The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

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DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Jonah Keri’s upcoming book on the Rays will tentatively be called “The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Thinking Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First” and will be co-marketed as a business book. [Twitter]
  • Bob Nightengale of USA Today describes the Rays rotation as the best in baseball. [USA Today]
  • Joel Sherman is the latest to suggest the Rays should move to Connecticut. While Sherman acknowledges territorial issues, he apparently doesn’t realize that this would NEVER happen. Greenwich, Connecticut is 25 miles from Yankee Stadium and many of the Yankees wealthiest fans live in Connecticut. The Yankees would allow a team to move to Brooklyn before they let a team take Connecticut. [NY Post]
  • Marc Topkin writes about what Sunday’s game did for Sean Rodriguez’ confidence…Also, the Rays will likely face 6 lefties during this 9-game road trip. [St. Pete Times]
  • Joe Smith writes about Reid Brignac’s transition to most-days big league second baseman. [St. Pete Times]
  • Tony Fabrizio writes about Ben Zobrist’s surprising lack of power. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Aki Iwamura is off to a rough start in Pittsburgh. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • The Rays sit atop What If Sports power rankings which uses a simulation engine to play out the remainder of the season. [What If Sports]
  • The Rays are also on top of Phil Rogers’ latest power ranking. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Chris Richard set up his own fan page on Facebook. [Facebook]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson improved to 5-0 with 2 runs allowed in 7 innings. he allowed 4 hits and no walks while striking out 8. After giving up a lead-off home run, he retired 19 of the next 20 batters he faced…Joe Dillong hit his 3rd home run and Fernando Perez hit his first, a 3-run shot…Hank Blalock was 2-5 and is hitting .347 early on.
  • MONTGOMERY: In the second game of a double-header, Darin Downs allowed just 1 hit, 2 walks and a hit batter in 6 shutout innings. He struck out 5. It was just his second start, but he now has 23 strikeouts and just 5 walks in 23.0 innings this season…Cody Cipriano hit his first home run of the season in game 1.
  • CHARLOTTE: Frank De Los Santos gave up 2 runs in 7 innings, striking out 9 and walking 2…Jake Jefferies had a triple and 2 RBI.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez gave up 3 runs in 5 innings on 8 hits and a walk. He struck out 2…Brett Nommensen hit a 3-run home run, his first of the season.
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16 Comments

  1. I really hate that Sherman article. The media up there has a worldview of baseball that the Rays don't fit in. It's unfathomable to them that the Rays can compete against the big dogs. So their solution is to move the Rays to CT. Laughable.

    Also, his idea about trading Price right now is insane.

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    • ramedy says:

      If Joel Sherman and his buddies were beat writers at a coal mine, they'd write nothing but short articles wondering about all those dead canaries.

      These articles about Rays attendance all have one thing in common - total lack of context. The thing is, in most cases I have a hard time believing that all these writers don't realize that there are countless factors involved in the question of attendance (I'm sure a few of them just are that lousy). So they can either write one long, well-researched article; or they can write a bunch of short, fluffy space-fillers. It could be laziness forcing their hand, or it could just be editors who need more fluffy space-fillers. We shouldn't automatically discount the latter.

      It's the same problem with advanced statistics - I think some writers would use them, but it would require too much explanation for short and fluffy. Just saying "he's batting .280" is easier than "well, his BABIP, which means batting average with balls in play, is .350, which is way above the MLB average..."

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  2. Sarah says:

    This is unrelated to today's Hangover but I need to vent:

    I generally enjoy the Big League Stew blog, but I am getting annoyed with their coverage of the Rays. The Rays are off to one of the hottest starts in baseball, and yet every Rays-related entry on that blog is about low attendance at the Trop. Example: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Evan-Longoria-brings-the-stirrups-but-not-the-f?urn=mlb,238287.

    Yeah, I get it, attendance is low. But do they have to mention this every damned time they discuss the Rays?

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Completely agree. I understand it is a story and they had to write something, but let it go. Yesterday's was the worst. They somehow managed to segue from Longoria's stirrups to poor attendance. And this was after a weekend series in which Rays averaged 25k against a terrible non-divisional foe.

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    • Michael says:

      I caught a few minutes of Duemig's show on 620 AM yesterday, guest hosted by Justin Palowski (sp?). He was poking fun at a Chicago Tribune story (I think he said Phil Rogers was the author) about the low attendance at the Trop. Justin's point: Do they really have nothing better to talk about in Chicago than our attendance problems? How sad is that? The White Sox were expected to compete for that division, and may still end up winning it if they get their act together, but wasn't the attendance at the Cell Phone for the Rays series absolutely atrocious? Even if the paid attendance was higher than our home games against the A's, there's no way there were more than 10,000 actual fans at a couple of those games. OK, I'll give them that the weather may have been crappy but Chicagoans should be used to it, so that would be akin to people in Tampa saying they won't go to games because they hate driving over the bridge.

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    • BigLeagueStew told me on Twitter that he was killing 2 birds with one stone when it came to Longo's socks and attendance. He also said that "our papers are talking about it," why can't he?

      I'm telling you, the reason you're seeing all these articles is that the Rays aren't fitting into these columnist's world view of MLB. The Rays are scary good this year and they didn't see them overcoming the Red Sox and Yankees purely from the payroll standpoint. Now, the only way they can fit the Rays into their worldview is to suggest moving them.

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      • Sarah says:

        No one says the Big League Stew guys can't EVER talk about the Rays attendance. We're not censoring them. But I swear they have talked about it in EVERY POST about the Rays, and NEVER in posts about other teams, not all of which are playing to sell-outs every day! I'd just like to occasionally read about the Rays actual on-field accomplishments without the "on the other hand" bit about attendance.

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        • @Sarah. I'm saying they can't. I'm done with it. I don't want to hear anymore of their accusations that we're not "real" fans because the Trop isn't full.

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  3. ramedy says:

    What in blue blazes is Keri doing in that picture? It looks like he's about to undertake some kind of faith healing, probably for a room full of people who think wins are a viable statistic for Hall of Fame voting.

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  4. Brian H says:

    how absurd is it that we have the best starting rotation in the league 1to5, and we also have the best starting pitcher prospect in baseball(not named strasburg). I mean not only does he not have room this year, there is no room for him next year either.

    Is it possible next year we test out a 6 man rotation? or is that just silly to think.

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    • Brian H says:

      professor?

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      The problem with 6-man rotations is 2-fold. First, pitchers are trained to pitch every 5 days and some (a lot?) are creatures of habit and don't like to deviate from that routine. Also, Maddon loves a flexible bullpen just as much as he loves a flexible bench. If you go to a 6-man rotation, you also have to cut back to a 6-man bullpen. And certainly that would be fine 95% of the time, but it only takes one night where the starter gets blown up I'm the 2nd inning and all of the sudden the bullpen is stretched thin. I could see Maddon going to a 6-man rotation in September if he is worried about the innings totals on some of the arms and wants a little extra rest before the playoffs. But I'd be surprised if he did it for the entire season.

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  5. Joe D. says:

    Prof, How long can the Rays really keep Hellickson in Durham? I mean if he's 8-0 after Memorial Day, it seems like him being at AAA is doing more harm than good, and just wasting 'bullets'... and if the Rays do bring Hellickson up before September who's out, if no 6 man rotation, or even if the Rays have a short term injury to a starting pitcher, is Hellickson a guy you send back down? I'm thinking he's more like Price last year he'd be there to stay...

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      This may depend on how his arm feels and where the Rays are in the playoff race. I wouldn't be surprised to see him as a reliever in September. Or on the off chance the Rays are out of the race (nearly impossible at this point) they could trade somebody and open a spot.

      Also remember, even though Davis didn't dominate triple-A as much as Hellickson has so far, Davis threw 300 more innings in the minors than Hellboy has so far. The Rays are a very patient bunch. Price struggled a little last year in part because he was rushed through the minors. The Rays might be content to keep Hellickson in the minors all year if there is not an immediate need.

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  6. Joe D. says:

    yeah, you're right I remember about this time last year feeling that Davis might and should have been called up before Price.

    I checked Hellickson's stats and I guess he doesn't have even 100 ip at AAA, yet, just seems like he's been on the radar longer than that...

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