep in mind that the UFL needed the Rays much more than the Rays needed the UFL. It was in the UFL’s interest to give the Rays a sweet deal. [St. Pete Times]
  • UFL Access weighs in on exactly what the the Rays stake in the Orlando football franchise means for the UFL. [UFL Access]
  • He is still officially a Ray, so we will let you know that the $100,000 truck that Troy Percival had stolen earlier this year was returned, sorta. Many of the parts have been sold off and are still missing. If only Percy had such a good excuse for the past 12 months. [NBC LA]
  • Rays the Stakes takes Tom Verducci of SI.com to task for a strange article he wrote. [Rays the Stakes]
  • Joe Maddon gave BJ Upton the day off because he had been “pressing way too hard.”…Also John Meloan and RJ Swindle, two pitchers that were briefly property of the Rays, have been claimed off waivers.  [Tampa Tribune]
  • Michel Hernandez cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Durham. [The Heater]
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13 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Besides the bullpen(maybe over worked)...We don't have a starter who can pitch over 4 innings, plus at anytime we have 3 or 4 batters in the lineup hitting around .200....
    Does that sound like a playoff team??

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  2. Sublime says:

    SARCASM-LACED COMMENT COMING...

    As much people (Bay Area Community) want to pin the losing on one individual, This entire team is inconsistent!

    NOW FOR MY COMMENT! :-)

    Case In Point, I think it was the third inning, Niemann is having a little hiccup in the inning, but on the verge of getting out of the inning and Jason Bartlett and Carl Crawford forget how to communicate and let the 3rd out drop right in front of them! Niemann has to keep pitching, I think the Angels scored another run or two, and the rest is an example of how the season has gone!

    I'm taking a cue from Bob Brittner, so I want say they don't care, but they are very inconsistent at this point.

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  3. bobrittner says:

    Upton did not complain. That is not just unfair but a total misrepresentation of what he said.

    I try to remain civil in my comments but it is very difficult when statements are taken out of context and then interpreted to mean almost exactly the opposite of what was said. Not only did Upton not complain; he took responsibility for the demotion and vowed to work hard to merit a return to his expected place. His comments about a kick in the face were aimed at himself, not Maddon or anyone else, and his statements about his not being a #9 hitter were evidence of his confidence in his abilities and disappointment that he had not demonstrated them.

    This point is reinforced in today's comments that stress his problem may be that he is too tough on himself and overworks to improve. Bullet points that suggest he is complaining, much like Shelton's egregious article that also castigated Upton in its first paragraph, are sleazy.

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    • Upton also didn't really take Joe Dillon's position. But is sure seemed like he did.

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      • bobrittner says:

        The Dillon statement was innocuous and mildly amusing. The statement about complaining was, probably not intentionally, but nonetheless in its effect, malicious. It adds another voice, and in your case a legitimately respected voice, to the nonsensical attacks on Upton's character and attitude.

        Sorry Professor. I know I often come across as a scold. I know that what many consider simply light hearted rhetoric I interpret more seriously. But I also think that we all, and particularly those like you who have an influential voice, have a responsibility to be fair and to recognize that what we post helps mold opinion. In the end, it's just a game and who, besides himself and those closest to him, really cares if Upton is criticized unfairly. He will earn plenty of money. Many ballplayers, Ted Williams springs to mind, have survived a nasty public reputation well enough. (although who really knows with what scars?)

        But Upton has been the target for misguided criticism for quite a while now. If he earns it, I have no problem. His offense this year has generally been dreadful, and there is no reason not to point it out. If there is evidence that he malingers, call him out, of course.

        But when he is not guilty of a bad attitude, it is irresponsible to misrepresent the facts and the statement to make it seem he is and thus fix more firmly in the public mind an inaccurate portrait of the man. It may not technically be slander, but it is pretty damn close, and that is a kind of dishonesty that pollutes public discourse badly enough already.

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  4. Don says:

    Couple more months of BJ...Dillon will look like a welcome addition...... for BJ to sit next to!

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  5. Dirtbag Fan says:

    PROF:

    We need to post an intervention. Too many people around here (not you) are getting thin skin and/or have lost any sense of humor whatsoever.
    ----------------------------------------
    Come on people-- baseball is fun. Laugh, joke, be sarcastic, be snarky, be sardonic, be something, anything other than dry... my gosh, people!!

    Its very possible to be informative, and to voice your opinions candidly without being a bunch of stiffs.

    ***this pertains to a ton of posters (no one in particular). Over a span of the last week or two people around have are gotten ridiculously uptight***

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    • Don says:

      I don't know what britner said, but how does Ted Williams get brought up in a discussion about BJ Upton? There not from same planet (baseball wise)!

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    • bobrittner says:

      I understand your concern, and it is legitimate. But different people have different responses to what is funny and what is not.

      In my case, there are many areas that upset other people or that they find offensive that do not bother me in the least. In fact, I relish many types of conventionally offensive types of humor.

      But I admit to being exceptionally sensitive to misrepresentation of what people say. (I also am sensitive to the elevation of ignorance as a virtue as we see in Don's comment(s), but when the person is so clearly beyond hope am able to ignore them. In the Professor's case, he deserves considerably more respect.)

      I appreciate that your comment is not directed specifically towards me, but perhaps it should be. I recognize that I may often respond too seriously to what is intended purely as humorous banter, but just as some people might not find it funny to use racial pejoratives on a site (nor would I by the way), I don't think it betokens a lack of a sense of humor to criticize misrepresenting what a public figure says. I have a feeling that should I express my views about politics and religion in what I consider a humorous way (which I will not do on a baseball site) I might receive some far more nasty feedback than what I offer the Professor.

      Those may be more serious topics to some people than baseball is, but when the issue is not the subject but the way the subject is presented it really is the same thing.

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      • Dirtbag Fan says:

        In all actuality my comments weren't directed to you at all. Your comment may have been the catalyst which drove me to complain, but it was actually in regard to several posters who jumped on me last week for making a snide remark about the signing of Gregg Zaun, as well as a host of others who seem to have suddenly forgotten how to differentiate between sarcasm/facetiousness and seriousness.

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  6. David says:

    Is Carlos Pena really on fire? Or did a rookie that never faced Carlos before hit Carlos's favorite spots on the plate? I wont say he's on fire till his next game when he gets singles and doubles instead of pop flies against somebody better.

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