On July 16, the Rays were set to open the second-half in Replica Yankee Stadium. Sean Rodriguez missed the game because a faulty splrinkler system flooded his condo the day before. He was then scheduled to take a flight on Friday and arrive in time for the game, but a mix-up caused Rodriguez to miss his flight.

Since then, Rodriguez has seen his playing time plummet. Prior to the All-Star break, Rodriguez had started 18 straight games. Since the second-half began, he has only started 3 of the Rays’ 12 games.

Of course, Rodriguez’ lack of playing time also coincides with a red-hot Reid Brignac. Since the break, Brignac has started 9 games and is 11-30 (.367) with 4 home runs. And it didn’t help Rodriguez’ case when Briggy Baseball hit 2 home runs in Rodriguez first game back from the flooded condo.

So maybe Maddon is just going with the hot bat. But it was the condo flood and subsequent missed flight that opened the door for Brignac to put his bat on display.

With both Ben Zobrist and BJ Upton unavailable today, Rodriguez will be in the starting lineup. But once they return, Rodriguez may have to return to picking splinters out of his heiny until Brignac cools off.

 
 

12 Comments

  1. Brixology says:

    Don’t we still think that Briggy and Sean are the starting middle infielders next year?

  2. ramedy says:

    During one of those pre-game radio interviews, Maddon talked about preparing the younger guys to be full-time players. Perhaps Maddon’s way of doing this is giving one guy a majority of the playing time for a concentrated amount of time – you’ll recall that Brignac made more appearances in Sweetbay Supermarkets than in the lineup through the first part of July.

    Grabby headline or not, I’d like to think you’d give Maddon more credit than suggesting he’d bench a guy for suffering property damage and missing a flight.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I don’t think it is unreasonable to wonder if Joe Maddon thought Rodriguez should have been with the team. A lot of managers would have been very bothered and very vocal about the situation. I would never expect Maddon to publicly criticize his players, but he may have felt the situation could have been handled better.

    • Steve says:

      I’m not sure 2 games back in the pennant race with 62 to play is the best time for “preparing the younger guys to be full-time players.” Put the best lineup out there everyday. And right now, as Prof noted, Brignac is the best option.

  3. Gus says:

    From a guy who missed two (not one, two!) games for his girlfriend’s law school graduation a few years back, I’d think Merlot Joe would give S-Rod some leeway here, unless the “flood” was some kind of pr spin for “too hungover to fly after a night on Dale Mabry”, in which case, I’d see the rationale.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I don’t think many people have a problem with staying back on Thursday to deal with the flood. I think most have issue with why it took him so long to get to NY. Flood was on Thursday, game was Friday night. What was the “mix up”? Why wait until last possible flight on Friday? Weren’t there early flights?

      Anyway, I think the bigger issue is that we have a Wally Pipp situation here. I’m not saying that I think Rodriguez is still being punished. I think the situation cost him his job because Brignac got hot at the same time.

      • John S says:

        The situation is way to fishy.
        Pro athletes are pampered, organizations have an army of people to take care of their assets (the pro players) to assist in these matters.

        • Gus says:

          Speaking of Maddon’s (now) wife, I think she and a friend run a concierge service that helps players deal with stuff like floods, etc.

  4. Gatorbuc15 says:

    S-Rod is WAY to good of an all around player to keep him on the bench!

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