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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: Pat Burrell. He got mad at the team. He got mad at himself. And in the first inning, he hit a 3-run home run. In his second at bat he added an RBI single. And now we kinda wish he would have gotten upset sooner. Like maybe in Spring Training…Zorilla. Ben Zobrist was 3-4 with a single, double and triple.

THE BAD: Blowing Early Leads. The Rays blew another early lead, up 4-0 after 1 and 5-0 after 3…Niemann Tired? Joe Maddon and Jeff Niemann both say no. But Niemann has now hit his career high in innings pitched and last night his fastball was both not fast and very inconsistent. He was throwing 89-93 with too many at the 89 end…The Bullpen. Jeff Niemann got pounded for 6 runs, but the score was still 6-5 when he left. 5 relievers took care of that, giving up 4 runs, including 2 home runs.

THE TELLING: Reid Brignac made his second straight start, this time at second base.



  • 10 things Rays Revolutionary would like to see from the Rays down the stretch. [Rays Revolutionary]
  • Joe Maddon brings the excuse bus up to the door for Andy Sonnanstine…Maybe there is some truth to what JoeMa says, but doesn’t it seem more likely that it is as simple as scouts and hitters have just figured Sonny out? If a hitter knows that Scott Kazmir is going to throw a fastball up in the zone on 1-0, it is still a tough pitch to hit because it is coming in at 93-95. If the same hitter knows what and where Sonnanstine is going with the pitch, well, that is like batting practice. [Tampa Tribune]
  • The 2010 Rays schedule has been released and for once the Rays will open at home, against the O’s on April 6. [Tampa Tribune]




  1. Tone says:

    Next year is not looking too good(in my eyes). This long hard fall from grace has deeper problems than just the obvious ones. Aki not coming back will be sad and I think it will hurt the club going forward. The front office and Maddon seem to be making all the wrong moves and I have no faith in either. (All other teams>Rays in last 2 months)

  2. Gus, a casual fan says:

    I actually am thinking this meltdown is the kind of humbling Joe and front office needed. They were getting bouquets thrown at their feet all off-season, to the point that Baseball Prospectus was driniking the kool-aid on Sonny. Now we (and they) know they didn't invent baseball and in many cases have bungled it this year.

    But locker room attitude needs to be factored in this winter. Need to figure out who is rowing in the right direction and who is not. I have my own ideas there, but I'm not in the locker room to know. Watching the Jays fight last night, I do think that element from last season -- the esprit de corps gained by 2 fights with the main rivals -- was missing this season a little bit.

    CC drills the Rays team leader and breaks his hand and we get . . . nothing. I'm not advocating violence (maybe I am in a small way), but am advocating some instance of sticking up for your guys. I'm also advocating actually trying hard in April. That would be nice.

    • Beth says:

      The lack of retaliation for Pena's hbp also struck me. Now, I personally hate, hate, hate the brushback wars that come about as teams seek revenge. I seriously dislike the idea of pitchers throwing intentionally at batters -- these guys throw 90 miles an hour and can easily cause grave injury -- bad enough it happens sometimes by accident! BUT....it's clear that my perspective is not the dominant ethos in baseball, and with that in mind I watched that game waiting for one of the Yankees to at least get brushed off the plate. If it happened, however, I missed it.

  3. Rayhawk says:

    Can we get back to basics here? Monday nite, Evan made a great dtop and trow to first, a career minor leaguer committed the ultimate sin..REALLY. Look back and think of where Richards right foot was when the ball got to him.

    I have played first base for four years in Pony and Legion ball, Im sorry maybe thats why he spend so many years in the minors. This really pissed me off. His right foot was no more than two foot from first base. You as a first baseman have to wait till the ball is thrown,THEN stride to it. Had he made any effort to stretch for the ball it would be a non issue.

    The only time you dont is from a throw from home, you slide sideways for a better target.

    I slowed it down and showed my wife, she being a HUGE Pena fan, even said "why didnt he stretch?" This kind of thing has been going on all year, its a virus that needs to be cleaned..

    I vote to trade BJ. sour attitude, and has had it for years...im done...lol

  4. Don says:

    Another Maddon second guess (#249)..
    Maybe sitting Burrell down early in the year (June?) when Aybar was hitting .....would have pissed him off enough, or at least embarassed him enough to do something about it....Instead Mr optimistic let him go up there everyday and strike out.....what good does that do anyone??

  5. Sam A says:

    "Jeff Niemann got pounded for 6 runs, but the score was still 6-5 when he left. 5 relievers took care of that, giving up 4 runs, including 2 home runs."

    To be fair, Cormier pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and did not allow the inherited runner to score. Choate got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh but was charged with a run when Bradford allowed yet another inherited runner to score. Bradford is just terrible and should never be brought in with runners on base.


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