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: To Hell With Winter: Baseball is baaaacccckkkk!…Sean Rodriguez. In his first plate appearance with the Rays, Rodriguez hit a home run. Of course the wind was blowing out about 200mph, so lets temper the excitement a little.

THE BAD: Rich Herrera: Rich was a little rusty yesterday. On several occasions, Herrera was unable to identify Rays players that had entered the game as substitutes. In one incident, it was 5 batters into the inning and he referred to Elliot Johnson as a “Mr. Left Fielder” on a single. It’s not like Johnson is some free agent minor leaguer. Meanwhile, we can’t even see the game, but we are able to look at the MLB.com boxscore and see who is in the game. Later Rich needed an intern to identify Richard de los Santos who had entered as a relief pitcher…Acts of God: How bad was the wind yesterday? Former Rays prospect Rhyne Hughes, hit two home runs. Before 2009, dude never hit more than 12 home runs. Then again, last year he hit 25 combined with three different teams…The Bullpen. Usually the pitchers are ahead of the hitters this time of year, but apparently the Rays relievers didn’t get the memo. Dale Thayer, Heath Phillips, Jason Cromer and Richard de los Santos combined to give up 11 runs in 5 innings, including 5 home runs…Matt Joyce looks slow. Matt Joyce attempted to steal second base and was thrown out by about 6 feet…

THE TELLING: Dioner Navarro. You can already tell that Joe Maddon is going to get Navi as many ABs as possible this spring to try and get his bat going. Yesterday Navi batted second. File that under things you only see in March. Actually, Navi batted 2nd twice in 2008, but was never higher than 6th last season…Joe Dillon. The Dillionaire got his first action behind the plate yesterday, coming in to the game in the 8th inning.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Desmond Jennings was hit by a pitch and removed from the game. There was some swelling after the game, but he is expected to be OK. [St. Pete Times]
  • Gary Shelton wonders if the Rays have a dominant Ace and wonders if they even need one. [St. Pete Times]
  • From Keith Law: “Milton Bradley just loafed after a flyball and let it drop for a two-run “double”…The first day? Boy, we have no idea how much OPS would have made this worth it. [Twitter]
  • Tony Fabrizio has 5 questions for Ryan Shealy. [Tampa Tribune]

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8 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    I would like to challenge RI readers to find anything positive to say about Rich Herrera. I cringe throughout his pre- and postgame shows. Hearing now that he botched players names in the game broadcast further reinforces my belief that his talents are meager. But the Rays keep renewing his contract, so maybe I’m blind to his strong points.

    • Brixology says:

      And he wouldn’t shut up. He just kept asking the color guy what everyone was thinking all the time. Call the game, Rich! Talk about the players. It just cannot be that hard.

      • Scott Sauerbeck was the color guy.

        And my favorite question Herrera asked Sauerbeck was after Sauerbeck said wind is the worst weather for a game. Herrera then asked Sauerbeck to rank different weather conditions (rain, snow, cold, wind).

        I know sometimes in the spring they have to invent things to talk about but this was day 1!! There has to be something else.

        • Brixology says:

          I felt terrible for Sauerbeck. I didn’t get the impression that he wanted to answer any of those stupid questions. He seemed genuinely bewildered by the experience.

  2. Don says:

    Want a good laugh… listen to Herrera AFTER a Rays reg. season game…
    especially after a bad loss when mistakes were made by coaches and/or players…the cover up is on and the callers are going nuts…and he still tries the excuse bag….its hilarious..I want to call… but afraid of being barred from games!
    Rodriguez (Alex Jr.) just hit another home run (also made an error at SS)
    Joyce don’t unpack you bags just yet….How about Alex Jr at second with 25 HR and Zo at RF with 30!

  3. Jim says:

    Also from Bradley:

    “Two years ago, I played, and I was good. I go to Chicago, not good. I’ve been good my whole career. So, obviously, it was something with Chicago, not me. ”

    Way to man up and accept responsibility, Milton.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=4965307

  4. Joe says:

    Why hasn’t Rich Herrera been relieved of his duties? He is mean, sarcastic, doesn’t enjoy people or listeners, and is illprepared. This is a sore subject for me, but this is a huge problem. And the Rays know this too. He should be relieved and that is no fun saying that.

  5. Joe says:

    Can this be a bigger topic?! Rich Herrera has more than botched things, but he is the poster child of why there is disconcern and a disconnect between fans and the team. For as “savvy” as the Rays front office is, why do they KNOW there is an issue with Herrera and he still is in that position is beyond me. Is it that he rubs up with Clear Channel too?! It’s bad enough with the media in the town that lacks independence, but Rich is way to far in. And I understand he is employed by the team, but dismissing callers and being outright rude and disrespectful and this is already an issue in, why can’t Mark Fernandez pull the plug?!

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