THE GOOD: Good Starts. When Sam Fuld just missed a home run as the leadoff hitter, it was a sign of good things to come. Each of the Rays first five batters picked up a basehit, leading to a 4-run first inning...Pity The Fuld That Messes With Sam. Another hit. But more importantly, 3 more walks. And that is where his value will ultimately be offensively. The hits will cool off. But if he can continue to work counts and get on base, there is a regular spot in this lineup for a guy like that…Making The Twins Work. Led by Fuld’s 3 walks, the Rays drew 9 all-together, making Twins pitchers throw a whopping 212 pitches. The Rays will win a lot of games if the opposing team has to work that hard.
THE BAD: BJ Upton’s Awareness. If we have ever had a complaint about Bossman Junior it is that he occasionally doesn’t seem aware of the importance (or lack thereof) of a particular situation. In last night’s game he took a called 3rd strike and proceeded to bitch at the umpire all the way back to the dugout. On the one hand, BJ was right. It was a bad call. But it was also 8-2 in the 8th inning and it was snowing. BJ needs to know that the situation calls for swinging the bat. The umpire has no time for your “patience.”
THE TELLING: It snowed during the game. Seriously. Snow. But for Twins fans, that just means they take their shirts off and eat some ice cream…Andy Sonnanstine pitched for the first time in 17 days…Jeff Niemann and Jeremy Hellickson will be the starters for today’s double-header…Dirk Hayhurst has gone on the DL for triple-A Durham…Dave Martinez manages to look even more homeless in cold weather.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- That “major” announcement from the Rays and the City of St. Pete? A college football all-star game is moving to the Trop. [TBO.com]
- To Sam Fuld’s pleasant surprise, the Rays included him on the All-Star ballot, with Johnny Damon moved to DH on the ballot. [TampaBay.com]
- Ferg’s is holding a Sam Fuld Look-a-Like contest tonight. [TampaBay.com]
- We mentioned this photo briefly over the weekend, but didn’t show it. Cowbell Clankers offers her thoughts on the Rays first themed road trip photo. [Cowbell Clankers]
- While Dirk Hayhurst is on the DL, he has more time to write. That means a new series on surviving in the minors. [DirkHayhurst.com]
- Tonight is the NFL Draft. If you are a Bucs fan, you should be checking Joe Bucs Fan early and often. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM @ Luisville: (ppd. rain)
- MONTGOMERY: Shane Dyer worked into the 7th inning, giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits and no walks…Matt Bush struck out the side in his 1 inning of relief…SS Tim Beckham was 1-6 but drove in 2…RF John Matulia had 2 hits and 5 RBI.
- Jupiter 6, CHARLOTTE 2: Jake Thompson tossed 2 scoreless innings, but was pulled with “tightness” in his elbow…SS Hak-Ju Lee continues his dominance of high-A with another 2-hit night. He is now 19-42 (.452) in 10 games since coming off the DL.
- South Bend @ BOWLING GREEN: (ppd. rain)
Kelly Shoppach will have some sore ribs today
How Johnny Damon and Sean Rodriguez spent their off-day
David Price interviews Wade Davis (via TampaBay.com)
Joe Maddon isn’t happy about today’s double-header (via TampaBay.com)