[Update] Roger Mooney reports that Joe Maddon insists Upton is not being benched:  

Decision not to start him based on a number of things, including getting 2 days off

Utterly hopeless. Utterly f****** hopeless.

[5:22pm] BJ Upton is not in tonight’s lineup, one game after lollygagging in the field, loafing a throw, losing his sh*t in the dugout, getting picked off first base and failing to fetch the proper postgame bottle of wine for Joe Maddon*.

When asked why Upton was not in the lineup, Maddon apparently felt he did not owe anybody an explanation (via Tom Caron)…

“I chose not to have him in the lineup. No underlying reason.”

So JoeMa apparently wants to ignore the Navarro in the room and pretend like tonight is just a scheduled day of rest for Bossman.

Typical Rays. They like to keep things close to the vest and feel the fans only need to know what the Rays want us to know.

*that last one might not have happened

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17 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    I have said this before and I will say it again.. Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything of the kind, but the team has no right to expect the conclusions you made by being this close to the vest. There is no tactical or tacit PR advantage.

    This is precisely why I abhor and detest the front office. Now, you wonder why I feel the way I do. Go ahead and debate, but Joe Maddon probably made things worse for himself locally and the media HAS AN OBLIGATION TO DIG DEEPER!! The "such as" question from Gary Shelton that never came made Stu Sternberg came across as greedy and detestable.

    People like Marc Topkin, are the reasons why Tampa Bay is a backwards sports market. There isn't enough media in town to push back and stand on limb, even in the face of being wrong or embarrassed, to stand on a limb and be the measuring stick. We are down now to BN9/BHSN and 620 in town, with all due respect to 1010 which is a better product talent for talent.

    NESN and Tom Caron are great at what they do, but they are the ones who break stories, because of so much interest. I could go on forever here. It makes me sick, and the Rays get away with too much knowing the politics of local radio and television media

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  2. robert says:

    Utterly hopeless is right. And never mind that it undercuts what Longoria did, which was to stand up to Upton for the team. There probably isn't a nicer guy in baseball than Maddon-- and maybe that's the problem here.

    Really need this game tonight!

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  3. DTG says:

    "So JoeMa apparantly wants to ignore the Navarro in the room"

    This made me laugh. I am using it from now on.

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  4. Don says:

    Heres another situation where you Have to lose RESPECT for Maddon....EVERYONE knows why Upton is not playing tonight!
    DO you think if that last at bat was a home run...BJ would be playing tonight?
    So "No spine Joe" goes with "BJ sitting has NOTHING to do with Sun.s little incident"...What am I (we) Joe... morons?
    I know your not the smartest Mgt. in the league, I know you have LOST CONTROL over your players, I know you are OVER your head in that JOB....Thats ok...BUT do not play ME (us) as idiots...Thanks, Joe

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  5. Don says:

    Oh I forgot...I will live with CC, Zo, & Rodz in our outfield..
    If we never win another game!

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  6. Beth says:

    Many of you make the assumption that what Maddon says in public is exactly what he says to players in private. But we have no idea if that is true.

    It's clear that Maddon does not believe in using the press to air his grievances with players. The fact that, in public, he puts a positive spin on Upton's benching doesn't mean he didn't read him the riot act in private.

    I think the RFO has the responsibility to put a good team on the field, not to share everyone's inner most feelings with the public. Seriously, would you all feel better if Maddon or Friedman had made public statements excoriating Upton? If they'd made him stand in center field while his teammates pelted him with rotten tomatoes? Really, the benching makes its own statement.

    And on a lighter note, if the Rays really get rid of Navarro, which player will replace him as the source of levity on this blog?

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    • KillaTapes says:

      Really great point Beth. Part of being in charge is keeping your cool in public, even when you have to let the dogs out behind closed doors. B.J. is everyone's scapegoat enough as it is, no need for Maddon to fuel that fire even more.

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    • Connie says:

      I totally agree, Beth. I'm sure he chewed out Upton in private, as he did express disappointment with his play after the game. I do believe he said something like, the appropriate action will be taken. I don't care if he told us "Upton sucks so I'm benching him" or not...the fact is that he got benched and every one of us knows why. It doesn't have to be a Hanley situation where everyone uses the media to say bad things about each other in order for his tactics to work on Upton. In fact, I think he knows his players well enough to know what will work for them.

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  7. Joe says:

    I think a dose of honesty would go a long way here....Again, why paint himself to be a bad guy here? He gains nothing and if anything, he loses respect with common people...And no one really gets to delve into Maddon's brain because his availabilities are so tightly controlled by Rick Vaughn. That's my problem with this.

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    • Beth says:

      Honesty would go a long way toward....what, exactly? And why the hell should Maddon care about the "common people?" He's not running for election.

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  8. Joe says:

    No, but the front office is (e.g. stadium)!! Maddon is being put in a no win situation and will be forced to lay on the sword. This is up to the media to state the questions and either Maddon answer them or not.

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  9. Erick says:

    This team is unwatchable! Thankfully football starts next month

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  10. Alex says:

    Maddon is a sh*t manager. We have been watching the same babying of sh*t players for the 4+ years he's been here. The same want to hold onto sh*t players (oh boy Kapler is coming back. That otta boost the team). The same "I have no balls" attitude from Maddon. The same dilly dallying with the lineup and match ups and bullpen guys etc.... This team will never go anywhere with him. We had our moment in the sun and its over. This team is crashing back to earth hard and this is the last real week of baseball for us. We can't even beat the Red Soxs when half of their team is injured. After this week our fate is decided. Everyone tradable will be gone and we'll be looking towards 2011. Same sh*t, different year.

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  11. Alex says:

    There's a reason no one hired Maddumb for 30+ years. He's not a real manager. He's not Mike Scioscia. He's a crappy bench coach who can't handle a team. Let Dave Martinez manage before he gets away.

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  12. robert says:

    Really doesn't matter anymore. The 2010 Tampa Bay Ray's season ended last night, right about the time Bartlett left 2 men on base early in a scoreless game. As for Maddon, I agree with Beth to a degree, Upton doesn't merit a public upbraiding however his (Maddon's) public statements are so far divorced from reality that you have to wonder about what he's saying privately to Upton. Protect your player, sure. Act like this stuff doesn't play out on SportsCenter is insulting to everyone that follows this team. Anyway, season's over. You can't go in to a short 2 game series with the Red Sox with the top of the rotation starting and lose, not at this point in time and not with the Red Sox missing 2 of their best bats due to injury. I'm the only diehard Ray's fan in Boston, hate the Red Sox, and now what? This is two straight years of underachieving by this team, with this year slipping away before the break. What's really galling is that the story of B.J. Upton is (with an exception or two) the story of the entire team-- huge potential, average production.

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  13. Don says:

    I love it ...Just read Beths comments...about Maddon
    "Honesty would go a long way toward what...exactly"
    I can tell you have never been in business (and baseball is a business)
    if you are not HONEST with people you lose all credibility...it is lying for your own benefit....a NO NO!

    "Why the hell should Maddon care about the "common people", he's not running for office"
    Believe it or not we are his CUSTOMERS, we fans pay his salary, not the Rays...without customers you have no team.... and no job for ole Joe!

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