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)