Why does it not shock Joe that this Dan Wheeler would blow a game? And why does it not shock Joe that Merlot Joe is culpable?

Wheeler — who has become such an embarrassment Dwayne Staats is secretly hoping his daughter gets a divorce — shouldn’t have been out there in that situation in the first place, a tie game in the 10th inning. That’s begging for disaster.

Guess what happened? Whoops! Pathetic!

Joe was monitoring Twitter at that moment and read some allegedly sober people claim Merlot Joe almost had to use Wheeler because the Rays were running out of arms.

Who exactly is responsible for that? Merlot Joe of course! Seven relief pitchers he ran out there — seven!

This Creeping LaRussaism is simply out of hand. Please, someone, anyone, cite a Florida state statute or an 11th commandment where MFISUO or MFIKY cannot pitch more than one inning? Go ahead.

What a marvelous comeback by the Rays. And watch a tank job by a manager who tried to wear a path to the mound on the fake grass with his mix-and-match nonsense. This is exactly the corner you paint yourself in playing these types of mind games if a manager is allergic to a relief pitcher throwing more than one inning (when Chad Qualls threw over an inning, word is that Merlot Joe broke out in hives).

Good thing Merlot Joe never managed Bob Gibson. He would have been punched.



  1. I cringed when I saw Wheeler go out there. I actually agree with you 100% on this one. I thought Benoit would go back out for the 9th but it was Soriano instead.

    Sometimes I think we win in spite of the manager. Unfortunately we couldn't get it done today.

    Hopefully we can take this series tomorrow.

  2. Tone says:

    The thing that bothered me about the bullpen usage was having Jake make his debut in that situation. Then he struggles to get out of the inning and you bring him out again to walk the lead off batter. And to bring Hellboy out at that time was stupid too. Would have been better to save Hellboy to start an inning and for Jake it would have made more sense to bring him in without base runners on. It was that classic Maddon over thinking kind of mistake. He just gets too clever for the team's good sometimes. Carl really made some huge mistakes too, he should have been on third with one out but I guess he wants to help out his future 'mates. He was doing his best BJ base running impression, they could have beaten Mariano. He did not look like he had good command or movement on his pitches. But that comeback was sweet, thought the game was going to look like 7-1 or something. Hey, Shields is next so we know the series is a lock right?

  3. trevor says:

    Oh, please. The bullpen was used exactly as was needed. McGee and Hellickson looked terrible, and Qualls can barely be trusted with one inning as is. Benoit came in and did what he does in the eighth, and nobody in their right mind would put their closer out for two innings against one of the best lineups in baseball after blowing a save two nights ago, when we're two weeks from the playoffs...baffling that management of a bullpen that gave up 2 earned runs in 5 and 1/3 of work against the Yankees is somehow something to complain about. What a joke.

    How about instead of complaining in every article that Maddon is doing something wrong, we complain about the pathetic fan base in this area, and how it was a 60/40 split of Yankees to Rays fans tonight in a playoff hunt? How about it's september (in a playoff hunt) and the most affordable team in sports can't find a way to make past 80% capacity.

    Wheres your praise for Maddon's move to pinch hit for Aybar, the move that single handedly kept us in the game at all? You're probably right, that article won't get enough hits for the site, because this area doesn't care whether or not the team does good.

  4. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Thanks a lot Maddon for blowing the game! When you brought out "fat man" Dan, you pretty much gave the game to the Yankmees! Way to go! You really know how lose'em man! 🙁
    This is not a good time of the year to just give away games.

    Hey Joe, I don't think we can get Bob to punch out Maddon. But maybe we can pay off one of the security guards at the game to sock him. What do you think? Somebody's gotta punch this clown!

  5. KillaTapes says:

    Wow. You'd think the Rays were on the brink of falling out the playoff race. Knee jerk post as usual. I'll admit Joe makes mistakes and over thinks things a bit at times, but for crying out loud, he's done an amazing job the past few years. This team's going to the playoffs and all we can say is "Screw Joe Maddon"?

    • JMS says:

      Do you actually watch or attend all the games? Yes the Rays have been good for 3 years, but how much better would they be if JoeMa used "COMMON SENSE" to go along with his sabermetric graphs and beliefs? Then when it failed, it failed, but to make so many mistakes just because you choose to ignore common sense over and over, is just ridiculous. It just isn't that hard to see if you actually watch game in and game out, it's the little managerial mistakes that keep costing wins. Yet he continues to be stubborn and try to show how innovative he is instead of taking the path that wins. He doesn't need to reinvent the wheel every week, use what works already and stop gambling away wins.

      • KillaTapes says:

        Oh yes, Maddon's mistakes keep costing us wins, I forgot. That's why they have the second best record in all of baseball. In the toughest division. Behind the toughest team. If they had Lou back they'd have 100 wins already, damn!

  6. JMS says:

    Joe--you nailed it, JoeMa blew this one once again. Using Mcgee again to start off the inning after he got out of that last inning with a struggle, then using Hellickson with men on base instead of starting an inning, then using Wheeler anytime with a lead or tie is disaster. Maddon over-manages once again as usual, but this time the Rays don't bail him out with heroics. They already screwed up Niemann with his fake "injury" to control his innings, now he can't get back in form, they are screwing up Hellickson by converting him to reliever, they have done something to Garza, & now want to ruin McGee's confidence...Enough tinkering..we're just fans, but we can see it, and it's not that difficult to understand..it's simply common sense moves that JoeMa keeps ignoring that keep costing games..nothing on the graph can give him common sense, he just simply doesn't have that..It will be the doom of the Rays in the end I'm afraid.. I know JoeMa, fans are idiots and should just attend games and not hold you accountable..season ticket holders base is going to dwindle further with this guy constantly ripping fans and then making mistakes on the field..maybe that is the master Sternberg plan in the end..

  7. Aaron says:

    I can't watch the Aybar HR anymore...too painful :'(

  8. D-Rome says:

    I generally do not agree with the Maddon bashing but when I was watching the game last night I thought he was making too many changes with his relief staff. When a knucklehead like me thinks he's using too many relief pitchers out there....

  9. Steve says:

    The manager’s job is too complex these days because of these newfangled statistics. It’s time we used the collective wisdom of sportswriters and bloggers to manage the team. And maybe poll the fans for their wisdom before making a pitching change. After all, the Rays are “under achieving” with their lineup of .200 hitters. There is no excuse to lose a series from the Yankees or any of the other AL Least teams; if only our 6th or 7th relief pitcher were more reliable. Thanks Shot of Joe for your insight!!

  10. Sarah says:

    It's easy to pin the blame for this loss on Wheeler, or as you all seem to prefer, on Maddon for putting him there.

    But let's be clear about who lost this game. If Matt Garza didn't give us just 4 innings of double A pitching, we wouldn't need to argue about who would go out there in the 10th. Your number 2 pitcher shouldn't need more than 7 runs. If Garza is really sore, he should 'fess up and sit out a start or two. If not, there's simply no excuse for the last two outings -- pitchers are allowed off days, but these two games have been way, way off.

  11. Don says:

    Garza is NOT sore or anything physical...
    Garza DOES have the mental capacity of a 3rd grader....ANY little thing...a home run, couple walks or a run scored... sets him off...you CAN see it!
    How are you going to teach him to be smarter?..he already knows HOW to pitch....Inconsistency will be his future UNLESS he can learn to handle small problems/adversity!

  12. ChuckInJax says:

    My sentiments exactly, GatorBuc. Why "Home Run Wheeler" is still in OUR 'pen is baffling to me. Still more baffling is why he is EVER involved in a tight game at all, let alone one of this import! Regardless of what happened in the first half of the game, we had a one-run lead which we wasted NO time in blowing. What is the fascination with Wheeler, anyway?!

  13. MJ says:

    - for all the bullpen bashing going on, let's not forget that Garza's latest blow up is the reason we needed to use our entire pen. You can't have a bullpen full of Soriano's and Benoit's.
    - Couple Crawford's ejection w/ last night's 9th inn snafus, and it seems like Crawford may be feeling the pressure of crunch time. While I dont think it was crazy to try and take 3rd, he does seem to be getting almost over-amped in this series.

  14. Dew says:

    Hey Joe. Didn't you say my man Dan wouldn't be a factor this year? I'll remind you tomorrow. 🙂


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