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Yankees 1, Rays 0 (click image for boxscore)

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

THE GOOD: James Shields. It was only 8 innings, but it was Shields’ 7th complete game of the season. And if the Rays could muster any offense and play defense, it might have been his 4th shutout. And as usual it was the changeup. 31 fastballs. 29 changeups. 19 of those were strikes, including 6 that were swing-and-misses. The 1 unearned run lowers Shields ERA to 2.33.

THE BAD: BJ Upton. Upton’s problems are not that he is lazy. And they are not because he is a disappointing talent. And they are not because he is worried about cashing in during free agency. His problems are just that he has terrible baseball instincts. That’s it. We saw the talent when he threw out a runner at home in 3rd inning keeping the score locked at 0-0. But then the very next half-inning, Upton was picked off first base when he broke before CC Sabathia had even made a move. And then in the 7th, he tried to throw Robinson Cano out at first on a flyball, only he threw off the wrong foot and airmailed it putting Cano on third…Irony. James Shields has been masterful with the pick-off this season. And if he just lobs the ball to third base in the 7th he gets Cano. But the ball got by Sean Rodriguez and the game’s only run scored.

THE TELLING: The Rays are 8 games over .500, but they are now 6 games behind the Red Sox in the division and 5 games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card…David Price won’t play in Tuesday’s All-Star game. He pulled himself out of the game with case of the turf toe…Andy Sonnanstine will work as a starting pitcher at Durham.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays are said to be interested in trading for Padres closer Heath Bell. [Boston.com]
  • Lots of people were wowed by Matt Moore’s performance in the Futures Game. [Rays Prospects]
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com writes about the revival of Tim Beckham’s prospect status. [ESPN]
  • The Red Sox want to add a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. Matt Garza is high on their list. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Former Rays outfielder Joey Gathright played catcher and Jose Canseco pitched 6 innings after several players and the manager quit the team saying Kevin Costner, who once wrote a song for the Rays, was behind on payroll. [Yuma Sun]
  • DK Kitty makes a cameo in this video. Although, you will need to have seen this viral video first for it to make any sense.

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • US Futures 6, World Futures 4: Matt Moore pitched a perfect inning, striking out 1…Tim Beckham tied the game in the 8th with an RBI double and later scored the go-ahead run…Hak-Ju Lee was 0-2 with a strikeout.
  • DURHAM 3, Norfolk 1: Alex Torres struck out 6 and walked 1 in 7 innings. He gave up 10 runs and allowed 1 run…LF Leslie Anderson went 2-5…C Robinson Chirinos had a double and drove in 2…DH Jose Lobaton went 0-3 with a walk.
  • MONTGOMERY 16, Jacksonville 6: Shane Dyer gave up 4 runs in 4 innings…DH Stephen Vogt had 3 hits including his 10th home run. He drove in 4 and is hitting .303…1B Henry Wrigley hit his 5th home run and LF John Shelby added his 11th.
  • CHARLOTTE @ Daytona: (postponed)
  • BOWLING GREEN 11, West Michigan 7: Enny Romero allowed 2 unearned runs in 3 innings…CF Cody Rogers was 2-3 with a walk…SS Derek Dietrich had a double and his 11th home run, driving in 3.
  • HUDSON VALLEY 10, Lowell 7: 1B Jeff Malm hit 2 home runs giving him 6 in 20 games.
  • Kingsport 11, PRINCETON 2: RF Drew Vettleson went 2-4 and DH Josh Sale was 1-4 with a double…SS Taylor Motter stole his 10th base in 17 games.

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19 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Cork, I think you are spot on in your assessment of BJ’s deficit. I’ve always cringed when he’s labeled stupid (he clearly is not) or even lazy (I don’t think that’s a fair assessment). But he seems to be the master of the on-field “brain fart” that happens to everyone sometimes, but to him quite often. Problem is, I don’t know how you change that about a player.

    • Greg says:

      I definitely feel there is an element of laziness in his game. Watch how long it takes him to get out of the box. He stands and watches for a 3-count before leaving the box. Did you notice when he was doubled off on a hit-and-run liner to RF yesterday, you could see on replays he peeked and saw the ball was hit and turned his head to track the ball which was hit directly at the right fielder. At no time did he ever consider stopping or even slowing. Not sure he could have gotten back but too often he won’t even try. I guess Des Jennings will be a regular on the DL but he and Guyer would be more fun to watch develop at this point. When BJ is throwing away games with his defense, he has nothing left to offer.

      • Beth says:

        I still don’t think it’s laziness per se (as in “I could run now but I just don’t feel like it”), but more spacing out, which is different. I think Gus (see his comment below) describes this well.

  2. Don says:

    Without a painfull rehash of bad baseball…its simple

    1) you beat nobody scoring 0 runs
    2) you do not beat a team like the Yankees playing Stupid baseball
    (Bj UPton could be the dumbest of all time) include Rodz,Shields
    3) you will not beat the Yankees/REd sox with a team of minor leaguers
    and players hitting .230 (that excludes Shopp)

    Facts are Facts…Things change or Rays out of it by July 21…I have my tickets for some Red Sox/Yankees and Closing Night and that could be it for 2011

  3. Matt says:

    It was great to see Moore shine in the game. All the guys covering it like Keith Law said he was the best pitcher they saw and is becoming the best pitching prospect in the game. Can’t wait to see this kid in the rotation in a couple of years!

    • pete says:

      Jim Callis also wondered aloud if there are any lefty’s in the bigs with stuff as good as Moore and said his pure stuff was better then Price right now.

  4. Gus says:

    The oddest thing about BJ is that he should be a sports savant — his Dad is an ACC basketball official, so he certainly grew up in a sporting family witha MLB brother (how many youth baseball games must he have sat through?). Yet his undeniable tools are obstructed by a baseball brain that is, I think, the lowest baseball IQ I’ve ever seen (the anti-Jeter, if you will). His dad is a ref; he should know better than to go nuts on a first strike called or show the umps up, but he does that all the time. He should know better than to risk a throw in a 0-0 game where they guy was running back.

    Not mentioned by anybody, but the replay on the YES telecast showed that Upton never looked up on the double play ball when he was running, and never even tried to get back (he stood past 2b and watched); had he located the ball, he could have gotten back perhaps because it was a bad throw from the OF that took Texiara way off the bag. Not even trying there is unforgiveable because OFs make bad throws (as we would see in the bottom of the frame).

    He is just a tools guy who I don’t think will ever be a champion until he figures it out. Change of scenery would be the best thing for him.

    And if people think Guyer can really play major league CF every day, I don’t see it. Looks way to thick.

    • Beth says:

      Thick as in not slender, or thick as in not very intelligent?

      • Gus says:

        BJ is thick in the brain on the field. Guyer just looked thick as in not slender. Loved his stance and approach so far. Just don’t see him as an everyday CF.

        I know it sounds like heresey to trade BJ now, but I would. To the superficial purchaser, it looks like he has power back and maybe his entire stroke. To a veteran BJ watcher, I see a classic hot Upton stretch (like May 2010 and October 2008) and that means an ugly August-September is coming.

        • Beth says:

          Hardly sounds like heresy. Sell high.

        • ALLEN says:

          Guyer is “a little thick.” He’s 6’1″ and weighs 210. I checked on Mickey Mantle, the Yankee great, and he was 5′ 11″ and 195. Kirby Puckett was just 5’8″ and 178. I can’t find any data that tells me how fast or quick Guyer is, or how accurate or strong his throws are, or whether or not he has a high baseball IQ. I’d really like to see a lineup of players who can hit better than .240 and not have 100+ strikeouts.

          Wow! Rays pitching must be good!

          • Daredevil says:

            Allen: check Guyer’s stats at AAA: he has 15 outfield assists in 79 games!!! This means he either has a cannon for an arm, or is incredibly accurate, or both. Also, he has a bunch of stolen bases, so his speed would have to be at least very good. An observer in Durham commented he plays a good CF. So, I think he would make an excellent long-term CF, as he has some power too. Of course, he has to prove he can consistently hit big league pitching.

  5. david says:

    how was his instinct wrong? many players wouldn’t even have the head to see a player too far off first and try to throw in behind him. the instinct is fine, the throw was bad. same thing happened to shields 5 minutes later, where’s the hate for him? upton’s issue is he’s not the best at reading pitchers, so his SB% suffers. that doesn’t mean he has poor instincts, or has any deficit, it just means we need to expect him to be BJ Upton and not Carl Crawford on the bases.

    • Alex says:

      Are you kidding? Bj was maybe….maybe 20 feet behind 2nd base at most. He probably could of run the ball back to first and got Cano. Any competent CF would of throw him out. He could of nine hopped it in.

      Cork pointed out Shields error, but here’s the thing. Jamie had him picked off he just threw it wide. During every Shields start you don’t go damn he missed another pick off throw because that was his first bad one. He knew the offense wasn’t going to do dick for him.

      BJ on the other hand does dumb sh*t like this EVERY GAME. I have never seen someone get picked off so routinely. You expect it at this point. And his throw to get the guy at home? Great. Too bad 80% of his throws end up half way up the third base line. Its not just his stolen base numbers. He has ZERO baseball instincts. Like when he tries stealing third and kills a rally. Or air mails a ball from CF into the stands giving the Yankees a man a third and 2 outs rather than a man at 1st. Or when he gets picked off by a lefty who has no move to first base because the pitcher hadn’t even started his move.

      • Alex says:

        Honestly Cano was right in front of BJ when he caught it. Don’t defend him. You can’t at this point.

      • Sublime says:

        Seriously, he doesn’t do stupid shit every game, now you sound stupid. You can have a good point but eff it up by going too far. If you listen to some people on this board and people on local radio shows, they act like he (BJ) is stopping the Rays from being 20 games over .500, if I can steal a line from Don, this line-up is full of .220 hitters who have to play virtually perfect games to beat good teams. I was at the game were JP Howell went ape shit and who was the Cardinal pitcher that 4 hit them until the 8th inning? exactly, I can’t name him either, you would have thought Bob Gibson was throwing that game.

      • david says:

        what the hell does being “competent” have to do with throwing? the complaint was his “instincts”, which was the wrong choice of word, considering he MADE THE RIGHT DECISION TO THROW TO FIRST, meaning his instinct was absolutely 100% correct. you can criticize his mechanics, yes sometime his throws are overthrown, but his instincts and competence is fine. his ability to read a pitchers moves just plain stinks, no debate there.

  6. Alex says:

    Matt Moore looked fantastic yesterday. I can’t wait to have him in the rotation

    • Alex's Broken Logic says:

      I don’t agree. I think his baseball instincts are questionable. He’s got all the talent in the world but I mean, he gives up hits EVERY SINGLE GAME. Maybe he should stay out of the sun and spend more time practicing his art.

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