Joe Maddon announced (via Marc Topkin) that he expects all of his coaches to be back in 2011. Of course, that includes hitting coach Derek Shelton.

And we thought this week couldn’t get any worse.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Ken Rosenthal reports that Dave Martinez will interview for the Blue Jays managerial job. Still think Don Wakamatsu would be a great replacement if Martinez leaves. [Twitter]
  • Carl Crawford on his future: “I know it’s a high possibility I probably won’t be back next year.” Yes, Carl, we know. No need to twist the knife. [St. Pete Times]
  • Roger Mooney writes that the bullpen could have a big shake-up this winter. If we were to target one guy to bring back it would be Joaquin Benoit, but even that is going to be a longshot. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Evan Longoria is not the only Dirtbag in baseball. In fact, there are quite a few. Yeah, but Longoria is The Dirtbag. [Hardball Talk]
  • Those that will be back in 2011 are confident that the Rays can remain competitive. We’ll go on the record now, 78-84, fading late. [St. Pete Times]
  • The Bucs are starting to get a little banged up…By the way, did you guys see that Joe Theismann bought the Florida Tuskers of the UFL? [Joe Bucs Fan]
  • Local TV ratings for Rays games were up 77% this season. Only 6 more years until the Rays can cash in. [Twitter]
  • Those BRaysers are now available for purchase. Boy, they timed that one well, huh? [Tampa Bay Rays]
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12 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    You are really predicting a below .500 finish next year? Jeez, give a girl a little solace in the midst of a bad week!

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      :) well, I did say "fading late." I think this upcoming season could be a lot like 2009. Just close enough to tease us. But instead of adding pieces in July, i think they will be big sellers at the deadline as they gear up for 2012. August and September could be long months.

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      • Beth says:

        I think the other factor that will threaten a .500 season is that the other eastern division teams are likely to be as good or better. Yankees will buy Cliff Lee. Red Sox will have recovered from bizarre spate of injuries. Even the freakin' Orioles were looking strong down the stretch. And Toronto, even minus Burnett and Halladay, has young starting pitching that is scary.

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  2. Tone says:

    I am holding out hope that Shelton gets canned, but they do seem to do things that almost feel spiteful to many fans(Shoppach, Percy, Burrell). Man, if we lose Davey and keep Shelton.....well that would suck. Yup, I feel a thousand times worse than I did at the end of last season, at least I had reason to feel optimistic about baseball in 09. Switching back to low and bad expectations is hard; breaks my baseball heart.

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  3. Charles says:

    I think we just need to see how the team addresses needs. We can be fairly certain that LF production will go down, but there's room for offensive improvement at most other positions on the field.

    I think if the Rays are going to save money, this could be a viable lineup. While LF production is going to go down (Jennings may be the future but he's not close to Crawford yet), I feel like there's significant room for rebound from almost every other position on the field. The question is how much any rebound will offset the difference between Crawford and Jennings.

    C: Jaso
    1B: Johnson/Leslie Anderson
    2B: Rodzilla
    3B: Dirtbag
    SS: Brignac
    LF: Jennings
    CF: Upton*
    RF: Joyce
    DH: Zobrist

    (* I actually think Upton's not going to be here this year - just a gut feeling. If he's gone, I'd love to see them make a play for Tony LaRussa doghouse resident Colby Rasmus. I think the Rays have the prospects to get that done, though it might cost them someone like Garza as well)

    Anyway, I think this year more than most, what we can expect is very much dependent on the moves made in the offseason.

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    • bob says:

      This seems really accurate. In fact this is what I had. If Johnson doesn't work out, we can go to Anderson.

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    • Tone says:

      If that is our line up next year, then this team is .500, maybe a bit more. 2009 might look compared to 2011.

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      • Tone says:

        "good compared"

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      • Beth says:

        I'm afraid I agree with Tone here. The only way this yields something over .500 is if they trade for a hitter in the outfield, and if Leslie Anderson comes up big.

        I don't know why anyone thinks Ben Zobrist is a .290 hitter (which he achieved one year) and not a perennial .240 hitter (which describes just about every other year he's had in the majors). He plays a lot of positions well but none brilliantly. I think having Ben Zobrist as your utility guy makes you a very strong team -- having him as part of the core of your lineup means you are in trouble.

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        • BJ fan says:

          I agree Beth about ZoRilla, I think he played a bit over his head during his All Star year, there's a full book on him now as well so folks have an idea on how to pitch him. All that said I think he'll work harder at adjusting and righting himself than some of the other Rays in the past have including that BJ fellow whom I am a fan of.

          Speaking of BJ, if he is moved and they don't get a CF that can cover some real ground then i think this team is in trouble. If they can't hit then they sure as hell better be able to pitch and field. This was probably BJs worst season on D and CC played out of his skull on D, I have no confidence in Matt Joyce in RF. Maybe I'm wrong but I can't see how on earth the Rays can win anything without having at least 2 OFs covering some serious ground at the Trop(BJ and Des). I'm biased but... Also, my brother told me that the Rays were offered Oswalt for BJ straight up and declined it. I get that the Rays don't need pitching but they could flipped Oswalt for a pretty penny. If thats true then I do not see them giving up BJ now. Maybe that's wishful thinking but. And please don't jump on me for still liking BJ, I understand why a lot folks don't care for him and he deserves most of it.

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          • Tone says:

            Desmond Jennings could replace BJ in center if a trade were to happen. As far as Oswalt, he is not that good anymore and would get destroyed in the AL East. BJ should net some fine prospects, this is going to be a rebuilding year I think. They should have gotten Cliff Lee, Reid would have been worth a World Series to me. Now all they have is some unproven players and no World Series, I don't think it was an all in year, Lee would have been ours if that was the case. Start thinking about your .500 or worse Rays now, think 2010 Oakland A's for the 2011 Rays(if were lucky).

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  4. Gus says:

    So how do you sell season tickets based on this negative outlook? We're going to be worse because I need to make more money than I made last year when we were good? So this makes Tampa Bay a crappy baseball town. I just don't get it.

    We all agree that season tickets are the key business point that the Rays need to improve on (assuming they are locked out of the local TV contract). You need to keep the fan base enthused. A reason to believe. Unlike most fans, I actually think the offense could be better next year if they have the courage to reapply the Pena-CC-Burrell-Upton money (Total: $34M) in some reasonable fashion. 3 of those 4 guys killed us. But Sternberg needs to be such a whiner and come out with a plan. Tell people why we should believe. Rangers had lower payroll than us and got Cliff Lee. If Stu would actually give himself some budget flexibility and (THIS IS THE HARD PART FOR HIM) spend money at the trade deadline, this could be a playoff team.

    I actually think Zobrist will bounce back if his back gets right. There were times where he could barely field and run, and that's not him. After some rest, he looked good in the post-season, and was our most effective RH bat with Longo on one leg.

    Payroll isn't the begining or the end, but it would be nice to see some commitment. The rays were 23rd in attendance and 24th in payroll (or vice versa) To me, that means the fans held up their end of the bargain. If he brings us down to 31st in payroll, he should expect similar attendance unless they win a whole lot.

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