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: Evan Longoria. It does appear that Sampson’s hair is growing back in a bit and it seemed to help last night with an RBI single and the big blow, a 3-run home run on what was a decent fastball down in the zone…Jeff Niemann. If you ranked the Rays 5 starters by talent, the Giraffe would probably be about 7th or 8th. But he just keeps on truckin’. This time it was 7.1 innings without allowing a run until the 8th inning. He improves to 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA.

THE BAD: Ben Zobrist. Yet another run-scoring bunt for Zobrist (his third?) was good within that moment. But is this really what Joe Maddon wants from his #3 hitter? He’s not hitting that bad. He is hitting .268 with a .350 OBP. But his wOBA is only .335 and he has yet to hit a home run. How patient will JoeMa be?

THE TELLING: BJ Upton was back in the lineup one day after the birth of his son…Carlos Pena was given the day off after the birth of his 1-40 slump. Ben Zobrist started at first and Sean Rodriguez was at second base…

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 23-10, 1 game ahead of the Yankees in the East (tied in the loss column) and 4.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the Wild Card. After 33 games in 2008 the Rays were 17-16.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Don’t forget to check out the ongoing conversations at the Raysheads Forum. [Raysheads Forum]
  • Evan Longoria talks about beating Scott Kazmir (video). [The Heater]
  • Shawn Riggans was released by the Mets…We wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays re-sign Riggans to a minor league deal. You can never have too many catchers around that are familiar with your pitching staff. And the need for another catcher is emphasized by the recent injuries to Kelly Shoppach and Dioner Navarro. Of course, if another team offers a spot on their 40-man roster, then all bets are off.
  • Joe Maddon on John Jaso: “That tells me he belongs here,” Maddon said, raving about all the good Jaso did behind and at the plate (three hits). “The fact that he’s accountable for it and he told his teammate that — he belongs a Ray”…In the same piece we learn that Matt Joyce has finally played catch without pain and could start a rehab assignment next week. [St. Pete Times]
  • Former first-round pick Wade Townsend was released by his independent league team. That might not be a good sign for his career. [Rays Prospects]
  • Fake Evan Longoria defends his use of the bunt during Sunday’s perfect game. (thanks Charles) [Morgan Ensberg's Baseball IQ]
  • Carl Crawford responded to Bobby Valnetine’s criticisms that CC needlessly dove for a ball Monday. [Sporting News]
  • The Tampa Sports Authority won’t make any pitches for a new Rays stadium but they are planning to be involved if necessary. [St. Pete Times]
  • BJ Upton was back with the Rays a day after the birth of his son. Here is talking about the experience (video). [The Heater]
  • The Hardball Times takes a look at David Price’s newest weapon. [The Hardball Times]
  • The Durham Bulls returned to their old ballpark, the one used in the movie “Bull Durham.” (Thanks Joe D.) [MiLB]
  • Evan Longoria’s haircut is catching on with…squirrels? [RaysRev]
  • How local sports radio personalities prepare to talk about the Rays. [RaysRev]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Jeff Bennett made his third start giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 7 walks in 4.2 innings…Desmond Jennings was 1-3 with 2 walks and his 7th stolen base…Hank Blalock went 1-5 and stole a base…Ryan Shealy hit his 4th home run.
  • MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 4 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1…The Biscuits collected just 4 hits.
  • CHARLOTTE: Matt Moore pitched 6 shutout innings on 3 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 3…The Stone Crabs managed just 3 hits…Tim Beckham was 0-2 with 2 walks and Matt Sweeney was 0-4 with a strikeout.
  • BOWLING GREEN: (ppd.)

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21 Comments

  1. Kelley says:

    I can’t believe that the writer of the Crawford story was kind of a jerk to Crawford and then the comments were terrible about Crawford. Maybe I’m just biased, but do they honestly think Crawford would dive just to put on a show? and then they think CC’s a pansy for even responding to Valentine?

    I don’t know. I didn’t see anything wrong with what CC said. I thought it was pretty funny and maybe CC was being tongue in cheek about the ability part anyway.

  2. Sarah says:

    I believe Longoria’s homer was for 3-runs.

    I’ve been enjoying the St. Pete Times video interviews on the Heater blog each morning, which you’ve linked to. During each interview you can hear music playing in the background. Question – who decides what’s playing in the clubhouse? I’ve heard all kinds of music in these videos, but was tickled to recognize, in the Niemann video clip, the song “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” which is a song only old timers like me would choose. Made me wonder who decides what they listen to after a game.

    • Myrna says:

      To me, the background music was very distracting. Longo is such a class act. He would never say anything negative about his former team mate (when asked the question about Kaz playing against them). He is truly one special guy and we are so blessed to have him on our team.

  3. Don says:

    Thank God for Kazmir as a slide stopper..he did his 5 innings (7._ERA)
    Sure wish we won’t have traded him…
    CC, Longo, Bartlett, Zo & Aybar again… how long can they carry the others???

  4. Pinto says:

    “After 33 games in 2008 the Rays were 17-16.”

    2008 or 2009?

  5. Ryan says:

    “If you ranked the Rays 5 starters by talent, the Giraffe would probably be about 7th or 8th.”

    I don’t know about 7th or 8th, but he is clearly behind Garza’s left *and* right nuts.

  6. Joe D. says:

    kind of the good and the bad, the Rays runs come in bunches, but we also go cold as a team too, kind of weird that we are as good as we are, but so streaky.

    I don’t have any numbers in front of me but it seems as if we’re not a very good team at stranding inherited runner…

    I’m glad the west coast trip if almost over not sure how many more 1:30 am nights i can take, and I feel like a bad fan going to sleep before the game is over, and old if I fall asleep watching the game…

  7. Jessica says:

    Here’s a question. Do you think the Rays are purposely trying to outdo each other with retro/bad haircuts and facial hair? I mean you have Longos “craptastic” haircut. Barty has the lines shaved in the side of his. BJ is sporting the porn mustache. Garza still has that thing living on his chin. A couple of the guys have mohawks. Brignac even has some baby fuzz on his chin. I think they’re having fun with it.

    • Myrna says:

      I can deal with all of them except for Garza’s ponytail on his chin!!

      • Alex says:

        Its a bird sanctuary…..

        Maddon will stick with Zobrist in the three hole till the All Star break. Just like he stuck with BJ in the leadoff spot last year because he thinks hes so damn smart that anything he does surely can’t be wrong.

    • Kelley says:

      I’m dying laughing about the porn mustache comment!

  8. Thad says:

    Caveat Lector: I am a glass half-full diehard Rays supporter. I see good in almost everything they’ve done thus far in 2010. Basically, I’m the anti-Don, but I must vent on this one topic. And, yes, I do realize that J.P. is hurt.

    I now have a “Cormier Convulsion” every time Cormier enters the game in a moderately “leveraged” situation. My body starts to twitch, my stomach twists in knots, cold sweats break out all over and then I throw up a little bit in my mouth. Seriously, my inner-Don is starting to take over with regard to Cormier. He just gives me the willies in anything other than extreme mop-up duty (i.e., 15-0 lead with two outs in the 9th and a long reliever at the plate).

    This team has GOT to have better options in that slot than Cormier. In that past 3.1 IP over 4 appearances, he has given up 9 hits and 3 walks. That’s a WHIP of almost 4.0. Sorry Lance, that just isn’t good enough. He singlehandedly botched the extra inning game against the Royals on May 1, giving up 2H and 3BB resulting in 2R that lost the game in the 11th. Last Saturday, he came in the game down 3-2 and left an inning later down 4-2 giving up another two hits. Then last night, he coughed up another two hits and was mostly responsible for the drama that was the 8th inning and the blemish on Niemann’s scorelees outing.

    It’s just not good enough. His stuff just isn’t quality enough for a remotely leveraged late inning game. Get well soon J.P. Or bring back Ekstrom. Something. Anything. Just please no more Cormier. I just can’t take it.

    Okay, that’s it I’m done complaining. It’s all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for me the rest of today.

    • Beth says:

      Thad, I’m with you on the glass half full side, but also agree that Cormier is not a high leverage guy. He wasn’t signed with that role in mind — he was supposed to be the long reliever.

      JP is weeks away from returning to the team, and even then there may be some adjustments before you’d put him into a bases loaded, game on the line situation. I was hoping that Benoit might be considered for that high-leverage role in the meantime.

  9. Don says:

    Thad your RIGHT…I’m going to change my ways…from now on:
    Burrell and Pena are great hitters just going thru tough times..
    Kaplar is a great player any team would sign if we released him…
    Maddon is a genius…hardly makes any mistakes…
    I could go on but the sunshine and lollipops are taking over!
    Give me a Bud…

    • Thad says:

      HAHAHAHAHA! Now that’s funny. See, it’s not so hard. You can do it Don. Baby steps. It’s okay to say good things about the team you support. Really. It won’t hurt.

      Altogether now, let’s help Don, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

  10. Chris Wise says:

    We’d been writing quite a bit about the return to the Durham Athletic Park. For more links and photos, check out

    http://www.watchingdurhambullsbaseball.com/2010/05/return-to-dap_11.html

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