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: Evan Longoria. It is nice to once again have a legit big league all-star-caliber bat in the lineup. Dirtbag is just fun to watch. And last night’s double and home run were sorely missed in April…Cesar Ramos. Just when it looked like the Indians were going to blow the game wide-open, Joe Maddon turned to Ramos in the 4th with 2 on and only 1 out. Two pitches later, Ramos had a double-play ball and killed the rally. He then pitched a scoreless 5th inning…Matt Joyce. His home run in the 4th tied the game, and then his double in the 6th tied it again. Oh yeah, and Sweet-swingin’ Matty is now leading the AL in hitting at .356.

THE BAD: Andy Sonnanstine. It started ugly (3 straight hits including a HR). It got better (he somehow survived the 1st giving up just 1 run and retired 7 of 8). But then it ended just in the nick of time before the floor gave way (of the last 7 batters he faced, 4 walked and 1 hit a HR)…Dan Johnson. Enough already. It is mid-May and the Rays’ DH is hitting .122 with 1 home run and 3 RBI after yet another 0-4 night…The Professor. Yep, me. I was a baseball player and as such was as superstitious as anybody. That is to say, a lot. But I also know that there may actually be a relationship between a player’s beliefs and what happens on the field. On the other hand, it is silly to ever think that what one says or writes as a fan has any effect on the outcome of a game (e.g. talking about a no-hitter). But we can’t help but feel a little responsible when Kyle Farnsworth walks in the winning run, just hours after we wrote about how the bullpen might not be as good as we think. My bad.

THE TELLING: Sean Rodriguez started at shortstop…Johnny Damon did not start, but made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning…Sam Fuld’s home run in Fenway Park earlier this year is still the shortest home run in the big leagues this season (323 ft)…BJ Upton wants to serve his suspension Thursday and Friday.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Is Joe Maddon hinting that Reid Brignac is about to lose his everyday job? [TampaBay.com]
  • And would Joe Maddon actually use a consistent lineup? We are skeptical. [TBO.com]
  • Rafael Soriano is having an MRI on his elbow today. That can’t be good. [Twitter]
  • If you ever wondered, who was the guy that bought that one Brian Stokes jersey back in 2007, here is the answer. Taken before one of the recent games in Baltimore, THAT is a diehard Rays fan (thanks Jason). [Image]
  • So, according to the Rays, size DOES matter. [IMAGE]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM 2, Indianapolis 1 (11): Edgar Gonzalez went 7, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks…LF Justin Ruggiano had 2 more hits in 6 at bats including the game-winner in the bottom of the 11th…RF Brandon Guyer was 1-5 and CF Desmond Jennings went 0-3 with a walk…C Robinson Chirinos was back in the lineup and went 2-5.
  • MONTGOMERY 2, Chattanooga 1: Matt Moore struck out 7 and walked 4 in 6 scoreless innings. He allowed just 2 hits, both singles…Matt Bush struck out 2 in 2 innings, but did blow a 1-0 lead in the 8th inning…SS Tim Beckham was 1-4 with a pair of RBI.
  • Brevard County 7, CHARLOTTE 0: Alex Colome gave up 3 runs in 5 innings, walking 5 and striking out 5…Jake Jefferies had 2 of the Stone Crabs 6 hits. He also walked twice.
  • Fort Wayne 5, BOWLING GREEN 4 (10): Enny Romero struck out 8 and walked just 2 in 6 innings. He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits…3B Robby Price was 3-5 with a double and a triple. He drove in 1…SS Derek Dietrich went 1-5.


Andy Sonnanstine is a man of many talents.

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20 Comments

  1. lou Soscia says:

    Can someone tell me why J.Rugiano is allowed to rot in Durham while leading the International league in hitting while Super Sam continues to struggle and the first baseman cant hit his weight.

    • Chris says:

      Two reasons, actually. As Maddon pointed out in his interview with Cork, he (Maddon) is an excellent judge of minor league talent and, apparently, he doesn’t think much of Ruggiano. (2) Rugg is not on 40-man. The Rays, and a lot of Rays fans, don’t much like him. Here in Bulls land we do, especially after his third walk-off hit last night.

  2. Hal says:

    I love DJ and he will always be remembered as the man who hit the most important homerun in the history of the team – but really? When is enough, enough? I’m not so quick to jettison Reid though. There was a time when a light-hitting, slick-fielding shortstop was the norm in baseball. If he’s in last night, the Indians don’t score runs 3 and 4.

    • werD says:

      someone in another thread mentioned putting DJ on waivers, then sending him to AA if he clears.

      Can Ruggiano play 1B? Can Guyer???

      • Cork Gaines says:

        Neither of them ever have. Ruggy has played a little 3B, so he does have a bit of infield experience. Then there is Robinson Chirinos. He has played a few games at first.

        And of course, there is still Zobrist.

        • KillaTapes says:

          What’s the problem with just leaving Kotchman there? Great defense, and he seems to have found his bat.

          • Beth says:

            I agree! Looks like we found our first baseman.

            Can someone now check Reid Brignac’s tear ducts for pus?

  3. Brian says:

    Cork – you forgot to mention the brain fart by Sean Rod that allowed the Tribe to go up a run and kept the inning alive for an additional run. I understand that he hasn’t played a lot of SS but the dude is a MLB player and needs to get his butt to the bag on that play.

  4. Beth says:

    Cork, I’m very glad you took responsibility, because you definitely jinxed the bullpen last night. I mean, these guys were feeling really confident, but then they read your post and realized they’d been pitching over their heads — and thwack, they started that dreaded “reversion to the norm.” From now on, if you figure out that someone’s success is based, statistically speaking, on “luck,” could you keep it to yourself?

    I have mixed feelings about last night’s game. If Sonnanstine had given up 4 runs in the 1st, as he seemed poised to do, and the Rays had lost 6-2, I would have written it off as what you’d expect when you’ve got your rusty spot starter on the mound (after sitting out a rain delay, no less) and you are hitting against one of the most successful pitchers of the 2011 season.

    But they didn’t lose that way — they pitched out of jams and got clutch hits, and then lost on weak fielding and walks. I can either feel discouraged by the missed opportunity, or encouraged that they fought back even in a game they seemed destined to lose.

    • maggie says:

      What you said, plus some missed calls. Cruz just wasn’t getting the ones he should have. I realize this is an everyday thing, but really! Is there NO limit?

  5. Sledge says:

    Cork:

    Adding to Beth’s point and taking the “jinx” to the next level, how about digging up some kind of reverse psychology jinx. Maybe you can dig up some figures that suggest DJ’s slump has been bad luck? OK, that’s a bit far fetched, but is there is something you can dazzle us with that is in the same genre that will perhaps pull Fuld out of his slump?

    Use your powers, man!

  6. Don says:

    Dj & Sonn need to take a bus trip North..IF they can make the team Durham is pretty good….
    EJ is the best of a bad group of mid infielders exclude ZO
    MAddon still hasn’t figured how to best use him….
    2nd base needs ZO fulltime let SS suffer for now or use EJ

  7. werD says:

    great point, Cork. Zorilla is always there if we need an emergency one bagger. and yes, i totally agree with Beth and KT, we have found our 1st baseman, for now. But lets not forget, 3 weeks ago we found our LFer, too…

    • Beth says:

      Completely agree, we are all too quick to throw underperformers under a bus, and anoint yesterday’s hero as the new savior.

      But Kotchman is a former top prospect who, even after two very down years, still has (if I’m reading the numbers correctly) a lifetime BA over .260. Fuld has never played more than a few dozen MLB games in any season. So even if they both “revert to the mean” Kotchman is more likely to be a solid everyday player than is Fuld — as much as I love our “Super Sam!”

  8. Des from Durham says:

    I am you left fielder, lead off man, RH bat you need. Ruggiano and Dan Johnson all have that AAAA problem — too good for AAA, not good enough for majors (Ruggiano is actually very similar to Sam Fuld).

    When is my arb clock emancipation date? Haven’t we passed that yet?

  9. Alex says:

    Ruggiano is nothing like Fuld. Fuld has shown he can hit a little in the majors. He plays amazing defense and he can work a count. Ruggiano hasn’t shown that at all. We were spoiled by Fuld hitting .350 for the first month. This is who he is though. A .250 hitter with some speed that plays great defense.

    • Alex says:

      In his 96 plate appearance between 07 and 08 Ruggiano managed 32 strike outs and 5 bb to go with a .200 batting average

  10. Chris says:

    Leave Rugg alone. He just won another game for us today. The Rays let DJ twist in the wind all last year when he was having his best (and maybe his last good one) year as a ballplayer. Doing the same with Rugg this year. Maybe they’ll put Rugg up to trade for someone JoeMa likes.

    In the meantime, hasn’t anyone noticed that the Rays have nothing coming up through the system to play third base? So that’s two holes to worry about. 1 and 5.

    By the way, thanks for Lopez … (wOBA .182 so far)

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