What was a wonderful pitching duel, an old school pitching duel, the kind that Joe covets suddenly turned to irritable bowel syndrome for Joe with some horrible fundamentals led by the king of horrible fundamentals, Bossman.

Now before Joe gets rolling here, let’s be honest: The game was still in a scoreless tie even with Bossman’s knotheaded play. James Shields literally threw away the game when his pickoff a third flew way past SRod.

But it didn’t help that Robinson Cano got to third on a terrible throw by Bossman, threw the damned ball into the dugout no less! WTF?

For a team that’s built on pitching, fundamentals and defense, only one of the three showed up today.

Joe has written on this very site that one can make an argument Bossman is the Rays MVP for the first half of this season. But there’s no way Joe can justify that claim any more. Bossman simply has no idea how to be a smart baserunner and he’s the Randy Moss of centerfielders. He plays when he wants to.

If there was a goat for this game, it’s wouldn’t be Sabby the Goat, it would be Bossman.

Damn, this game — until the seventh inning — reminded Joe of when he was a little kid. Juan Marichal vs. Bob Gibson, or in later years Doc Gooden vs. Nolan Ryan. That’s what this game reminded Joe of. Two stud pitchers going toe-to-toe to the very end.

Oh, and Complete Game Shields got another complete game, right? Though he lost, he was never pulled. At least that’s something positive to take away from this wretched game.



  1. Henry says:

    The Yankees would already have been ahead if BJ hadn’t made a spectacular throw home. Three HR in 5 games. Yes, sometimes he disappoints but no way is he less productive than way too many on the roster. BTW don’t forget the great outfield grab yesterday. Sorry he isn’t the reincarnation of Willie Mays.

  2. ALLEN says:

    What about that shabby batting order? I just don’t get it. We’re going against one of the best pitchers in the AL and the batting order has 6 studs hitting under .240!!! The only batter with .300+ is buried in the lower 1/3 of the order surrounded by a rookie outfielder and a catcher who can’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. Left out of the order are Damon (.279) and Joyce (.290). Doesn’t Jaso have a better average than Shoppach? Perhaps Maddon wanted Shoppach’s power (5 HRs vs. 3 for Jaso)! Not one single hit for the 6-7-8-9-1 positions. Upton, the goat and a .239 hitter, accounted for 50% of the offense. THIS IS FRUSTRATING.

    Shields should have come away without a defeat. Marichal and Gibson? Marichal had Willie Mays in centerfield and Gibson had Curt Flood. Both could hit and both could throw.

    Go Rays! We’ve got to start doing some sweepin’.

    • Sarah says:

      Sabathia is very hard on lefties, so they went with an almost entirely right-handed order. I assume Damon still has issues with his hand, or he might otherwise have played. Jaso may have a better average than Shoppach, but against Sabathia Shoppach was the better choice.

      • ALLEN says:

        Thanks, Sarah. I knew there had to be some reasonable explanation rather than an arbitrary hitting order. I suppose that’s also why he dropped Kotchman down in the order.

        Maybe it was a good strategy, but it didn’t work.

  3. Michael says:

    Upton never hesitates to remind the Rays fanbase of why they hate him.

    His basic numbers are pretty decent. He leads the team in homers.

    But goddamn is he stupid, or at least he acts like it. For every big hit there’s a stupid play on the base paths or a lousy through or a jog to a ball in the gap.

    The Randy Moss analogy is perfect, because Randy is also a jogger. Great talent, but effort is sparing.

    If I’m gonna have a skinny black guy with a bad attitude in center field, it may as well be Nyjer Morgan, at least he can hit the damn baseball once or twice on a consistent basis.

    • Sublime says:

      If and When he’s traded and they still get shut out, you’ll complain about what then? Arguing about BJ is subterfuge, the deeper problem is this team can’t hit for shit and they have to play perfect games to be in a game. Run support wise, James Shields is getting 2 runs a game, 2! he damn near has to throw a shutout to win and even then it’s 2-0, 1-0 games.

      If anything, someone needs to wake Longoria’s ass up, his decision to throw to first base instead of home and Joyce’s wiff cost us the game and winning the series versus Minnesota. All that adds up to being 6 behind the AL Leader for this week, but I know you don’t remember that.

  4. LoLJFH says:

    BJ seems to be playing himself into a trade. In addition if everyone else can see his problems and lack of concentration/effort, why isn’t something being done by Joe who has had no problem yanking him in these very situations in seasons past? Because that would kill his trade value. “He’s being aggressive” and “I like his aggressiveness and his risk taking” and “I thought it was the pertinent thing to do, it just didn’t work out”. Nice ways to gloss over the real issues to keep his name from being sullied before the dealine I suspect. I can’t wait for him to go.

    • Rob says:

      This season is done. 6 games back of 1st and 5 behind the wild card at the break. There is no hitting solution in sight, so don’t expect them to run off 8-9 wins in a row to get back into this, which means Upton is on his way out for prospects.

      Personally, I can’t take this style of play much longer. I plan my schedule around these games and I just wasted 8 hours of my weekend watching this crap.

      • Tone says:

        The front office calculated a long time ago that this team would not beat out either the Yankees or Red Sox. If they had any real thought of putting up a legitimate fight, Sonnanstine would have never started any games and his ass would have been gone loooong before the recent demotion. I agree about how annoying this is; I live in Tokyo and gave up a few weeks ago at actually staying up till 4am on weekends to watch games. Anytime I look forward to a series and plan around it they drop an offensive turd.

  5. Tone says:

    The real problem lately is Evan Longoria. Hopefully this break will help him get healthy. If Longoria was fully healthy, the Rays would have won. His overall demeanor at the plate looks drastically different. No confidence. BJ is frustrating sometimes, but as the trade possibility nears I am starting to feel very sentimental. There have been plenty of Rays mistakes this year not counting BJ’s. Base running blunders were way too common this series. I would love to see an outfield with BJ holding center and Joyce/Guyer/Jennings manning the corners. I just don’t see Jennings being able to duplicate what BJ has accomplished. Jennings might be better served having a day off here and there due to his frail nature. Guyer/Jennings/Joyce could all play frequently without one sitting out too much. Zobrist mans 2nd full time, Sean and Reid split SS, and you let Johnson and Ruggs pass through waivers. Easy Peasy.

  6. Rob says:

    It seems like the Rays are getting shutout a lot lately, so I just took a look at their game-by-game results. They have been shutout 7 times since June 1. They only played 36 games in that span, which means they are getting shutout 19% of the time. That’s once every five games. They lost a total of 16 games during that stretch, so that means 44% of their losses were shutouts. How crazy is that?

    I can’t find a site that will let me compare shutouts against across all teams, but the Rays have to be leading that category.

    • Tone says:

      Without looking I would guess the Padres might be worse; not much comfort, but…

      • Rob says:

        You are correct – the Padres have 15 shutouts on the season, but the Rays are catching up. Since June 1, The Rays have 7 and the Padres have 6.

  7. Joe says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the Rays go their first 39 games not being a shutout and now its up to 7? What the?

    Upton is an idiot who was trying to make up for another idiotic move. He got doubled up so he wanted to double up Cano and he threw it 1000 mph and a mile high. Yeah, Kotchman is good, he can’t fly though. That was all about him getting so ready to make up for a mistake he already made.

    Shields was so good that I hate complaining about him but I know he’s a pick off master and all but S-Rod has never been involved in those pick offs and there were 2 outs, he gets Gardner and the inning is over. As good as Sabathia was, he would of been gone soon after if we just kept that shutout going. And yeah, they had Freddy Garcia warming up, wow how scary, we could of gotten Hellickson up to try and hold the shut out because lets be honest, other then Jeter having the best damn game of his career, the Yankees offense was not impressive in this series.

    • Sarah says:

      Oddly, at the start of the year when the Rays offense was so atrocious, they usually managed to scrape together a single run. So they weren’t shut out that often.

      I can stand being shut out on occasion by a Sabathia who is on his game. It’s getting shut out by nobodies that rankles.

  8. Don says:

    Bossman Jr. for MVP, next to Maddon (minor league Joe) its a toss up for most self- destuctive…..ignorance is a terrible thing

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