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Blue Jays 3, Rays 1 (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: Flash. Is there any other reason besides Desmond Jennings to be watching the Rays right now? Somebody should invent a smart phone app that makes a sound when Jennings comes up. Because that is about the only time the Rays will do anything good with the bat. Last night it was an impressive opposite field home run.

THE BAD: Rest of Lineup. Hitters not named Jennings went 0-19 in the first 8 innings of the game. If not for back-to-back 2-out singles in the 9th, the Rays would have been 1-hit for the second time in 4 days. The worst moment? Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases in the 2nd inning. Somehow, the Rays couldn’t get a run home. Do you know how hard that is to do?…David Price. He is just a mess right now. Three more runs, including 2 home runs and failed to finish the 7th inning. Has now allowed at least 3 runs in 5 of his last 6 starts.

THE TELLING: John Jaso is still a few weeks away from returning. And Jose Lobaton is also still a long ways from returning (the Lobaton news has now been removed from that story without explanation. You can see part of the original report at THIS LINK)…In Matt Moore’s first 3 triple-A starts: 18ip, 9 hits, 5 walks, 29 Ks, 0.50 ERA. Somebody can smell the finish line…

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • “Clutch Hitters” a local group of businesspeople has gotten a lot of ink in local papers the last couple of days. They aren’t proposing anything. No, they are “focused on emphasizing the need for new stadium talks to begin.” Apparently they have talked with people like the Rays and the Mayor of Tampa. Color us skeptical. [TampaBay.com]
  • If the “Legend of Sam Fuld” hasn’t already jumped the shark, then this should do the trick. [The Heater]
  • Here is some more on Evan Longoria’s tweeting habits. [Cowbell Clankers]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM 18, Charlotte 3: Matt Moore with another 5 shutout innings, striking out 9 and walking just 1…Reid Brignac homered, his first since being demoted…DH Stephen Vogt went 3-5 with 3 doubles. He is 6-13 in his first 3 triple-A games…RF Russ Canzler had 4 hits including his 14th home run…1B Dan Johnson hit his 6th home run.
  • Jacksonville 8, MONTGOMERY 6: Shane Dyer gave up 5 runs (3 earned) in 5.2 innings…SS Tim Beckham went 2-5 with 2 RBI with his 13th steal.
  • CHARLOTTE: (no game scheduled)
  • BOWLING GREEN 3, Fort Wayne 0: Jason McEachern tossed 6 shutout innings, striking out 3 and walking 1…SS Derek Dietrich went 3-4 raising his average to .287…DH Julio Cedeno homered for the third straight game, giving him 7 on the year.
  • HUDSON VALLEY 7, Batavia 3: Jake Partridge allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in 5 innings.
  • PRINCETON: (no game scheduled)
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64 Comments

  1. LoLJFH says:

    I agree Price is not exactly the same pitcher he was last year and last night they touched on him not having confidence in his breaking ball and is almost exclusively relying on his fastball. He is one dimensional right now but we saw same from Shields last year. Price, I believe, is still "learning" to pitch in the big leagues and expect him to bounce back next year. However, his stats the last month do not indicate him being a "mess" which seems a stretch. He has given up 31 runs in 63 innings but is 4-6 during that stretch and in his last 3 games our "offense" has scored a grand total of 2 runs. Any of those could have been wins and he could have been 12-7 or better with a sub-3.7 ERA. I'll take it. Our guys are pitching too perfect with NO margin for error.

    Please, for all that is sacred and good, GET RID OF SHELTON! It is pathetic and the games where we have been 1,2,3 hit are FAR too often now more than ever (which is comical to say actually).

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    • raysfan137 says:

      I can't thank you enough for the Shelton comment. I can deal with no playoffs this year if we are preparing for next year and playing as well as we can. But we aren't and it is nauseating. I might be breaching post etiquette, but here is a copy and paste of a post a just did on another Rays site:
      How does Shelton avoid scrutiny
      I know there will be those who want to debate what a hitting coaches job is, and that he can’t go up there and hit for the team, etc. etc. At this point I’m not interested in those debates. Did anyone see Matt’s checked swing first pitch on his second at bat ? Seriously ? Still doing that at this point in the season ? Clearly no plate strategy at all. And it’s not just bases loaded with no or 1 out where such, it’s anytime we get a runner to third with 0 or 1 out. No one, including veterans like Damon seems to have a clue how to drive in runs. Please show me one player who has significantly benefited from Shelton’s influence ? Even if I give you Kotchman you still have a lot of negatives to offset that. Price has how many losses where the Rays score 2 or less ? There is no logic in the world any of you can give me that will convince me that our hitting coach doesn’t and shouldn’t wear some of this. Yet I don’t hear his name in the local media, the national media, on discussion threads. What is going on here ? Why is he protected from any scrutiny ? But if he holds one meeting, and the team hits that night, its all over the papers like he is a big hero. This guy is good. This guy is real good. He’s wasting his talents in baseball and should be in Washington. I’m still looking for the commercials for his new hitting school: The Derek Shelton School of Hitting, where we make it as easy as 1-2-3.

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  2. jim says:

    Let’s see we made no trades, we’re most likely sticking with Shelton, and so what is next year’s team going to look like? Somewhere around .240 again? The Cleveland Indians fired this clown and we picked him up. Our batting average has been the lowest in team history under him, yet it somehow isn’t his fault.

    I don’t care if we built a new stadium with massage chairs and offered valet parking. Nobody wants to sit through this crap. We had 1 hit after 8 innings after being 1 hit earlier in the week. Hey Stu and Andrew, it’s the product as much as the stadium. Even during Atlanta’s decade long run, their attendance wasn’t nearly up to par with their record. Why? Because they couldn’t hit worth a crap and fans don't want to see 3 hit game no matter how good the pitchers are! And why weren’t they successful in the playoffs? Because they were rarely facing #4 or #5 pitchers, so therefore the pitching they faced was on par with their staff and the opponents hit much better. Sound familiar? When you take pitches, you either walk or strikeout, #1, #2, and #3 starts typically throw more strikes than do #4 and #5. Under Shelton we’ve been near the top in both categories. I asked cork last year to see if he could come up with a way to see if our records were worse than our opponent’s(in regular season) vs the #1, #2 and #3 pitchers due to this theory.

    Now on to last night’s game. We get two seeing eye singles and have two men on with two outs down by 2 runs. The hitter at the plate is in the worst slump on the team and gets up 3-0. So what do the genius of Joe and Shelton do? They give him the green light. Are you freaking kidding me? We have a chance to put the winning run on base and a single ties the game and you let him swing away. What a joke? And to think that some of you guys were actually praising his managerial skills in an earlier post.

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    • raysfan137 says:

      You made my year!!! I have been on the "Get Rid of Shelton" bus since last season. People actually got into debates with me about what a hitting coaches job is, etc. You can debate the day-to-day tasks, the involvement, whatever you like. But there is no debating that a hitting coaches job involves HITTTING!!!! I still remember vividly the article from 10/2009 talking about Shelton bringing us "situational hitting". Which situations Derek ? I also remember when my kids played against his boy's team in little league in the Spring of '10. I made a joke, since his boy's team didn't hit well, that it didn't bode well for the Rays that their new hitting coaches son's little league team cannot hit. I didn't mean that to be prophetical. At this point, I think the little league team could do better. They at least know that if you're 3-0 and one ball from putting the tying run in scoring position, you TAKE!!!! and possibly take TWO! That's the irony in this whole thing. It seems like our only hitting strategy for every pitcher and assigned to every player in our lineup, it to be patient at the plate. The one most obvious time that we should, we don't. We beat Cliff Lee last year, I think 6-1 late in the season at home. We came to plate and attacked pitches early in the at bat because we know he throws strikes. We haven't done it like that again against a pitcher throwing strikes since. We're behind in counts constantly, we check swings like nobodies business because we have no strategy for certain circumstances, we have no clue how to drive in runs with RISP. I'm touting my jingle to all who will hear: "Come to the Derek Shelton school of hitting, where we make it as easy as 1-2-3".

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      • werD says:

        ^^^Greaterness

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      • Jim says:

        We have loaded the bases 11 times with no outs, and failed to score a run six times. how sad is that?

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        • raysfan137 says:

          So according "The Book", bases loaded, no outs state has a run expectancy of 2.417. Therefore, should we have scored 26.587 runs in those 11 opportunities ? How many did we score ?

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  3. Don says:

    ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Wasn't it this time last year our two "superstars"...PRice & longoria.. Berated Fans for not coming to see them play...well guess what
    MR. below .500 ACE PRice & .230 hitting(team leader) Longoria...NObody will come the rest of the year to see you play Because you STINK....

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    • raysfan137 says:

      I'm with you on Eva. But Price had a quality start last night. Isn't a quality start 6 or more innnings, 3 or fewer ER ? He's done that plenty of times this season and lost. In fact, I believe last night was his 7th or 8th loss where the Rays scored 2 or fewer runs. Not sure I can say he STINKs because of that. He's certainly taken a step backward from last year, but STINK. I know, you're venting. I left the Trop saying I don't care if I ever come to another game. I'll be there tonight - and probably be just as pissed as we sink into 4th place.

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    • mary says:

      You mean to tell me he's the only one that stinks on that team.Why cant zobrist carry the team id he's such a superstar. theres a whole line up of people who stink one this team, so quit picking out one person. Only 1 run last night and thats one persons fault.

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    • mary says:

      Why do you even bother to follow this team, its alot easier to be a Yankee or Red sox fan with a whole line up of superstars. this is what you get when the management doesn"t really care to win, happy if you do, but not a priority. they should not purchase a team and attempt to compete if they are not willing to spend to be winners. The team should be sold and moved away from the area

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  4. Selly says:

    I love the boys, really I do, and further I love pitching. But... I'm having a hard time justifying the drive over from Daytona with no offense. I'm not saying it's always non-existent but it is certainly a crap shoot at best. It makes me sad to even think it much less admit it out loud. And I'm a former season ticket holder... Ugh.

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    • Don says:

      Usually I go to 3/4 games per homestand...NOW I have tickets for closing night... Thats iT.. Really hope everyone feels the same way....
      ONLY Way there will be changes for 2012 ...if they get the message?

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  5. raysfan137 says:

    Sad to say it, but I might be a former season ticket holder soon. I just don't think the FO gets that even if it's not Shelton's fault, they can send a message to the team and especially to their market - us - that this lack of offense is unacceptable. Might not be his fault, but he's not helping. I just want to see some non-trivial sign that the Rays management expects more and intends to deliver more to their customers.

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  6. Dre says:

    I hate to jump on the Upton-hating bandwagon but will someone explain to me why he isn't receiving the same rotational play that the other outfielders are? They showed a split yesterday that he is batting .096 in since 7/13. I know that he got two days off since then but it clearly didn't help. At this point why are we not giving Jennings some CF time? I personally have a little more confidence in having Fuld and Ruggiano split their time in LF. We obviously have no problem supplementing Rodriguez in the critical position of SS to compensate for Brignac and Johnson's lack of production. Why not do the same with CF?

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    • LoLJFH says:

      (sniffle, sniffle) he was upset because he was the subject of so many trade rumors. It really got to him.
      Oh, and my son pointed out the other day how he JUMPED all over Hendricks for sending him in Seattle when he was doubled off. He said/screamed "you f'ing sent me" on the replay to him. And yet he continues to play.
      This team is an internal mess. Lipstick on a pig.

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    • raysfan137 says:

      Because he's in the "I have incriminating pictures of Maddon" club with Shelton and a few others. In fact, I think he is the club chairman. And to put this in perspective - other season ticket holders in my section constantly remind me that my facebook status opening week was to go on record saying this will be the year of Melvin.

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      • Sarah says:

        Does anyone remember when Joe Maddon took BJ out of a game for failing to hustle to first? He waited until the players took the field, slowly marched out to center field, and escorted Upton back to the dugout. Was that 2007 or 8?

        Now, every time Upton is up with a guy on first, he grounds to the shortstop who flips to second. As the second baseman turns to throw to first, I'm thinking "well, BJ's fast, maybe he can beat out this ball!" And then the camera follows the throw to first base, and Upton isn't even close to the bag. In fact, he's slowed to a trot and has started heading off the the dugout already.

        I don't get why this is acceptable to Maddon now, but yet wasn't a few years ago. Has he given up on BJ? In that case, why is he one of the few players to play every day? Do you think they are keeping him in the lineup in hopes of keeping up his trade value? His numbers are bad, but perhaps they are thinking that once you bench him he's no longer seen as someone's starting center fielder in the trade market.

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        • Cork Gaines says:

          I don't remember which one, but Upton was yanked from games twice in a 2-week span in August 2008.

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        • raysfan137 says:

          I see the logic but can't buy that as the reason. Rumors said 5 or 6 teams were inquiring on BJ. AF and co understand supply and demand economics. The fact that so many teams were looking for a CF drives up the value. And based upon performance, that has to drive up the value much higher than keeping Melvin in games will ever do. Right ? I dunno. I have to keep the faith. These guys took us from worst to first and have created the expectations we now all have. While driving to work this AM I heard the Journey hit "Don't Stop Believing" won best single of the 20th Century or something like that. I'm going to try to do that. I will be there tonight looking for signs that someone (anyone) is making adjustments.

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  7. Sarah says:

    Price in "the bad"? He was not the dominant pitcher we'd like him to be, but I can't see putting his three-run, 6+ innings effort into "the bad" when there was so much stinkitude on the offensive end.

    I have absolutely no idea what a hitting coach does, but I certainly would agree with others that Shelton should not come back (I've read that his contract is up at the end of this year, which means they can simply nonrenew him). Even if he's a hitting guru and our players are just too stupid to benefit from his genius, sometimes bosses get fired just to show that someone is accountable for poor performance.

    And by the way, others have wondered why they had Matt Joyce swinging on 3-0, rather than taking a walk? Two words: Kelly Shoppach.

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    • LoLJFH says:

      Sarah, just to make JMS's day and answer your question above, here was JoeMa's comment about that: "on 3-0 count, we expected a fastball and how Joyce hits homers" per article in SPTimes. We're looking for homers down 3-1 with runners on the corner and 2 outs in the 9th? What about taking because Rauch was all over the place? How about (harkening my posts earlier this week) we slow down the bat speed and try to just get a hit? Novel idea I am sure noone thought of but me, right? Also I think Fuld has one of the team's highest BA's with RISP. I almost can't watch anymore.

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      • Cork Gaines says:

        Joyce did the same in the 2nd inning when Rays loaded the bases with no outs. Joyce was the first out, and with 2 strikes he nearly corkscrewed himself into the ground swinging so hard. Contact scores at least 1 run, and here he is trying to hit a 6-run home run.

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        • LoLJFH says:

          Can I get an "Amen" from the congregation!
          Ahhh yes, I remember the days of the 6-run homer. I miss those days.

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    • werD says:

      so the kid they traded for shoppach just got designated. maybe friedman can claim talbot, cut shop, and not allow his ego to be bruised...

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      • LoLJFH says:

        Good Lord I'd take Bruce Benedict over Kelly Shoppach! I mean 58 year old Bruuuuuuuce, not even 1982 Bruce.

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      • Jim says:

        Loljfh,
        we don't play national league type ball anymore, we now think we're the yankees and swing for the fences every at bat. i'm not sure when that changed.

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        • raysfan137 says:

          Jim - I wish this forum had a thumbs up/like button. I've been wondering for the last couple of months what happened to the safety squeeze, especially given our record with RISP lately. I think it gave us a few wins that we would not have had last season and certainly contributed to our offensive stats - low BA yet top three in runs scored (at least first half of '10).

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          • Sarah says:

            Completely agree, although I've noticed that often when I've thought about a squeeze I've realized that with bases loaded or even with a runner at second, the squeeze wouldn't work because of the force at home. I haven't actually see all that many times they've had someone at third without a runner at second.

            That said, they should be using the bunt more effectively in many situations. Someone speedy like Upton should be able to bunt for a hit. They should be able to use the bunt as a sacrifice. But have you noticed how lousy their bunting skills are? I've seen both Fuld and Johnson - -two guys who are weak enough hitters that they'd better have the bunt in their toolbag -- fail repeatedly to get down a sac bunt.

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          • raysfan137 says:

            Sarah -

            I'm specifically talking about saftey squeeze with runners at corners and 1 or 0 outs. It was almost automatic last year, maybe too much. Perhaps we over adjusted. But also bunting people into scoring position more often would be good.

            Yeah, bunting skills are non-existent. But I specifically remember SeanRod pulling off a few good ones last year. Even he seems to have forgotten how. Some of this is the result of not using it. You get rusty Use it or lose it, right ?

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        • LoLJFH says:

          Well, if we can't bunt, steal, sacrifice, hit the ball in the gaps and run like hell - why not swing for the fences?? An "A" for effort and form, right? Something new, fresh and exciting as Shelton, Maddon and Friedman promised when he was hired in October '09. I wonder what the next tactic will be for them? It's all smoke and mirrors my friends.

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    • raysfan137 says:

      Sarah - While I'm not a fan of Kelly would generally agree with Shop being the reason for the no take, despite his earlier at bats he has been hitting more of late. Also, there were others on the bench (Johnson, Fuld) who, while they can't hit either, do seem to swing and miss less than Kelly Belly. There were options, is all I'm saying. Taking a walk to put your tying run in scoring position is the smarter play. Hoping Matt all of a sudden hits a homer is not. Hope is not a method.

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      • Sarah says:

        Hey, I'm not saying that having Joyce swinging at that pitch was the right thing to do. My problem is this: when there are two outs and men on base and I hear "that brings up Kelly Shoppach" my heart sinks. But then again, there's hardly anyone on the Rays right now who I want to see batting with men in scoring position. Maybe Zobrist, Jennings or Kotchman - every else seems to be a certain out.

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        • raysfan137 says:

          Couldn't agree more. I'm not sure my heart sinks because I'm too distracted with my stomach turning when Shoppach steps up.

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  8. CC says:

    This season has been for the most part unwatchable. I've played baseball at a high level and have followed baseball for a very long time. This team does not scare anybody offensively. If not for the pitching we are a last place team. The pitching staff has to be absolutely pissed.Honestly,this is disgusting. I really think we need a change from Shelton. It can't get any worse. There is no way you can tell me he is doing a good job.If management does not make a change and we take the same approach at the plate next year, attendance at the Trop and on TV will continue to go down. And if Maddon insinuates that the lack of offense at the Trop is because nobody like to play there, he can kiss my ass.These guys are getting paid to do a job just like you and I. And that job is to entertain. Well guess what, they suck at it.

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  9. Gus says:

    As resident cynic and #1 Desmond Jennings' fan, you may be surprised that I would note to the anti-Shelton crowd that batting coaches are the targets of unprecedented fan angst in every MLB market except NYY, Boston and Pittsburgh. Offense is way down because the steroids arms race is mostly over (Ortiz and Pujlos are somehow grandfathered in I guess). Nobody can hit anywhere. Of course the Rays are an extreme case.

    As a general proposition, the Rays hit like they are paid. They are fringe major leaguers with the best starting pitching in the league. Upton is a case of unfulfilled potential at the plate, but he was that way long before Shelton arrived. Longoria is not right physically and mentally, but he's bumping along. S-Rod seems to be getting on base more since he's got the everyday SS job -- his MLB future is soley dependent on whether he can lay off the breaking stuff outside the zone. Shoppach and Elliot Johnson are just hopeless and shouldn't get many MLB at bats.

    Last night was Maddening for sure. But Zobrist, Kotchman and now Des are putting in nice seasons. Longo is below norms, and Damon is a fading hitter. They are who we thought they were, pretty much. Shelton hasn't helped, but the blame for this offense first lies at the feet of Friedman and Sternberg. This roster wasn't built to score any runs, and they refused to seek help from Durham (or in any kind of trade) until the season had been lost.

    $42M payroll for the defending AL East Champs was criminal. It pre-ordained no season ticket sales in the off-season and an August and September of paltry walk-up crowds. You reap what you sow.

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    • LoLJFH says:

      Case in point: 6-8 weeks ago the Rangers fired their hitting coach because the team was hitting so "poorly" and executing "poorly". And yet their average and power numbers were way above ours at the time. And we keep our guy? Poor, poor management job right now. I can't believe they can, in good consience, think this is acceptable by any stretch of the imagination - and expect us to come out when I can't even watch 2-3 innings at home without turning off the TV. No way do I drive from Land O Lakes to "experience it at the ballpark". Done that 4-5 times already this year, probably not going back unless something drastic happens.

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  10. Beth says:

    Cork, if they do create that "Desmond at the plate" phone app could you let me know? I had exactly that thought last night -- the only reason to watch is to see if DJ gets on base and then watch him run. Almost sorry that his hit was a homer - I love watching him run the bases. I'd add that I'll tune in as well to track Hellickson and Cobb to watch them develop into top of the order pitchers.

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  11. Beth says:

    I sort of agree. The RFO didn't want to pay for a lineup that would be competitive. That's on them. But that players like Longo and Upton can't manage to have respectable seasons? I'm not willing to say "oh, those poor boys, who could expect them to give it their all when the front office isn't willing to spend money!" I'm a teacher, and I'm watching all kinds of job cuts and program downsizing around me - frankly, I think our state only spends enough for a second class education system. But never would I imagine that I get to fail to prepare for my classes and let my students down because of what's happening around me. Why shouldn't those players be held to the same standards I am?

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    • Beth says:

      Sorry, this was supposed to respond to Gus, above.

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    • Gus says:

      Certain quarterbacks have the reputation for being coach killers. Upton may be a batting coach killer. He is who he is. He's not changing anything. For years he's had a greek chorus of defenders in the blogosphere singing his praises and he makes $5M a year. Some kids you just can't through to in the classroom -- just a hard case. BJ is that guy I think.

      I'd argue he should be benched, but it seems all too often in Raysville, if Sternberg is paying you millions, you are going to have to light yourself on fire to be benched and/or released. Think of Percival as the closer, Burrell as the DH and Upton as the CF.

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    • mary says:

      Do you honestly think they play poorly on purpose. Everyone of them i am sure are trying. Just unlucky a bit or not truly healthy maybe. You all gave Zobrist a pass with a bad year, so go to see the other players that you think are doing well, and dont give a thought to Longoria or BJ. I hope they trade Longoria, send him to the west coast or to Atlanta. he may be having a down year, but it wont last. Apparently the Rays are content to let their prospects play, maybe they have someone better in the minors

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      • LoLJFH says:

        Did you really say "I hope they trade Longoria....maybe they have someone better in the Minors"? I feel certain this was sarcasm on your behalf. If not, then you might want to have that looked at.

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  12. Alex says:

    Matt Moore is going to be awesome. That is all

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    • Beth says:

      So can we just follow the Durham Bulls for the rest of August?

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      • LoLJFH says:

        Aren't we basically doing that now?

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        • Joe says:

          good point.

          I just want to say though, keep Moore down in September but let him break camp as a full season SP for the big leagues. Don't waste his all important service time on a team that is only headed for a better draft pick.

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          • Beth says:

            Hard to imagine they would call him up anyway -- would we then have a 7 man rotation?

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          • LoLJFH says:

            Moore doesn't get called up until September 2012, not a day sooner unless an injury - like Cobb this year. Expect a trade in offseason of Davis or Niemann, then see what happens to Shields at trade deadline next year, then he gets a sniff.

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  13. Joe says:

    Last 7 times we had loaded bases no outs we DIDNT score 6 of those times. Do you realize how hard that is? The defense is always giving away a run, even a DP gets you on the board, a walk, a fly out, a force play, pretty much anything besides these *beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep* K's! gets you a run. It's easy to sit here and blame Upton or Shop or Joyce or whoever but the fact is unless your Jennings or Zobrist, we already know your AB will produce nothing.

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    • mary says:

      Maybe Zobrist can carry the team from here on out. You think 1 guy can do it. Obviously even if your Albert Pujols or Adrian Gonzales, 1 guy cant, so just watch and cheer for a better team

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  14. jim says:

    here's some scary stats

    bj upton
    OF payroll rank - 48th
    OBP - 48th

    ichiro suzuki
    OF payroll rank - 7th
    OBP - 49th

    torii hunter
    OF payroll rank - 5th
    OBP - 50th

    so yes we are getting what we pay for in that situation. i'm stunned at the other two!!!!

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  15. Ragin Rick says:

    UNWATCHABLE

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  16. Jim says:

    Damn, Maddon must have been reading RaysIndex today: three straight bunts for a total of 2RBI and three vase hits

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  17. raysfan137 says:

    Those things I said a few days ago....
    ignore them. Shelton is a genius. ;)

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    • Sarah says:

      Nice one! But notice that key hits have come from recent call ups -- maybe he just hasn't had time to ruin them yet?

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      • raysfan137 says:

        LOL - I was trying not to notice that, Sarah. However, I must now notice the Kotchman's job is in danger for apparently defying the genius. I noticed a reporter last night asked Kotch after the walk-off, "Were you afraid you were going to catch some flack from Sheltie for going after the fist pitch" ? Not sure who the reporter was, but I want to kiss him. Add him to my man-crush list right under Casey K.

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