The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: Bongo Power. We can talk about a lot of good things that happened last night, including Johnny Damon’s first homer with the Rays, BJ Upton’s big single or Dan Johnson’s go ahead home run in the 9th inning. But we are going to give credit where credit is due: to Baby Prof and her Bongos. She wore her new Rays cheerleading outfit and banged on her bongos, promising good luck. And good luck happened. Hey, they can’t be any more annoying than cowbells, right?

THE BAD: Curses. On the same day that Manny Ramirez retires due to a failed drug test, Pat Burrell received his ring for winning the World Series last year. We mentioned this at the end of yesterday’s post on Manny, but considering who the Rays have employed at DH, maybe the position is cursed. And maybe it is time to move to the NL…Out Of Options. It is unfortunate for the Rays that Manny refusd his suspension even if he doesn’t ever want to play again. If he had accepted the suspension, he would have been eligible to return July 28. If the Rays are in the pennant race, his bat would have been a nice boost to the offense for the final two months. By choosing retirement, this is no longer an option, even if Manny changes his mind. If Manny seeks reinstatement at some point, he will still have to serve his suspension. So why not serve the suspension, and then see how he feels at the end of July?

THE TELLING: The Rays scored more runs in this game (9) than in their first 6 games combined (8). And when the Rays took the lead in the 9th inning, it end a streak of 62 consecutive innings without ever holding a lead. That is a big league record to start a season…Sounds like the Rays will opt to upgrade the defense at first base over left field. The Rays are leaning towards a regular lineup of Casey Kotchman at 1B, moving Dan Johnson to DH, and leaving Johnny Damon in LF…So, should the people that booed Manny Ramirez at the Trop still “go to hell” as one hack stipulated? Or is it OK to boo Manny now? We’re curious. What do the booing police say?… Kelly Shoppach is day-to-day with knee soreness, after having to be removed from last night’s game.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Whatever the opposite of “Murderers Row is, that’s what the Rays lineup is right now without Manny Ramirez and Evan Longoria…There is a lot being written about Many Ramirez’ Hall-of-Fame credentials. We wonder if Manny even cares. He doesn’t strike us as a guy that cares too much what others think. And we would be surprised if even knows where the Hall of Fame is located. If baseball ever had an Idiot Savant, it was Manny. A moron that could wield his wooden sword with as much ferocity and accuracy as anybody that ever played.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • If you missed it, we added several updates to our post on the Manny Ramirez retirement. [Manny Ramirez Retires]
  • It didn’t take the Rays long to cancel their May 29 Manny Ramirez bobblehead giveaway. It was erased from the promotion schedule within a couple of hours of Manny’s retirement yesterday. [TB Rays]
  • Jonah Keri thinks the Manny Ramirez retirement might push the Rays to just give up on 2011, trade some veterans and look to the future. [Fangraphs]
  • Joe Posnanski on Manny Ramirez’ retirement, which brings up an interesting point. As Rays fans, we saw Manny play in 5 games, start 4 and have a single single. Should we even care about Manny’s legacy, or is it ok to go back to hating him? [SI.com]
  • Gary Shelton calls Manny Ramirez “One Giant Disappointment.” [TampaBay.com]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM 5, Gwinnett 3: Desmond Jennings was 2-5 including a go-ahead RBI single in the 12th. He also added his 2nd stolen base. Justin Ruggiano added 2 singles and 2 walks in 6 plate appearances. Robinson Chirinos was 0-5 and is 0-9 in 2 games. Dirk Hayhurst started and worked 5 innings, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on  5 hits, with 3 strikeouts and no walks.
  • Birmingham 7, MONTGOMERY 2: Chris Archer made his debut in the Rays organization, giving up 2 runs in 4 innings on 6 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 3. Tim Beckham went 2-4 with a double.
  • Bradenton 13, CHARLOTTE 0: Alex Colome lasted just 1.2 inning, giving up 7 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks.
  • BOWLING GREEN 12, Dayton 5: Derek Dietrich continues his hot start to the season with 3 hits, including 2 doubles.



Joe Maddon on Manny Ramirez (via TampaBay.com)


Johnny Damon on Manny Ramirez (via TampaBay.com)

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15 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Cork,

    I just thought you should include Luke Bailey’s performance in the minor league section. He is a 20 propsect and is a big-time break out candidate.

    Yesterday, he went 4-4 with a homer, a double, a walk, and four rbis after going 1-3 the day before.

  2. Jim says:

    Are you really now saying booing a player’s performance after a few games was justified because later he turns out to be a liar and cheat? I’m sure we would all boo him now, but with just cause, not like spoiled brats.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Actually no. I said I had no problem with fans booing Manny at the time. He had already disappeared from the team once. He hadn’t done anything productive and some fans felt he was underachieving. Something was going on and Manny wasn’t being Manny.

      You can disagree with the booing. But those fans had every right to boo. Paying for the tickets was all the “just cause” they needed. And now, those fans are COMPLETELY vindicated.

      • Jim says:

        I guess we will have to agree to disagree then. But I don’t see any way a later event has any impact on how poorly the fans reacted to a slow start by one of the Rays players. They were not booing his character at that time, but the strikeouts. To me it just shows how spoiled the Rays’ fans have become in a very short time.

  3. Kelley says:

    Baby Prof. is precious! Can you get her to play the bongos at 4 this afternoon as well?

  4. MJ says:

    Good: Johnny Damon stepping up after his speech and the manny fiasco. Sam fuld’s defense.

  5. Sarah says:

    The bad: the 2010 version of James Shields returns!

    Also, while I get your point about having Manny available after he serves the suspension, isn’t there something to be said about just washing our hands of him? And if he’s stupid enough to get caught a second time, what’s to say he’s smart enough to be clean when he comes back?

    But don’t mean to dwell on the negative. We’ll take the win. I have to confess I didn’t see the 5 run 9th — I bowed out a few innings earlier, convinced that with this team a 3-1 deficit might as well be 30-1. How nice to be proven wrong! And the first save opportunity of the year was actually saved by our new sort of closer, too, although it wasn’t pretty watching the relievers before him give up runs.

  6. Brian says:

    I was at the game last night and walked out of gate 2 after the 8th inning. Please shoot me in the head.

  7. Carey says:

    I just have an issue with booing your own.

    1. It’s what I EXPECT from front-runner, pu–y-ass, entitlement Yankee fans.
    2. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING POSITIVE, that can come of it.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Fans have been booing their own forever. You may not like it, and that’s fine. But it has happened. It will happen somewhere today. And it will keep happening til the end of time.

      But in this case, was Manny really “one of our own.” He was playing in just his 4th game with the Rays. He had one hit. He never even played in a game the Rays actually won. All his glory was in other places. And his biggest glory came with the hated Red Sox. And if someday Manny goes into the Hall of Fame, he sure as hell isn’t going to be wearing a Rays cap.

      While you may argue that none of that matters and that it only mattered that he was wearing the Rays uni that night, others will disagree with you. For some, a player has to earn his way, and Manny had done nothing to earn his way with the Rays. And he never will.

      • MJ says:

        As soon as he puts on that Rays uniform then, yes, he is one of our own, IMO. I don’t agree w the booing of course, and I don’t think I’ve ever booed one my own team’s players (ok, maybe in a drunken rage at a Bucs game once). I think booing a team or coaching staff to communicate displeasure with a call or strategy might be the only reason I would (ie 4-1 at the 50 yrd line and they punt), but to boo an individual for a poor performance, especially when they have proven to be one of the best hitters of our time, means you are a little to invested as a fan. And if it makes you feel better about yourself, then thats a whole other issue. I don’t feel someone needs to earn my respect when it comes to athletes, because it’s just entertainment at the end of the day and I don’t know them personally.

        • Alex says:

          Exactly it is entertainment. That’s why fans have every right to boo. When a player is getting paid to do something and they don’t they can be booed (burrell, manny etc…)

          • MJ says:

            Interesting, good point. I guess I have a hard time booing someone who I believe is trying hard to do something successfully and failing at it. I just put myself in their shoes and think about what it would feel like.

        • Don says:

          YOu sir don’t understand entertainment, please tune into Big time wrestling…they will give you an idea HOW fans react to entertainers…
          and it doesnt matter who wins or loses…bad guys or good guy the Fans ARE ENTERTAINED and the athletes are PAID…That IS Professional sports!

  8. David says:

    Any chance Chirinos comes up to if Shoppach goes on the DL?

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