The fancy white board in the Maddon-Friedman cone of statistics silence in the bowels of the FruitDome has got to get a big red line right through James Shields’ name.

Hopefully, Shields made it easy, after getting bombed by the Royals tonight, for the Rays’ scientists to see what’s painfully obvious to even Shields’ biggest fans — and Shields himself.

He’s 0-4 in September. He’s lost all confidence. He was a good pitcher once upon a time.

It’s got to be over. But Joe surely wouldn’t bet money on it. There will be no verdict until he’s vetted by the computer, even though he effectively tanked a playoff game tonight in Kansas City.

Oh, and the rest of the Rays didn’t show up, either.

It’s all part of what has made 2010 so wacky. There’s no real logic to the Rays having piled on so many runs this season when they can’t hit .250, yet they’ve got 94 wins.

Ownership repeatedly says 2010 is the last big-money hurrah for a while, but Jeremy Hellickson sits on his hands to make sure he’s healthy in 2012. That’s like Joe passing on a Buccaneers cheerleader tonight so his back is in top shape to put up the Christmas tree.

How fitting it will be to have Andy Sonnanstine pitching for home field advantage tomorrow. Andy Sonnanstine!

There might not be enough beer in Sweetbay to get Joe through tomorrow night.

But Joe still has faith in the final outcome. Somehow, some intelligent design got Rays Nation to this point, and that’s about all that’s out there now to hang a hat on.



  1. Jim says:

    Joe, I'm disappointed that when you mentioned a Buc cheerleader you didn't use that opportunity to post a pic of Rachel. You're better than that...

  2. Rumpy says:

    "That’s like Joe passing on a Buccaneers cheerleader tonight so his back is in top shape to put up the Christmas tree." Probably your best line so far this year. Pure brilliance.

  3. Tone says:

    Yeah, the hitters are really good this year. Shelton is a mad scientist. His ability to channel the best out of each hitter is amazing and the mid-game adjustments he helps hitters with are Fan-Fucking-Tastic! This line-up is scary like a Casper kid's Halloween costume bought at Walmart. Boo!

  4. Don says:

    I really didn't think the Rays had given up UNTIL I looked in the paper and seen Andy (softball) Sonnenstein as "starting pitcher"....Hellboy/Davis/Price/Niemann being saved for big and better things?
    Can ANYONE think of something bigger/better than winning the AL east in baseball???
    I'll always be a Rays fan but my patience, along with many fans, have just about had it with Maddman's philosophies!

  5. Brian says:

    The Rays have lost their fire. This team hasn't played with a sense of urgency in a few weeks. If the Rays have played .500 ball in Sept. we would have already won this division. It is starting to feel like fall in Minn. and the temperature will probably be in the 40's on Wednesday night. We all remember how well the Rays played in a cold Philly back in '08. Our only saving grace is the fact that Minn and the Yanks are both playing awful. I hope the Red Sox can take 2 of 3, but with Wakefield throwing and Beltre out of the lineup, we may have just lost the division.

  6. AndyC says:

    Don't know about Intelligent Design, but we sure could use a Big Bang tonight!!! Only thing resembling such has been our hopes for something bigger/better - like someone stabbed a dirigible w/a big pin!! 🙁 I would have thought giving HellBoy a chance to regain some confidence tonight would be a secondary benefit to having a quality arm on the mound, but what do I know? 🙁


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