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: The Great Pumpkin. Apparently Dan Johnson can produce against teams not named “Red Sox.” With 2 home runs last night, including a huge 2-run go-ahead shot in the 7th, one has to wonder if Johnson is playing himself on to the playoff roster…Surviving. James Shields struggled in the first four innings (7 hits), but he got a bases loaded double-play to end the first inning with only 1 run on the board. Then Matt Joyce saved Shields’ heiny in the 2nd by cutting down Austin Kearns trying to leg out a double. He finished with his best performance in a long, long time. Of his 117 pitches, Shields got 15 swinging strikes (12.8%). His season average to this point was 9.7%…Our Ticker. We have no idea how we will survive a potential Rays-Yankees matchup in the postseason. Sure both teams have to get by the Twins and Rangers, but it is hard not to feel like Rocky-Drago II is coming. ALCS 2010.

THE BAD: Der-ek Cheat-er. Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap. Listen, Jeter wasn’t the first player to act like he got hit by a pitch. That’s fine. But he had the nerve to have the trainer check his hand to make sure it was ok. We expect that crap from players like Alex Rodriguez and AJ Pierzynski. Not Jeter. Still, claiming something that didn’t happen is a part of baseball. If anybody deserves blame, it’s the ump that missed such an obvious call…Joaquin Benoit. Why is Ben-wah in the Bad? Because he had the nerve to pitch 3 straight days and not be available last night. And as much as we love The Mad Australian, Grant Balfour scares the shite out of us sometimes.

THE TELLING: Rafael Soriano’s strikeout of Alex Rodriguez gave him a team record-tying 43 saves…The ejection was the 16th of Joe Maddon’s career…David Price was moved up a day and will now pitch Saturday on normal rest. The Yankees also shuffled their rotation, so we will get Price-Sabathia II…Thanks to JB Long of Bright House Sports, we learned that in addition to players, teams can add a coach in September. That is why Don Zimmer is in the dugout during this homestand. Stan Boroski (asst. pitching coach) will be in the dugout on the road (thanks Ryan)…The Red Sox are only 6 games behind the Yankees and have 6 games remaining head-to-head.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 88-57, one-half game ahead of the Yankees and 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 145 games in 2008, the Rays were 88-57.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Dan Johnson on being clutch: “There is a calm that comes over me in those situations that I can’t really explain” (Video). [Sun Sports]
  • Joe Maddon on being ejected: “I was just trying to present logic” (Video). [Sun Sports]
  • Derek Jeter admitted to some “acting” during the controversial non-HBP. [St. Pete Times]
  • Carl Crawford on people that criticized his decision to tag up on Tuesday night: “To me, they are dumb people because if they watch us all year they would know that that’s what we do.” [St. Pete Times]
  • Here is a look at

    the Rays as a “Chernoff Face.” We previously saw something similar for Joe Maddon’s managerial tendencies (thanks Ryan). [Bay City Ball]
  • It’s your fault the Rays don’t score more runs (we don’t have enough space to go over how faulty this study is, for example, bigger markets sell more tickets, make more money, can buy better players, that score more runs). [Wall Street Journal]
  • Matt Klaassen takes a closer look at BJ Upton’s recent power surge. [Fangraphs]
  • Martin Fennelly examines Joe Maddon’s decisions in Tuesday’s loss. [Tampa Tribune]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Columbus 4, DURHAM 0 (Columbus leads 2-0, best-of-5): Aneury Rodriguez gave up 4 runs in 5 innings. Three came via solo home runs to put the Bulls on the brink of elimination.
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15 Comments

  1. Granddad says:

    Well, I guess I'm up earlier than the rest of the Rays' fans, so I get to comment first. "Noble victory!" I'm marking this down as Rays 4, Yuks TWO! I'm giving Cheater a 9 for acting and the umps a big Zip for thinking a ball hitting a bat sounds like one hitting a player's arm. I guess you could argue, if were not Joe Maddon, that the bat is an "extension" of the hitter, but where was the ump looking? We all suspect that they don't know where the strike zone is, but in reality, they don't even see where the ball is.

    Oh well, Dan the Man made the bad call and Joe's ejection just two for the video highlights. This guy promises to give us all many great memories. And how 'bout that ball boy - sign him up for shortstop.

    We win for honest, good baseball. The Yuks win an Academy Award nomination. The umps win my disrespect.

    Joe, give your better half a great night out. And a banana for the monkey.

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  2. Hal says:

    You can dance if you want to; but you can leave your friends behind; because your friends don't dance and if they don't dance then they're no friends of mine.

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  3. Dave says:

    Do you have a video of Jeter's theatrics? Thanks

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  4. Hal says:

    Am I the only one in favor of starting Jake McGee for the first game against the Yankees next week? One pitch, high and tight...

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  5. Sarah says:

    Dear Carl,

    Now that the NY media and the Yankees starting catcher have all called you a fool for your aggressive style of play, I hope it's clear to you that you don't belong in NY.

    Love,

    A Rays Fan

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  6. Tone says:

    That game was a rollercoaster, I was at both extremes of emotion so many different times. That is why baseball is better than other sports. Did anyone else notice that Wheeler was warming up for a little while in the 6th? I would like to think it was just a mind fuck for the players, like "you better get something going or I'm giving this game away" kind of thing. Dan Johnson, thank you sir!!!

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  7. Gus says:

    When guys can't hit anymore, they'll resort to desperate mmeasures. Using a different colored bat with cork in it (Sosa), wearing a golden thong (Giambi and his teammates), Mark Grace's slumpbusters. So I viewed Jeter's theatrics as the desperate measures of a desperate man in a horrible slump. But he gained first base at his long term peril, as that umpiring crew will get him back for embarassing them on national tv like that. Not to mention the instant karma of Johnson's HR.

    Truly an awesome series, with great crowds and playoff atmostphere.

    Giardi does not have the necessities to manage in a playoff series, as Al Campanis might say. Maddon outfoxed him most of the series, and in some cases, he was asleep. Not having anybody ready to face DJ the second time around inb the 7th, nursing a 3-2 lead was a happy surprise. Couldn't really believe it.

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  8. KillaTapes says:

    So sick of Maddon and his boneheaded mistakes costing this team wins. Worst manager in all of baseball!

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  9. Brok Flurgin says:

    Hey does anyone know where there may be a place where you can read the 'letters of apology" the League issues to teams? I always hear about them a day or two later.... "yeah the league said 'blah blah blah'" but where do you find these things?

    Cuz I swear to god you didn't even NEED to slow down that film you could hear the ball hit Jeter's bat.

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  10. Don says:

    I'm looking forward to Dan Johnson playing 1st base for the Rays next year.. so we can get some production from the position...cut the $10 mil man loose.. I'm sick of him...once a week home run man with 200 strike outs...trying to stay ahead of Upton for strike out king of the league!

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    • Tone says:

      Dan Johnson might end up being worse in the long haul, and he is not close to Pena on defense. If Pena takes a huge cut in salary then I am more than happy to wait for his bombs to come. Pena saves so many plays with his scoops from heaven, seen it too many times. When someone else plays 1st there is always fuck ups. He makes the whole infield look better.

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