Well, well, well. All is right Rays fans. Manny is working hard!

That’s the message Merlot Joe sent out to the fourth estate, a wagging of the finger at Rays fans, per the Twitter feed of perhaps the best Twitterer in the Rays media corps, J.B. Long.

As expected, Maddon not impressed by boos directed at Manny. Wants fans to know how hard he’s working to produce. If anything, pressing.

How Little League manager of you Joe!

Behave you nasty, vile Rays fans. Lay off Manny! He’s working hard!

Well, memo to Merlot Joe: Plumbers work hard too. What, are you going to sign a guy who is fixing your toilet to hit cleanup? Why not, he works hard!

Lest Merlot Joe forget, baseball is a results-oriented business. Would he really start a guy who is better off on the bench in Charlotte to start with the parent club because he worked hard? Come on!

Now granted, it may be a bit early for the boo birds to come out. Yeah, Joe’s disgusted as the next Rays fan that the team is 0-4. Guess what, so are the Red Sux.

Yeah, there was a glimmer of hope to take away from this game: the offense exploded for three runs on five hits. It’s a start.

Hey Joe, rather than worrying about how the fans react to a big-time free agent pickup of a cleanup hitter who isn’t even batting his IQ and can’t drive in any runs, you ought to forget about the damned wine for a change, get into the lab with that Stan Musial-like hitting instructor of yours, Derek Shelton, and pour over video until morning rush hour to figure how in the heck your team can manage a modicum of an offense.

If you don’t figure out the offense soon, those boo birds who were after Manny Bay Monday night will turn their ire towards you instead. It’s not like anyone has any burning confidence that Shelton will actually turn the bats around.



  1. Tone says:

    It does not matter what the other teams do; they need to show some life at the plate. I see bad things for this club. They just look flat. No spark. No magic. Burnt toast.

  2. Jason says:

    Derek Shelton needs to go, this is two years in a row, the offense inst that bad, he ruins good players…

    • Derek says:

      It’s Shelton’s fault Manny is going after every inside pitch? Or is Manny trying to prove his bat hasn’t slowed? Shelton sure hasn’t helped BJ, or Zobrist, those two look like scrubs up there. Home runs? Who needs Home runs. Rodriguez looked terrible last night.

      • raysfan137 says:

        It’s Shelton’s fault that for the past year Rays hitters have no pitch recognition, do not seem to have a strategy or an approach at the plate, and are constantly behind in the count. Read interviews from last season and then go read them from 2009. Especially look at quotations from Zobrist. When talks about what his approach or thought is going into an at bat in 2009, you can tell there is a strategy that has been discussed with Rays coaches. No sign of that in the way they played last year, nor so far this year. No mention of it in interviews. It doesn’t exist.

        Oct. 21, 2009 – A day that will live in Rays infamy. We hired Derek Shelton and gave him the title of hitting coach. Saw an article in Feb. 2010 that said “Shelton brings his passion for hitting.” Well I have a passion for American Idol, but I can’t sing. Derek, forget the passion, you were supposed to bring some actual HITTING. Please open a hitting school and make the motto: “We make hitting as simple as 1-2-3.”

        • Derek says:

          Hmm. I don’t buy into the idea that a hitting coach can somehow change an entire team’s approach in just one season. Baseball player’s are creatures of habit. Habits that got them to the majors. No way they will let some random guy change their game in under a year, if you feel last years team was effected, than you’re saying it took him a matter of months to change how many guy’s swings?, yet Crawford hit more home runs that he has ever hit, Longoria was second? in the league in doubles, and BJ hit his most home runs since 07. Maybe you think that guys like Jaso and Brignac are better than what we have seen. I don’t, but I am happy with being third in the AL in runs scored last year, and I don’t expect this team to be elite with anything other than their starting pitching.

          Interviews are kind of worthless. But if you want to talk about Zobrist and interviews, talk about when he mentions a back/neck problem that he suffered from last year, then look at how good he looks so far this season. Also, he gave credit to Shelton for helping him get his swing back, after he had developed bad habits because of the pain.

          These guys are who they are. Shelton can’t somehow make them better than that.

          Just look at the young guy’s minor league numbers and compare them to last year. What you see is nothing more than a slight drop off, which can be expected with rookies in the AL east. Although Rodriguez wasn’t a rookie, he switched divisions, and he saw a lot more RHP than he should have. Dan Johnson has never hit for average, Pena went from a .220 hitter to a .196 hitter. Is Pena’s batting average Shelton’s fault or is it because Pena hit twice as many ground balls as he did in 09?

          So, tell me, what has Shelton done wrong? Besides not letting you in on his super secret approach to hitting!!

          • raysfan137 says:

            Those who have never played baseball above high school often think a hitting coach just spends time working with individuals on their swing mechanics. They actually don’t do that all that much. Hitting coaches also set strategies, hit thoughts, and overall approaches for a team. These might be for a series/staff we’re facing or for a particular pitcher. For example, if you have a pitcher that throws about 3-1 strikes to balls, you might tell the team we’re going to attack every first pitch fastball tonight.

            As for interviews, I was giving you evidence of change in hit thought and strategy. Since we don’t sit in team meetings, we have to rely on evidence to judge what’s going on. I could just point to Zobrist and BJ’s stats over the last couple of years. I could also point to people who knock the cover off the ball elsewhere and the came here and forgot how to hit. But we all know those things. I’m giving you other evidence that Mr. Shelton is doing his job. Zobrist used to talk about he and Steve “discussed going to the plate looking for something hard to hit in the first pitch or two”. Haven’t heard anything like that since 2009.

            Finally, look at balls to strike ratios of opposing pitchers and notice if you see anything to indicate a different approach at the plate from our hitters. My guess is you won’t. If you do, let me know. I’m missing it.

            Finally, for all of you who keep referring to how long these guys have been playing baseball, and that don’t think a hitting coach can make that much of a difference I submit this. Why do the Rays pay for one, then ? We’re supposed to be so smart with our salaries but we have hitting coach just because ?

            Shelton’s job is hitting coach. He sucked at it in Cleveland and he sucks at it here.

          • raysfan137 says:

            By the way, not sure what you mean by “Dan Johnson has never hit for average”. He hit .303 in 98 games in Durham last year. John Jaso averaged .291 for his minor league career. I believe his AAA average was even higher. Do the math and I’ll be glad to continue hearing your opinion.

          • Derek says:

            Who are these mystery mashers who can’t hit here? Burrell? That guy couldn’t hit in 09 either. Hawpe? There’s a reason why he cleared waivers and was signed on a minor league deal. Shoppach? Knee injury. WHO ARE THESE MASHERS YOU SPEAK OF?????

            Dan Johnson has never hit for average at the MLB level. AAA is not the MLB. If you’re lucky, you face one quality pitcher a week in AAA.

            The book is still out on Jaso. I doubt he ever hits for average, and if you look at his minor league numbers, his high average years are in the low minors.

  3. KillaTapes says:

    Crawford’s hitting .133 with 1 RBI for Boston, Manny’s hitting .067 with 1 RBI. They’re both doomed (as well as their respective clubs) and should be booed accordingly. It’s now a 2 horse race between the Jays and O’s, no need to tune in or attend games from here on out, as the Rays and Red Sox will lose all 162 games played this year.

    This knee-jerk “journalism” is ridiculous. Now I remember why I vowed to skip the postgame and just wait for the good ole Hangover last season (you know, a season in which the Rays won the toughest division in baseball).

    • raysfan137 says:

      They deserve to be booed (sp?) because the fans get to decide who deserves to be booed. The fans pay Manny’s salary. Manny got a huge cheer when came the plate for the first time as a Ray. Did anyone ask why he deserved that. Yeah, it’s knee jerk journalism, a little. But it’s also a big sore spot from last season. We got excited because we signed a couple of guys who, even if they have mediocre seasons for them, bring something. They’re combined .067 and only then because JD got a luck hit off a tapper to the pitcher last night. People are frustrated because they catch heck all the time about not attending, etc. I go to the Trop every night and pay lots of money, for a product like this ? Most products at least have a 30 day money back guarantee.

    • Scot says:

      A great comment:

      And the Royals will run away with the Central division, the Mets have the NL East sewn up and of course the Padres can now coast to victory in the NL West. I’m glad we have other commentators who clearly see the future based on 4 data points.

  4. WeNeedOurStudsBack says:

    This is what happens when you lose your studs to free agency. Not only that, the team made the playoffs 2 out of 3 years and the fanbase seems flat.

    For the fanbase to boo a baseball player with only 4 games into a 162 game season is moronic. Are these people even baseball savvy? It takes some guys a month to get started. Same with pitching.

    I played baseball all my life in Florida, and I will be the first to tell you how boring it is early on. So it cracks me up when I see complaining just 4 games into a 162 game season. The games dont really start to count until well after the all star break anyway. If your team is out of it by then, well, its not your year.

    • raysfan137 says:

      All of the games count. They don’t weight the games based upon when they were played. It was our fast start last season that got us the AL East. Booing isn’t really cool ever. But fans are frustrated. I’m just glad to see some passion from the fan base. And as far as the fan base being flat, opening week attendance is up from last year.

      As for losing studs to Free agency: Soriano just blew a 4 run lead ( don’t think he did that all season for us), Crawford is 2 for 14, Carlos is day-to-day with a sore thumb. What other studs are you referring to ? This team wins through team work and ingenuity. Not with studs. They don’t have that right now. But they need to develop it and quickly.

  5. Sarah says:

    Do you mean they should “pore over” videos of hitters, or are you really encouraging them them to “pour” something (that Merlot you keep writing about) over the videos?

  6. CC says:

    As a paying fan you have the right or cheer or boo. Whatever the situation calls for. The offense for the most part deserves to get booed. They look totally lost at the plate. When they turn things around or should I say if they turn things around then they will be cheered. It’s part of the friggin game people. I pretty sure your not going to hurt the players feelings. And if you do , they need to play better. In my opinion the people that complain about the booing are the ones who’s feelings are hurt. Sports does not need to be politically correct.

  7. Don says:

    OH Gee…Booing is bad in sports…since when….
    Until the Rays get someone that can help them correct (hitting) problems…expect much of the same efforts we have got so far!
    I think Sheldon & Maddon are great…I just don’t know at what!

  8. CC says:

    Hey Joe instead of criticizing the fans, try telling you team to play better and your coaches to coach better.

  9. David says:

    Joe pisses me off. Where is the accountability on this team? Instead of telling us how hard the guys are working and how proud you are of the effort tell us instead how stupid mental mistakes and lack of hustle will not be tolerated and go kick some ass in the locker room.

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