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: Jeff Niemann. Joe Maddon indicated earlier this week that he had already settled on his 4-man postseason rotation. The logical conclusion was that it would not include The Giraffe who had struggled since coming off the DL. But yesterday’s performance was more indicative of what we saw from Niemann earlier in the season when he was clearly one of the Rays 2 or 3 best starters. So did 4 hits and 1 walk against the Orioles in 7 innings do enough to change Joe Maddon’s mind about the postseason? We’ll find out soon…Free Stuff. During our worries about whether or not the Rays would be able to give away 20,000 free tickets on such short notice, several people told us not to underestimate the power of free stuff. They were not wrong. The Rays gave away the 20,000 tickets in less than 90 minutes and later announced a “sell-out” of 36,973. 

THE BAD: Not Exactly Murder’s Row. It is hard to get hits and score runs when the starting lineup includes six batters hitting under .240 and only one hitting above .270…The Effin’ Bat. On the same night the Rays were shutout on 3 hits, Pat Burrell hit another home run, this one a 3-run job in the Giants 3-1 win helping them maintain a 2-game lead. 

THE TELLING: As we speculated, the Rays did where their “BRayser” caps during last night’s game…Evan Longoria took batting practice on the field yesterday but will not play today…David Price will not start Sunday, but Joe Maddon said he will be used at some point this weekend. 

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 94-64, a half-game ahead of the Yankees. After 158 games in 2008 the Rays were 96-62. 

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA… 

  • If you give the Rays $100, it will guarantee you postseason tickets. [St. Pete Times]
  • Joe Maddon says the postseason rotation will depend on who the Rays’ opponent will be. [Tampa Tribune]
  • The local chapter of the BBWAA named Carl Crawford the Rays’ MVP and Wade Davis as the top rookie. Interestingly, Evan Longoria wasn’t even in the top 3 of the MVP voting. [St. Pete Times]
  • JP Peterson made an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show and did a great job of explaining the Rays poor attendance to Dan Patrick (Audio). [SI.com]
  • Buster Olney says some executives believe the Red Sox will pursue Carl Crawford…Wouldn’t CC in Fenway’s left field be kinda like storing a beautiful painting in a vault? A waste. [Twitter]
  • Somebody gets it! Will Leitch on Rays attendance: “They’re hardly alone. (The Reds and the Padres haven’t exactly been filling the stands during their playoff chases, either.) And the problems with the Rays’ attendance aren’t about having lousy fans, or distant management…it’s about location.” [New York Magazine]
  • The New York Times also sees other playoff contenders struggling with ticket sales and notes that attendance in baseball is way down this month. [New York Times]
  • Patrick Rishe also gets it. He wrote a piece explaining how important the location of a stadium can be to the success of a team. [Forbes]
  • Jon Paul Morosi says the Yankees shouldn’t try to win the division. [Fox Sports]
  • In the Center of the Roof writes about the excitement of the Rays clinching a postseason berth. [In the Center of the Roof]
  • Darren Rovell wrote a piece calling the free tickets a bad idea. He offers 5 other promotions the Rays should have done instead. Looking at the list, we still aren’t sure it is supposed to be a humorous piece. [Sports Biz]
  • SBN Tampa Bay takes a look at the emerging mix of athletes and social media. [SBN Tampa Bay]
  • Ronde Barber at Free Safety? [Joe Bucs Fan]

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27 Comments

  1. So ecstatic that Rays fans proved last night it was the economy keeping them from feeling the stands…but some people still say we shouldn’t have a team…what do these people want from us?! WE DON’T CONTROL THE ECONOMY!

  2. Sarah says:

    @evananddavid we got 36,000 to come watch a game and team only got 3 hits against mediocre pitching. How embarrassing!

    • d-money says:

      “WE” didnt get 36,000 to come out. They Rays had to beg 20,000 to come out with free tickets. That’s what’s embarrassing.

      Also Evan and David weren’t in the lineup last night.

      When It was time for David Price to put up or shut up the night before he pitched 8 shutout innings.

      • Beth says:

        I don’t think the point was to call out Evan and David, who just happened to be the public names attached to the “embarrassing” comments.

        It’s just ironic (and not in a good way) that these players made such a big deal about needing the energy of fans to play well. Whether those fans paid nothing or $1,000 for their tickets isn’t the issue – the Rays had a very enthusiastic crowd of energized fans, chanting and clapping to the last out.

        And yet their offense slept through the whole event.

        Embarrassing.

        • d-money says:

          Yeah you’re right winning 94 games and clinching the wild card the night before with a chance to win the AL East is pretty embarrasing.

          These guys suck.

    • Amanda says:

      Did you see what the other teams who clinched yesterday did, including the Yankees who are in the same battle as we are? I was upset last night, but I can give it a small pass. Yeah, I wish they did better in front of all those fans, but after 12 hours, I’m letting it go.

  3. Danny says:

    the value of the “free tickets” from last nite is approx $10-35 ea….if i had decided to use my tickets, which i did not, i would have probably drank more beer than normal and still spent the same amount i usually do – so i don’t just think it’s the economy or location….i think the large majority of fans hear “free” and forget all the other costs involved and just blindly flock to the stadium for a piss poor game against the O’s…am i calling SOME of the fans stupid? probably, but that’s unfortunately the case…

    as a season-ticket holder im upset at the giveaway in the first place…i enjoy only 15k in the stands, especially when we’ve all spent our money to go to the game…i had planned to go to the game and take my young son to his first Rays game but didnt want to be around 20k people who were too cheap to spend an extra $10 to go to a game…i know the economy is bad, but you can’t tell me that these people that went last nite didn’t pay to park, and didn’t buy concessions while they were there….if times were that hard they would have brought their food and parked a few extra blocks away to save on parking, taken their free ticket and enjoyed the game at no cost at all – but we all know that didn’t happen!!!

    but, there will be no freebies in the playoffs, but somehow the stands will be full (yet the economy will still be crappy)….so all you fickle Rays fans who only go to “free” games or playoff games, get on Stubhub to get gouged by myself and others selling you our extra tickets, and GO RAYS!!!!

    (glad i got that off my chest)

    • Beth says:

      I for one was moved to read the newspaper accounts of unemployed and lower income fans who would not otherwise get to see a game. People stood in line, first in hot sun and then in pouring rain, to secure a ticket that might have otherwise cost $18. I don’t think you do this if you are just “too cheap to spend a few dollars.”

      Danny, your claim that you won’t take your son to a game at which the “riff raff” show up is kind of sad. Sure, it’s “nice” to have the stadium to yourself, but that’s not what baseball is about. If you want to be around a few thousand well-off folks, I’d suggest you think about opera tickets.

      • Danny says:

        Beth – “riff raff” is your term, being too cheap doesn’t make someone “riff raff” – just makes them cheap….i think i implied that SOME of the fans are stupid (regarding their decision to jump at free tickets – yet spending money on parking/concessions)….not that they were lower crust individuals that i wouldn’t associate with – my implication was that because my son is only a month old, i didn’t want to expose him to a large crowd – and it just so happened that the game i wanted to take him to, the Rays decided to have this giveaway in response to a couple orchestrated comments by their two stars –

        i’ve sat many a night next to people that you may consider “riff raff” and have somehow survived, but that wasn’t the problem i had….again, not juding their character, but their intelligence….

        why dont you read the post again instead of making uneducated comments in response to my post….maybe an original thought of your own for a change???

        thanks for making me appear as though i’m well off and only like the company of those types of people….easy to see what gets you off….thanks again…and btw, i hate the opera….

        GO RAYS!!!!

        • Beth says:

          Danny, if your son is 1 month old he’s as likely to catch a cold from 15,000 as from 35,000. But I did misinterpret your earlier post – it did sound as though you were saying you didn’t want your son to be exposed to people “too cheap” to buy a ticket. Indeed, you wrote: “i had planned to go to the game and take my young son to his first Rays game but t didnt want to be around 20k people who were too cheap to spend an extra $10 to go to a game” — which implies that you would have happily taken him to see a game in which those 20,000 people had paid full price!

          So before you criticize me, why don’t you re-read what you wrote – you didn’t explain yourself very well.

  4. Rumpy says:

    Speaking of postseason tickets, has anyone been notified if they were chosen for the lottery??? It say on the Rays website that lottery winners can begin to purchase tickets starting tomorrow but I haven’t seen any email saying I won or didn’t win. Anyone else? Thanks

  5. MJ says:

    Yea that’s sports biz piece was either a failed attempt at being funny or failed attempt at being logical.

  6. MJ says:

    Also, I really don’t want to see DJ playing any other position than 1B.

  7. Beth says:

    Re: Forbes article: the author might “get it,” but a guy who writes an article about the importance of location and team branding should at least fact check before talking about the “Tampa Rays!”

  8. Danny says:

    Beth – the next time there are 20k in attendance for a weekday Orioles game will be the first….i had only hoped to take him w/ us since those games have never been well attended and dealing w/ a larger crowd would have been tougher on myself and his mother as it pertained to feeding/changing him…again you make the assumption i want less people to be there so he doesn’t get sick – but wrong again….make sure you respond to this email as im sure you’ll need to have the last word in all this since you obviously know better than I as to why I didn’t want to take him to a well attended game and whether my opinion is right or wrong….

    also, Beth, a curious question as i’ve been privleged to read many of your posts – are you always this bitter/ornery???

    • The BIZ says:

      Its absurd to want less people at baseball game. Go to the tampa yankees game or USF baseball then. give me a break. complaining that theres too many people at a professional baseball game.

      • Danny says:

        not complaining about more people and would never “want” less people at the games, really…was just a little perturbed at the late notice re: the giveaway…obviously it’s more fun when the games are well attended, not to mention the Rays record is near perfect in those games – but when I plan to go to a game with an elderly grandparent or young child I choose games that aren’t well attended – and in this case those plans had to be changed because this awesome idea was very slow to materialize – had they announced it weeks in advance i would have known to make other plans and go either Mon/Tue – hope that clears it up….

        GO RAYS!!!!

        • The BIZ says:

          so a week in advance you knew there would be 15k on the last day of the season. You were speculating. If you wanted a sure thing 15k crowd than I repeat go to tampa yankees or St pete college baseball game. But it sounds to me you just feel like complaining.

          • Danny says:

            sounds like the Rays knew there were only 15k sold as they advertised 20k free tix…any moron knows how many tix are avail for a weekday game against the O’s – and yes, i did feel like complaining….i’m a PAYING customer and do have that right…your opinion is noted…

          • The BIZ says:

            guess you and nana and the kids wont be going to the playoff games

          • Danny says:

            i’ll be at all the playoff games….momma and little man will be staying home for those games…was just hoping to get one game in for him before next year and it just so happened the Rays gave away the tix that day….not that big a deal, but worth bitching about a little since my plans didn’t work out….a little back and forth banter is healthy for the soul – guess i over embellished the whole thing, but that’s ok…

            GO RAYS!!!

          • The BIZ says:

            No offense danny but if 15k is a requirement for nana and the little guy to go to a game, wll than i hope they dont go all year next year. Good luck, I will be there too. Go RAYS!

  9. Namirsolo says:

    It’s b.s. that Evan wasn’t voted MVP. Yes, CC is a good player, but he is not as good as Longoria and hasn’t contributed as much to the team this year as he has. All of Longo’s stats are better, not only sabermetric stats (and btw, his WAR is WAY higher). I’m thinking they gave him this award because he’s been on the team for so long and will be leaving now.
    That said, he’s definitely the best choice after Longoria, so I guess I should be happy they didn’t give it to Jason Bartlett or someone again.

    • d-money says:

      To quote are beloved coach from the team across the bay…”stats are for losers.”

      CC is the MVP of this team…. If not him it’s MFIKY…if not him it’s David Price…then after all of them it might be Longo but only if he cuts his mullet.

      • Namirsolo says:

        okay, so since they FEEL he is a valuable player, then he is? It doesn’t matter whether he actually is a more valuable player or not. I get it.

  10. Tampa should have been supporting the rays all season, but the Tampa economy is bad.

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