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Yankees 5, Rays 4 (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: We’re too effing tired to come up with anything good.

THE BAD: Joe Maddon. JoeMa went all-in in the 8th inning when he called on Kyle Farnsworth with 1 out in the 8th inning and a short bullpen thanks to Sunday’s 16 inning affair. But when Farnsworth blew the save in the 8th, Maddon turned to Alex Torres to make his big league debut in the 9th inning of a tie game against the Yankees with the heart of their order due up. It was a recipe for disaster, and disaster is exactly what Torres delivered. After a single and an intentional walk, Torres walked two straight batters with stuff that was too nasty (think Victor Zambrano, too much movement, can’t find the strikezone). The second walk brough home the go-ahead run…Evan Longoria’s Foot. His foot is hurting much more than an occasional discomfort. He is legitimately hurt, and either we will hear about needing surgery after the season, or he will need to be shut down during the season…AAA Lineup. In the 9th inning, the Rays had a meeting on the mound. Of the 6 players in the meeting, 4 had started the season in triple-A (Elliot Johnson, Casey Kotchman, Alex Torres, Robinson Chirinos). Not exactly the recipe for beating the Yankees.

THE TELLING: A bank of lights went out after the Trop was struck by lightning, causing a delay of 18 minutes. And of course it happened during a nationally televised game leading to the comments on the failures of the Trop as if no other stadium had ever experienced a power outage (Yankee Stadium had one in 2004)…Would Alex Torres have been called up if the Rays hadn’t played 16 innings on Sunday? And if not, that raises the question of whether Jose Cruz is actually injured or if this is just another Rays roster move using the DL…The Rays are now 6.5 games out of the Wild Card and have just an 8.5 percent shot at the playoffs. Game. Set. Ma….

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Before the game, the Rays designated Adam Russell for assignment and placed Juan Cruz on the DL with a strained groin. In addition to calling up Alex Cobb, the Rays also added Alex Torres as a long-man in the bullpen.
  • And after the game Alex Torres was optioned back to Durham.
  • Matt Moore has been promoted to triple-A Durham. He will likely start on Friday for the Bulls.
  • Evan Longoria says his foot isn’t bothering him, but his oblique might be…So why is he limping when he runs hard? [TampaBay.com]
  • John Romano writes about the emergence of Alex Cobb and what that means for the Rays. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Mets have signed Fernando Perez to a minor league deal.
  • Cardinals say they are not shopping Colby Rasmus and call a deal “highly unlikely.” [MLBTR]
  • Mark Simon looks at the matchup between Evan Longoria and the Yankees pitching staff in this series. [ESPN New York]
  • Cameron Seitzer names AL’s player of the week. [Rays Prospects]
  • Would Desmond Jennings help the Rays offense? Couldn’t hurt. [ESPN Insider]
  • Joe Maddon is a Tom Clancy fan. That earns bonus points in RI’s book. [TampaBay.com]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM 4, Rochester 1: Reliever Ryan Reid made the spot-start and gave up just 1 run in 3.2 innings…DH Desmond Jennings went 0-5…LF Brandon Guyer was 1-4 with a  triple…1B Dan Johnson hit his 4th home run.#
  • Huntsville 8, MONTGOMERY 2: Nick Barnese gave up 4 runs in 3 innings. He struck out 2 and walked 2…Matt Bush struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in the 9th inning…SS Tim Beckham went 0-4. And on the same day we praised his defense, he committed 3 errors.
  • CHARLOTTE 9, Lakeland 1: Alex Colome held Lakeland to 1 run in 6 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 3…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-5…2B Tyler Bortnick was 1-4.
  • BOWLING GREEN 6, Quad Cities 0: CJ Riefenhauser allowed just 1 hit in 5 shutout innings. In his last 2 starts, he has tossed 10 shutout innings and given up just 2 hits and 2 walks…SS Derek Dietrich went 2-5 with a double…3B Robby Price had 3 doubles, raising his average to .258.
  • Connecticut 8, HUDSON VALLEY 3: Andrew Bellatti allowed 2 runs in 5.2 innings. And yes, we feel dirty every time we type his name.
  • Johnson City 4, PRINCETON 1: 1B Cameron Seitzer was 0-3 with a walk.


Makes us wonder how the conversation with Jim Hickey went in 9th inning (via TampaBay.com)

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50 Comments

  1. JimfromNPR says:

    Am I the only one getting tired of the "Well, we gave it our best shot" type of statement from this team? While I am NOT a huge Joe Maddon fan, he has over the past few years, done an exceptional job managing this team. I am tired of spending my few $$ I have to blow, on a AAA team at MAJOR league price's. It has gotten to the point, that I am not accepting anymore excuse's from either players or management anymore. If Longo is hurt, get it taken care of NOW, his play is NOT helping this team at all. Please stop peeing on my leg and tell me it's rain.

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  2. CC says:

    Jim,very well said. What we saw last night was a joke. Charinos is in no way even close to being a major league catcher. Eliot Johnson can't bunt? He sux. Has no business being in the mlb. Ruggiano career AAA player. Rodriguez marginal mlb player. Torres cmon not ready. Longo hurt? Upton trade him please. Damon looked like crap. Is Joyce really to hurt to play?Maddon's decision making very confusing. 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position.That my friends was hard to watch.

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    • JimfromNPR says:

      Thank You, but I forgot MY BIGGEST compliant from last night, just what in the HELL wasn't BJ thinking about when he grounded into the double play. The ball WAS NOT hit hard, and he hadn't even left the box by the time Cano fielded the ball. Hey Stu and Andrew, wanaa know why I will not grace the Trop again, it's because of effort like this, and outcomes like this. You get what you pay for, and, again, if these are PROFESSIONAL players, do we not deserve a PROFESSIONAL effort day in and day out?

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      • William says:

        We should be thankful you're not a fan of any of the other 20 teams that have a worse record than the Rays. If so, we would have to have you committed.

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  3. Hal says:

    No BJ in the bad? Be nice to get one of those extra runs in. 4 runs against the Yankees with the Durham Bulls never seemed safe.

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  4. Thad says:

    Ladies, save the hyperbole and histrionics for someone else. Everyone who knew anything about the Rays, knew going into 2011 that this was going to be a transition year. If you follow the Rays at all you should know that they CANNOT afford to load up every year and make a serious run at a playoff spot. Not in THIS division anyway. That's just a fact.

    The Rays "loaded up" as best they can with limited resources in 2008-2010. Especially last year. That was that window. This year and probably next year are the bridge to the next window. The system is completely loaded with prospects. The core players will still be under team control in 2013. The next two years will be spent shuttling players up and down the system to see who's ready for prime time in 2013.

    Step back from the trees and appreciate the forest. We're in the transition to the next window. That's what it means to be a Rays fan in the AL Beast. There is an interim period of suffering to get to the next window. It's just the way it is. Accept it or go root for a team with a $200 million payroll.

    One final note: the second wild card spot in each league (next year hopefully), will likely change the current window-bridge/transition-window philosophy a bit. The currently flawed Rays would be right in the thick of a race for the 2nd wild card spot if it existed this year.

    In fact, with the organization as loaded as it is, going forward I'd be willing to speculate that the Rays will be competitive for the 2nd WC spot EVERY year with a run at the division title possible in the "load up" years.

    The second WC spot changes everything for Rays fans. The season will no longer be over in mid-July like it was in 2009 and likely is this year. Keep hope alive people. Better days are ahead.

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    • JimfromNPR says:

      The ladies comment needs no further reply, except grow up, we have a right to comment about what we see, and what frustrates us. The second wildcard spot is just a way to FURTHER lengthen a already to long season, and still does not solve the problem. The simple truth is this, either build it, the team not a new stadium, and we will come(like 2008, and even last year to an extent), or move your business. As a small business owner, in a depressed economy, you have to offer a superior product to draw people to you,have a recognizable face of the franchise, who is an established star(and no, 3 years does not make you the face of the franchise, no matter how many cool tv spots your on). Some may disagree, but I DO NOT think Longo is that player.....YET. It is really a simple question of economics, nothing more, nothing less. Management has given us one year of a superior, consistent product, while holding so much over our heads. Between the politicians arguing, the owners

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      • JimfromNPR says:

        crying, players seeking huge raises for subpar production that would get normal employees fired, is it any wonder we are apathetic, angry, frustrated by what we HAVE to pay for. Please, these are more than legitimate compliants.

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        • William says:

          Jim, you are reactionary and an undereducated baseball fan. The only two teams you could root for would be the Red Sox and Yankees, and I'm sure you would still be unhappy.

          You make mention to being a small business owner, and if you are, I hope you have a backup plan. My guess is, you will overreact to something and it will cause you a large amount of financial pain. Please be careful.

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      • werD says:

        settle down, beavis. one season does not a franchise make. these guys are doing the best with the hand that was dealt. we are watcihng the future appear before our eyes. i think its great. i was there at the lowest point in 02 and 03, and i saw what a team of supposed MLB players left on the field. i can assure you this team puts out 1000x's the effort of those squads.

        just take a deep breath, and be VERY pleased the rays are over .500 in 2011. the future is bright, and the Rays will compete for years to come. which is alot more than anyone thot possible back in 2002...

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  5. LoLJFH says:

    Upton 0-3 with RISP and even the announcers mentioned how many he personally left stranded. I can't agree more with you guys. I am going tonight and it might be my last one of the year if this continues (I expect at this rate to be sellers). They piss me off night in and night with anemic offense and now defense. How many times in the past few weeks have we botched simple grounders in the infield? Have our infielders gotten slower, too? Seems lately that a lot of teams are beating that throw to first on DP's. I know, I know Stu, Matt and Andrew we helped cause this because we don't support "value". Uhhhmmmm...we don't support poor hitting, fielding and base running. I would think someone is about to fall on the proverbial sword to shake out a few cobwebs in their heads.

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  6. Rob says:

    With all of the problems the Trop has on national TV, I am beginning to think Stu is running around the catwalks all Scooby Doo villain style creating havoc to scare everyone away. "And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for these meddling kids!"

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  7. Matt says:

    Any word on who could replace Torres? Delaney, Ekstrom?

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  8. Thad says:

    Trees: "Wow this Jim cat just doesn't get it. His near sighted rants are keeping us alive."

    Forest: "Settle down boys, dont get cocky. You're nobody without me. Most true Rays fans know that I run things according to a master plan even though I have limited resources."

    Trees: "Guess you're right. I suppose someone from NPR shouldn't be expected to understand capitalism."

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  9. Beth says:

    First of all, Jim from NPR, why is "ladies" an insult? If someone wrote "settle down, guys" I wouldn't get my panties in a twist.

    Secondly, the last two games have been revelatory to me. Before this weekend, I thought I was rooting for a pennant contending team that never seemed to get over the hump. But seeing the Rays play against two legitimate pennant contending teams I realize -- it's not our year. Yes we generally have solid starting pitching. But we have a weak offense and a mediocre bullpen, and you can get away with one of those, but not both. For the Rays to contend this year in this division you'd need several unexpected people to have career years, and thus far no hitter has been able to do better than a few good weeks (absent Casey Kotchman, bless him)

    Going into this season we knew it was a rebuilding year. We saw it in the lineup, we saw it in the projections. For a week here and a week there, the Rays played better than expected and it gave us hope. But this isn't their year.

    And from that perspective, why wouldn't we have a AAA lineup out there? I can live without the Elliot Johnsons, who will never be regulars on any contending team. But if it's not our year, I'd rather see Gomes and Chirinos and Cobb out there gaining experience. Bring on Jennings and Guyer, too. Let's see what they can do.

    So all of you -- "ladies" and "guys" -- can either work on your ulcers, or try to enjoy this season for what it is (And I applaud the commenter in yesterday's discussion thread who gave us the mantra: "this is who we are." It helped.) I paid money to see the 2005, 6 and 7 Rays -- why would I bail on them now?

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    • CC says:

      Beth,if you want to see all these minor league players, then how do you justify paying mlb prices?

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      • Beth says:

        A team that includes your top minor league prospects mixed in with solid major leaguers is not the same as watching a minor league team. But if you don't agree, we are fortunate in this area to have a number of AA teams playing, so you can go see them.

        And CC, did you ever pay to see a Rays game before 2008?

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        • CC says:

          Yes, but I expect more from this team now. And there are no AA teams just single A teams and you can see them for free. And a hotdog is $2 and a beer is $3. Big difference. Parking free. This is the difference.

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  10. Rob says:

    I don't know why anyone was surprised by the power outage in the Trop last night. There hasn't been any power in this lineup all year.

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  11. Don says:

    DO you ever remember when you had to play sports against your older brother or the high school kids when you were in grade school and you were just run over....
    Well the Rays are getting RUN OVER by the Yankees/Red SOx,
    The Rays minor leaguers/.230 hitters can NOT play with the YAnkees/Red sox... it obvious if you watch...
    Maddon heads for high ground when going gets tough, he is lost, you can see it in his face esp in 8th/9th innings last night...Look at his picture above.. does that look like a defeated man or what???

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    • raysfan137 says:

      Run over by the Yankees/Red Sox ? By my math we traded slugs with the Red Sox beating them 9-6, losing 9-5 and then losing a marathon 1-0, that could have gone the other way several times if one or two balls bounce differently or if Evan, Rugg or Kotch get a about a tenth of a millimeter more bat on the ball.

      Then, Ramos, who I think had his only two good outings with us on Sat. and Sun, walks the first two guys of 8th on Mon. They score and eventually we lose by 1 run. I'm not trying to be Maddon and sugar coat everything. But we're two or three runs from just having won 3 out of 4 against the Yankees and Red Sox.

      If even 1 of Sun. or Mon. losses were turned into wins, I wonder how big this brotherhood of discontent thread would be ?

      How many of you were ready to shoot yourselves after the 0-6 start ? If tonight starts a 7-0 run, where will you be ?

      Baseball is 162 game season. Maddon's job, and the front office on larger scale, is to look at what went well and build upon it while looking at what didn't and seeing if there is a feasible way to fill the weaknesses. I still see them doing that, even if we lose the next 3 to those we hate so much.

      Let me say it another way... We shut down the Red Sox for 15 innings. Look at what they've done to others. We should have won that game. We should have won last night. We didn't. Get over it.

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    • William says:

      Don, we've outscored the Red Sox and Yankees this year 60-53. How is this being run over? Oh, maybe it's the way the Red Sox have beaten us in 4 of 8 games or the way the Yankees smoked us 5-4, 1-0 and 5-4 in our last 3 games against them.

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  12. Thad says:

    Wow CC. So hateful. Let's keep it out of the gutter bro. Or sis. Don't mean to offend your gender whatever that might be. It's just a baseball team. Get over it.

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  13. Hal says:

    Not so sure that I appreciate the difference between this team and the '08 and '10 teams that did contend. Our starting pitching is better, our defense(despite last night) is at an all-time high. Our bullpen is not as good as last year, but superior to '08. Our offense sucks, but our offense has been iffy since '08. With minor tweeks we can contend this year - no more Elliot Johnson, no more Shoppach, put Des or Guyer in left. Why settle?

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    • Beth says:

      I think our 2008 bullpen was better. Balfour was very good that year, as was Howell. Percival had his weaknesses, but he did manage to close out a number of games. There's no one in the current bullpen I trust a lick. I know Farnsworth had a good first few months, but his last half dozen outings have been shaky.

      The team batting average in 2008 was twenty points higher than it is at present! So while perhaps you could argue that this team could potentially have the same offensive production as the 2008 team, they haven't. We had higher averages at just about every position in 2008, except first base, where at least we had significant power.

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      • Indiana Ray Boy says:

        Beth, bingo you hit it right on the money. 2008 Rays are way better than the 2010 Rays offensively. I will disagree with you on the bullpen, 2008 bullpen was more of a bullpen by committee when Percival went down compared to the 2010 Rays had Benoit and Soriano. I will be nice for Maddon to have a nice set lineup instead of mixing and matching with no identity. Sure they have Elliot Johnson, Ruggiano, Fuld, Brignac, Rodriguez, Shoppach and Jaso but have roles for these guys and develop a starting 9 on a daily basis that gives you the best chance to win. This year team is more like the 2009 team expect that team was better offensively. It comes to a point when to pull the pull on Derek Shelton and his inept philosophy. Then again, it was Maddon's right hand guy, every MLB team has to have some kind of offense not settling for 1-0, 4-2, 2-1 and 2-0 games especially against teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.
        This team is on pace for a 86-76 record and this season is looking bleak every game. If they are going to be sellers, let the Guyers, Jennings's, Chirinos's, Joyces, Rodriguez's of the world to play everyday instead of toying them around like he is during currently when they are in contention.

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  14. Don says:

    ALso loved the interview, now we got a pitcher that can't throw strikes or speak English either...things are looking up!

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  15. Jeff says:

    This is why its important that we get a new stadium in a better location--it's simply the only chance we have of having fun with our baseball team. Otherwise we are doomed to this "payroll for prospect" nonsense that leaves us with a Triple A team with a few blossoming stars that can make a run every third season. Of course, who knows how the stadium would play out in the longer term, but if you watched and listened to these last few games, the reality sets in. We have the worst stadium in the worst location in MLB. Why isn't ESPN interested in coming here? Orel Hershiser answered the question--its an embarrassment of a stadium that noone can get to. Most, if not all, of the mid-markets that have a new stadium are prospering--it brings community excitement, corporate interest, and tourist attendance. Nuff said.

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  16. babo says:

    i seriously have to take a xanex after reading all of that to calm myself down. realistically, this team didn’t have much of a shot to make the playoffs from the beginning of the season. when epstein got sick of being beaten out by the rays, and out played by his counterpart Friedman, he pulled out the trump card and signed the rays only true franchise player and gave friedman the proverbial finger, along with trading for the best hitter in the game.
    now for last night, i had no problem throwing torres out there in that spot, prospect with great, live stuff giving the damn yankees everything they could handle. That is ok, hopefully he learns from it and becomes a better pitcher and ball player. Although after martin had the swing he did on the 3-2 changeup, I don’t know why chirinos did not call for a 95mph heater. then, tip your cap to gardner for making a nice play on the take out slide, thats how you play baseball. this rays team just doesn’t have the firepower in the lineup when you stack it up against the sox and yanks.
    sorry to orel hershieser that he had to come to crummy old tampa st pete, instead of his normal sunday night post in san francisco.

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  17. Steve says:

    This team was in transition from the get go. We may not miss Pena's strikeouts but we miss his homers. I think people who are still pushing for a publicly financed stadium should read about Cincinnati's experience with this in the Wall Street Journal. In short there is not going to be a publicy financed stadium in the Bay Area, not for the next 5 years, and maybe never. I think Bay area fans need to be less gullible in buying into the notion (as Gus pointed out)that a stadium located in the fourth largest city of the fourth largest state is somehow in the boondocks. Tough break for Sternberg that his team started winning in 2008 the same year the US economy took a major crap - but he's not going to get what he wants so he should either sell or live with what he has which is a profitable major league team. Its just not as profitable as some.

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  18. Caity says:

    I still have hope in this team (unlike people on here).
    Granted, we not as good as last year, or 2008. but we've come a long way since the 0-6 start. Did anyone expect us to be in contending postion?.

    We might not make the playoffs, but were heading in the right direction.
    Our bullpen is shaky and Im glad we got rid of Russell, but we can still make a run. rememeber the Rockies of 07?. Yeah, they sucked up till september.

    Everyone is giving up long before they should be on the Rays, while we might be 8 games back, it's still early and baseball is crazy. You never know what happens.

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    • CC says:

      Caity, love the optimism but this team besides starting pitching is bad. Sloppy defense, bad base running, shaky bullpen and no offense. I see us finishing around .500. The second half schedule is gonna be tough.

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      • Tom says:

        Rays are arguably the best defensive team in Baseball.

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      • Caity says:

        CC, we had a streak where we didnt have more than 2 errors or no errors in 53 straight games or something like that. So you can rule that out.

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        • CC says:

          No errors does not mean they are not sloppy. By not converting double plays, not hitting the cut off (BJ) man, throwing to the wrong base, catching sux, Elliot johnson does not have any range, this is what I meant.

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  19. Michael says:

    I was at the game last night.

    While I was in the stands I had no f'ing clue what Maddon was doing with the pitching, but by the time I walked back to my car I had puzzled out the bullpen issue and it was sorta-kinda reasonable, saving his stuff for the next three games.

    I do not blame Joe Maddon and his pitching decisions.

    I blame BJ Upton for a strikeout looking and popfly on two bases-loaded at-bats.

    In the NFL, they have a stat called DVOA which measures "useful production", as in, if a guy gets 100 yards, but only 20 of them really meant anything, then he effectively only got 20 yards.

    I want to believe that BJ Uptons DVOA is beyond awful. I never see him come up clutch. He has 15 homers and a sack of RBI's, but it always seems like it's on the road where the offense isn't as badly needed.

    I want to see him slap a base hit up the middle... when is this coming?

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  20. Gus says:

    1. Only in the bizzaro-universe we Rays live in would a lightning strike on the stadium where nobody was hurt and baseball was resumed 18 minutes later (and could have been played right away had Giardi not wanted to ice our pitcher) be somehow construed as a negative on the stadium.

    2. Since the "too-clever by half" moment of the Rays refusing to play the make-up game in the Bronx and passing on a Hellickson v. Garcia match-up, they have gone 1-5 and may have played their way out of the playoffs. With an exhausted bullpen, there was no reason to not go with Hellickson last night, since he gave you a chance to get deeper in the game.

    3. Anybody who thinks it is a good idea to start giving out intentional walks with a guy in his major league debut is just a guy focused too much on data and not enough on human nature. As soon as it was issued, you knew he was going to struggle with regaining his control (how many intentional walks had he ever given in the minors?). It is a total mind psyche-out.

    4. You almost think management doesn't want to win, given all that and as they continue to instruct Elliot Johnson to bunt, and he fails time and time again. I know they want to win in the dugout, but sometimes you start to wonder.

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    • Michael says:

      Heh. Elliot Johnson IS surprisingly bad at bunting. He's had like 5 or 6 failed attempts in the last two weeks that included a popper to the pitcher.

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      • Beth says:

        Sam Fuld has struggle to put down a bunt, too. You'd think that hitters of their caliber would put some effort into learning to bunt.

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  21. Joe says:

    I don't like to be over dramatic and waive the white flag but I think we all know where this season is going. With that being said, we are finally working the minors right, almost.

    We had been stuck in limbo, not playing for this season, not looking at the future and we have made a lot of strides in fixing that including getting Moore a step away :D

    But it's still not enough. At this state, Jennings and Guyer have to be here instead of Ruggiano and Elliot/Brignac. I'll let Fuld stay for his highlights late in games but that's all. Brignac needs to work on his swing and Elliot, he should go the way of Russell. Ruggiano shot out of the gate but he's not a ML player. Still got some problems that need to be fixed ASAP.

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  22. Chris says:

    Torres on the mound in the 9th was a bad systemic decision, and that is unusual for the Rays. Torres' last relief appearance was in A ball a couple of years ago (105 pro games, all but 9 are starts). He is famous for giving up walks. And he's told to give up a walk? This is a 23-year old who's already given up 51 walks in 91 innings (none intentional). And his debut is as a reliever against the Yankees? Just makes no sense. Relief pitchers on the 40-man in Durham are De La Rosa and (horrors!) Sonnanstine. And for that two Rays relievers for kicked off the bus (Russell and Cruz, sort of).

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    • MJ says:

      Torres was the sacrificial lamb for the rest of the bullpen. The Yanks have never seen him before, he has plus stuff, and he was asked to pitch 1 inning. There are still 3 games to play against NYY, and the bullpen was depleted.

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      • Ken Heller says:

        I would have rather used that "Lamb" in the eight and saved Farnsworth for the ninth but...it's all hindsight now. Question is...when we will start playing "Rays" baseball on a consistent basis? Stolen bases, hit and runs, bunts/squeezes are few and far between this year. We have a surplus of major league ready pitchers right now, why not trade one and a bat or two for an impact player....and get ready for 2012.

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        • Rob says:

          You can't squeeze, hit and run, steal bases and move runners over when you don't have anyone getting on base.

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  23. Jay says:

    Topkin says De La Rosa has been recalled.

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  24. Sewana says:

    Please teach the rest of these internet hooilnags how to write and research!

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