Joe used to think it was easier to accept a thorough beating than losing a close game.

Joe has changed his mind.

The two humiliations the Rays and Joe Maddon have endured in these playoffs is like no fan-related pain Joe has endured in a long time. The Rays are out of synch in all phases of the game.

The red flags were there when they had atrocious performances in must-win games against Baltimore and Kansas City, but even cynical Joe thought they could flip a switch come playoff time (minus James Shields, whose switch shorted out long ago).

But the Rays are horrendous right now. They’ve scored one run in their past three home games after today’s 6-0 clobbering by the Rangers. The maddening Maddon system is failing. Nearly the whole team is flat. So much for all those days off during the season to be ready in October. Phhhh!

Joe’s at a loss for words that don’t start with F.

The only hope for Joe is that this season is so bizarre that it wouldn’t be shocking if the Rays brought a Game 5 back to the Trop.

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35 Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    I agree with you on this one Joe. I thought I left this kind of suffering behind at Shea with the Mets. As of right now this may be one of the best choke jobs I have ever seen AND this as close to the fix being in with the Umpires that I have ever seen. Luckily, the Rays are bailing out the umps with poor play.

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  2. D-Rome says:

    I can read lips and after that 3-run HR James Shields said "un-fu*king-believable". I don't blame him. I mean, that bullsh*t non-call on the check swing setup that 3-run blast. I don't think Shields should have been the starter today but leave it up to Joe Maddon to try and make the rest of us think he knows something we don't. That one call killed us.

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  3. Stephanie says:

    I don't know what to say. This offense is ****ing pathetic.

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  4. Brett says:

    So we get that call and they don't get a three run dinger. Then what? We magically beat them by scoring ZERO F#*(&NG RUNS!? We cannot hit. Screw this team, screw Joe Maddon. Screw platooning everyday players and effectively making them cold. I'm so angry right now.

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  5. Gus says:

    Wait till next year. Oh no, the rich guy from New York wants another yacht and won't spend money on a closer for 2011, so next year is actually several years away. Crap.

    Especially painful to see Josh Hamilton out there after all the D-Rays organization did to save his life, to see him plying his trade elsewhere because of a front office snafu just hurts. Please Carl, whatever you do, just end up in the National League. I can't stand to watch you come back and beat us.

    To paraphrase John Lennon, Imagine a baseball universe where your team starts its best players, where arbitration clocks and innings loads are put off while you have home field advantage to the world series. Imagine an OF of CC-Joyce-Jennings, an IF of Longo-Barty-Brignac/S-Rod-Zobrist, Jaso catching Hell-boy. That was the best team they have; but imagine further a universe where an owner in town for the trade deadline comes on TV to talk about improving the team, but in this universe he actually improves the team by spending $, not teasing his fan base and then, as usual, doing nothing.

    Finally, consider that the Rays fan base spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $40M on tickets, millions more on concessions, parking and gear, fell in love with these guys, and then got this for the playoffs. Go down with your guns blazing, best guys, who can argue. Cliff lee is some kind of witch. That's sports. But to go down this way, with Shields, Shoppach, Upton flailing away is deeply unsatisfying and disappointing.

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  6. Don says:

    Some times its hard to be humble....but some time ago I wrote:
    "Maddon is like a new comer in a card game..he keeps winning and winning even though he doesn't know what he is doing..and nobody knows why....BUT before the game is over, skill kick in for other players... and he (Maddon) loses all his money"
    Well boys and girls...Maddon just lost his ass....the losers are the Rays as a team.... and the fans who support the moron!

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  7. Brett says:

    Also. You hit the nail on the head with this line, Joe:

    "The two humiliations the Rays and Joe Maddon have endured in these playoffs is like no fan-related pain Joe has endured in a long time."

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  8. cubfanraysaddict says:

    Anything is better than the crap you've been writing. I used to really like this site, now with Joe's pieces it's like the Heater.

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    • Joe Rays Fan says:

      Amazing how Joe's short postgame feelings have ruined your experience. Your sensitivity is a gift.

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      • cubfanraysaddict says:

        Your being able to talk Cork into letting this crap ooze onto his website is amazing, this type of emotion based 'reporting' (commenting? word vomiting?) is better for a 16 game season than 162. Hey i'm going to make a bunch of claims with no backing and do a couple of word plays, journalistic gold! I hope you starve in a buffet line behind Topkin (j/k obviously, I do like JBF though, b/c i'm more of a casual Bucs fan and it suits that style).

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        • Joe Rays Fan says:

          Opinion on a blog? You make it seems like that we're inventing the wheel here. Sit with any Rays fan after every game and you're going to get emotional commentary. Yet you despise it here? Joe's not here to write Xs and Os. Maybe next year. Joe did umpire and play the game on many levels.

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          • cubfanraysaddict says:

            baseless opinions on a blog that belongs to a normally respectable commentator.

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  9. I almost cried when Crawford grounded out to second in the 8th inning, his last at bat in a Ray's uniform at Tropicana Field. The end of an era. When they turned the cameras on the Ray's dugout you could see it in their faces. It looked like a funeral. The crowd was probably unaware, its a shame he couldn't have gotten a standing ovation or some thing. I hope I'm wrong. I just watched the Red Sox comeback in 2004 on 30 by 30 on ESPN, interesting note, Gabe Kapler was on that team. Go, Rays!

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    • Namirsolo says:

      I did cry. And the crowd did give him a standing O.

      The sad part for me is that for three years the Rays were the David to the Red Sox and Yankee's Goliath. They fought. But next year will most likely be an entirely different story. I just wish these three years could have included a championship.

      Longoria is on the team for possibly another six years. If the team can't get him a ring by then, he'll end up being the next CC (and maybe he would anyway, who knows).

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  10. robert says:

    More errors than runs-- now that's pathetic. The letdown today was allowing Shields to start. No team can get "up" behind a pitcher who you just know it's a matter of time with. I'm glad Hellickson is rested for next year because that's just about where we are now, NEXT YEAR! Fire Maddon, while you're at it.

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  11. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Again, This game just sucked. Thank God theirs an off day tomorrow.

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  12. Jim says:

    Almost don't know what to say about that loss... I couldn't talk to anybody for about two hours after that deflating loss. I don't hold hopes for coming back, but I would like to see us at least win one in Texas to see us save some face.

    I remember after the WS, the most frustrating part was thinking: On a stage when the most people are watching, those viewers didn't see the same Rays team I watched all year. I don't think I can say that this year, we have seen this offense way too many times this year. And let's be honest, the pitching and defense hasn't been up to what we expect, but the offense is what has killed us.

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  13. Caity says:

    I honestly started crying after that three run homer. I didnt even want to eat dinner after that. Today was painful, it was like seeing a relative die, too painful.

    Anyways, I still think we have a chance, Maddon made me mad today yes, But he's still our manager and while we don't give him enough credit, he did get us to the postseason.

    We still have a chance, not a big one, but anything is possible. We just have to belive in this team like we did in 08.

    Im trying to be postive since everyone's being negative right now. I doubt we can come back from a 2-0 defict. But crazier things have happened.

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  14. Edward says:

    Ill say it again. FIRE SHELTON

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    • Brian says:

      Edward is 100% right - Shelton needs to get the boot. When have our hitters ever made in-game adjustments? I flew halfway accross the country for this garbage. It is a shame the Rays didn't give the fans enything to cheer about. It is going to be a long winter.

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  15. JD says:

    Caity,

    The team has to believe in themselves, and they don't.

    Let's not talk like next year can be better. Sure, we'll have Longoria. But losing key players and the owner cutting payroll, it'll be years before we see the post season again. And what is the real value of this team with a sorry stadium and poor attendance even when the team is good.

    I smell a departing team.

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  16. Cork's Dad says:

    Well, son, I did mention they needed to kick it up a notch after the Baltimore and KC series'. So far they've been going the wrong direction. If you want to win, as you know, you have to show that you really want it. You have to win convincingly, or lose tough. Well .... no excuses, guys. Just show us whether you want to win, or not. We'll still love you if you show us some heart. We'll be back next year, IF you show us you want it.

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    • Namirsolo says:

      Yeah, Hamilton was making some awesome plays in the outfield that ordinarily would have been base hits. And it just made me think "Wow, the Rangers really want this." Nothing from the Rays so far has shown me that they do.

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  17. atrain3 says:

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF :-/

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  18. Tone says:

    Go to www.draysbay.com, there you can find stats that show how we really won the game and how Shields is a great pitcher. They also have informative ways on kissing the asses of Sternberg and Friedman while performing a "reach around" on Joe Maddon.

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    • Joe Rays Fan says:

      Go to http://www.draysbay.com, there you can find stats that show how we really won the game and how Shields is a great pitcher.

      Joe's been waiting for some stathead to try to claim Toronto was a better team than the Rays because that's what "the numbers" say. Looks as though someone is thinking the same thing. :)

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      • Gatorbuc15 says:

        I'm senseing a rivalry between sites here.
        Just a little.

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        • Rytor says:

          I don't think there should be. Both have good coverage of the Rays, and each have different formats. There's not really much to compare and compete about.

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  19. stunna says:

    The good news is that we have Matt Garza up next, followed by Wade Davis who has performed very well as of late. The bad news is that it's a moot point, because are offense is terrible.

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  20. Andrew says:

    It's amazing how many of you will line up to take a dump on Maddon. He has his flaws like most managers. Unfortunately for Maddon his flaw may be an innability to give his team that killer instinct that wins the playoffs and the series. Some of the garbage being spoken here is too funny.

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    • Amanda says:

      The garbage you speak of ... what about it isn't true? Or, at least, if they are opinions, what part of them aren't at least valid? So if someone's opinion doesn't match yours, it's garbage? People can't have a difference of opinion?

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      • Andrew says:

        The garbage I speaketh of is how people will turn their comments to a personal and almost hateful level of Maddon. They aren't going against his decisions or strategy it really is against him. It seems apparent in certain comments online as well as the callers on talk radio.

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