OT_294420_CASS_RAYS_16If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Unlike most team blogs, we do not very often tell you what the Tampa Bay Rays should do. We prefer to live under the premise that the people that run the Rays are smarter than we are, and know many, many more things that even the most learned fan will never know.

However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that the Rays didn’t come through on very many of our wishes, and the result was a somewhat disappointing season. Let’s hope that changes in 2010.

On the seventh day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, SEVEN games with the same batting order…

BJ Upton
Carl Crawford
Evan Longoria
Carlos Pena
Ben Zobrist
Pat Burrell
Jason Bartlett
Gabe Kapler
Dioner Navarro

The above looks like a fairly standard batting order from the first-half of last season. In fact it was the most common lineup used by Joe Maddon in 2009.

It was also only used six (6!) times. For comparison, the Yankees had one lineup they used 15 times and a second that was used 8 times. And the Red Sox had three different lineups that were used at least 6 times.

If we have had one consistent complaint against JoeMa over the years, it is that he can overthink the game at times and make it more complicated than it needs to be. In 162 games, Maddon used 125 different batting orders. Would it kill him to pick one and stick with it for a while?

Of course, injuries play a big factor here also. So part of this wish is that the Rays stay relatively healthy all year.

And if the Rays can stay healthy and Maddon can resist the temptation to tinker, the Rays will have an excellent shot at returning to the playoffs in 2010.



  1. GatorRaysHead says:

    (Black Hole where the Fat Catcher somehow once hit .295)

    If Pat turns back into the Bat we will have a damn scary lineup if everyone stays healthy. How many days til pitchers and catchers report?

  2. Gus says:

    One thing 2009 proved without equivocation: BJ Upton is not a lead off man. He may not even be a major leaguer if his bat/shoulder/head continue to struggle in 2010. A modern-day Omar Moreno.


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