The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Jeff Niemann. The Giraffe worked an inning of relief, striking out all 3 batters he faced and reaching 96 on the gun. 11 of his 15 pitches were strikes and an outstanding 10 of those were swinging strikes. Was this foretelling of a relief role in October, or does it at least give Joe Maddon something to think about? On the other hand, his appearance didn’t come until the 11th inning, so it is not like Maddon had planned to give Niemann a look in relief…Dominance. The Rays finished the regular season with a winning record against every AL team except the Royals. And they split their games with the Royals.
THE BAD: It’s About The Ratings. The Rays will play at 1:30 on Wednesday and 2:30 on Thursday. Why the crappy timeslots? Because they aren’t the Yankees and because the Rays and Rangers wouldn’t draw nearly as many TV viewers nationally as the Twins and Yankees will…Long Stretch. With Evan Longoria sitting the weekend series, Wednesday’s ALDS game 1 will mark his first live action in 13 days. Let’s hope his return comes without the rust.
THE TELLING: Turns out the catwalks didn’t cost the Rays the division after all…On the year, the Rays were 4-2 against the Rangers, losing 2 of 3 in Texas back in early June and then sweeping them at The Trop in mid-August. The Rays were also 3-0 this season against probable game 1 starter Cliff Lee…According to CoolStandings.com the Rays have a 100% chance of winning the division.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays finished the season 96-66, one game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. After 162 games in 2008, the Rays were 97-65.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Don’t forget to check out the Morning Cup Of Joe over at Joe Bucs Fan. [JoeBucsFan]
- Evan Longoria talks about winning the division (Video). [The Heater]
- Andrew Friedman talks about how important it was to win the division (Video). [Bay News 9]
- JB Long has footage of the locker room slip-n-slide during the Rays celebration (Video). [Bight House Sports]
- Dominick Tao has footage of the Rays returning home to a celebration at the airport with more than a thousand fans… No word on whether Mayor Bill Foster tried to greet the team on the tarmac. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Topkin takes a look at how the playoff roster may shake out. [St. Pete Times]
- BJ Upton may bat second during the playoffs. [St. Pete Times]
- It is one thing when the national media slips up and says “Tampa Rays.” But it is something else entirely when the local media does it in a headline. And a bit ironic when it is on a story about how the city of Tampa celebrated the Rays: “City of Tampa celebrates “Tampa Rays Day.” [Bay News 9]
- Here is the entire postseason schedule. [Tampa Tribune]