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Rangers 7, Rays 2 (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: Merciful. Walk softly and carry an armored tank division. That’s what the Red Sox and Yankees say. The Rays? They’ve got a lineup that features 4 guys hitting under .250. But hey, most nights the pitching will make sure the Rays only lose 4-2.

THE BAD: Gotta crawl before. Hey CJ Wilson, Joe Maddon runs his unit how he runs his unit. You want to beat the Rays? Roll the dice and take your chances. 36 times a year, they sit in a dugout 50 yards from 25 Yankees or Red Sox who are trained to destroy the Rays. So don’t think for one second that you can stand on that mound, flash a slider, and make them nervous. What? No baserunners through 5 innings? Nevermind…Jeff Niemann. Trade him, he’s a bum. Wait. On Second thought, let’s not trade him just yet. And now we’re thinking, that your suggestion of trading Niemann, while expeditious and certainly painless, might not be, in a matter of speaking, the Rays way. Niemann stays where he is. We’re gonna maximize the value of the lad! Or something…BJ Upton. 0-4. 3 more strikeouts and he is now 5th in the AL in Ks with 135. Why does BJ strikeout so much?  Our answer is we don’t have the first damn clue. Maybe he was an early swinger and likes to swing before the pitch reaches him. And maybe there weren’t any pitches that he liked. We’re educated men, but we’re afraid we can’t speak intelligently about the swinging habits of Melvin Upton. What we do know is that he takes a lot of strikes, and swings and misses at many more. 

THE TELLING: The Rays Elimination number is now 19…Brandon Guyer was in the lineup and went 0-2 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter…Jose Lobaton will join the Rays today or tomorrow


  • Here is video of the five longest home runs hit this season. An Upton makes an appearance, just not our Upton. [Business Insider]
  • If you missed the broadcast earlier this week, you will want to check out this pic of Brian Anderson. [Cowbell Clankers]


  • Charlotte 2, DURHAM 0: Chris Archer had one of his better starts of the year, throwing 7 shutout innings. He gave up 8 hits, but only walked 1, and struck out 6…SS Tim Beckham went 1-3 with a walk.
  • Chattanooga 8, MONTGOMERY 3: Jim Paduch gave up 8 runs on 13 hits and 2 walks in just 5.2 innings…SS Hak-Ju Leewent 1-5 with a strikeout…1B Henry Wrigley homered, his 17th.
  • CHARLOTTE 0, Bradenton 0 (2): (suspended)
  • BOWLING GREEN 7, Dayton 5: SS Derek Dietrich had 2 hits including a double…C Keith Castillo (5) and 3B Taylor Motter (1) homered for the Hot Rods.
  • Connecticut 5, HUDSON VALLEY 1: CF Brian Bryles was 2-4 with a pair of doubles and a walk.
  • PRINCETON: (season over)




  1. Beth says:

    Well the good news is…..Chris Archer only walked 1! At the major league level, however, really perfunctory performances all around. Last night’s game said “it’s hot here, and I can’t wait to hit the golf course/go fishing/play video games in October”

  2. zenny says:

    I get the impression that ol’ Cork was a still a little sloshed whilst writing today’s edition of The Hangover. But after watching a depressingly familiar game like that, who could blame him?

    • Beth says:

      I don’t know, watching them a little bit sloshed would leave me feeling more optimistic – it’s watching cold sober that leads me to the “wow, they are pretty mediocre, aren’t they?” moments.

  3. Tom says:

    I thought maybe he let Don write the hangover.

    On the good side, we did see some excellent defense from BJ and Joyce.

  4. jim says:

    Cork, please explain….
    You are sometimes quoted on mlbtraderumors, so I’m assuming their some sort of friendship, maybe not. They are considered the top site on mlb “gossip”.
    Why in the world was there ZERO mention of Carl Crawford being put on waivers? He was in the first year of a huge 7 year deal and they dangled him out there. I emailed them and Tim Dierkes gave me some BS excuse that he heard of some teams putting their entire rosters on waivers. The problem is, the Red Sox didn’t do this, Crawford was one of the few that they were reported to have exposed.

    Yet on there site, and most others, including yours, there was no mention of it. Yet mlbtraderumors had multiple posts about Farnsworth, and and an entire column about Upton. I realize that not many teams could afford Crawford, and the Red Sox asking price was probably ridiculous, but the mere fact that they even exposed him is news. Were they truly shopping him? Sending a message?

    If Zambrano getting put on waivers is news, then surely someone making $15 million a year in the 1st year of a 7 year deal being shopped is at least worth a mention. Just a bit odd. And no, it is very uncommon for someone signing a new huge deal to be placed on waivers during the first year of the contract. So that’s complete BS.

  5. jim says:

    BJ batting average is 60th out of 62 outfielders in MLB, his OBP is 55th. When you factor in his baserunning issues, they quickly offset any spectacular catches that he makes. Given all of this, why in the world didn’t we deal him? Is the front office completely overvaluing him? Several teams were interested in him at the NW deadline and at least one (and it wasn’t a block move) at the W deadline. Isn’t anything better than nothing? Hell at this point isn’t it addition by subtraction? Any decent trade would having been icing.

    The argument that you hear is that we will have more options at the end of the season. We had options at the NW deadline, and that was with 1 ½ years remaining on his contract, he wasn’t a “rent a player”. By waiting until the end of the year it seems as though we are putting ourselves over a barrel. We don’t want to pay him $7million next year, and teams know that, so they can completely lowball us and we have to take it. At the NW deadline, we could have gotten better value. Am I completely off base here?

    • KillaTapes says:

      How do you know they had any offers worth taking? I’m pretty sure the FO was ready to trade him if they got ANY offer that could help the team in the future

      • jim says:

        i would take a good bullpen catcher for him at this point. like i said, addition by subtraction. 60 out of 62, isn’t going to make our team better in the future. all the rumors at the deadline was that the FO wanted a bunch for him.

        would i trade him for a AA or AAA player or a prospect? could it truly be any worse? the only batting stat he’s average in is HR’s and RBI and that still middle of the pack. on a 1 to 5 scale of outfielders, he’s at best a 1.5 hitter, a 2.5 baserunner, and a 4.0 fielder(due to his arm is erratic). is that honestly worth $7 million or 15% of our team salary? he’s a $1 to $2 million outfielder at best.

        • Tom says:

          If BJ leaves after the 2012 season as a FA they will probably get at least type B compensation so if I were the Rays front office that would be my starting point for what I want in a trade.

  6. Tom says:

    Jim, It is hard to say they are overvaluing BJ not knowing what they were offered for him.

  7. Don says:

    I could correct BJ upton’s swing in one(1) week of work, I’ve posted it before on this site…he would hit at least 30-40 points higher if I spent 15 min. with him..hint I’m a big golfer, he makes the same mistake most(bad) golfers do…but let him suffer..if ever a good hitting coach gets a hold of him he could change!

    • Drew says:

      If you could teach him how to hit in 15 minutes, I could teach him how to hit in 10 seconds. Also, could you please teach Joe Maddon how to manage and Andrew Friedman how to build a competitive team? We desperately need your wisdom.

    • KillaTapes says:

      It’d take a whole lot longer than 15 minutes for even the most accomplished teacher to teach you how to read, write, spell, or put together a coherent sentence.

    • LoLJFH says:

      You could but Rod Carew couldn’t?? He was ok in the beginning of the season when he wasn’t twisting that darned foot/leg of his. The more pronounced that becomes the worse his swing and contact are? He is still wagging that leg when swinging, so he is not even prepared to hit 77.8% of the time.

  8. Hal says:

    Hallelujah!!!!!!!!Don is going to save BJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!In 15 minutes!!!!!!!!!!What are your thoughts on cancer? Cold fusion? The troubled Japanese nuclear reactors? Can you help me? I would like more money and more vacation – any thoughts? By big golfer, do you mean 400 lbs. big? That would be awfully big for a ten year-old.

    What is the over/under for Don’s age? I’d have to set it at 15. If he is over 15, he should be forced to contribute $1,000 for every year over to charity.

    • Tom says:

      I actually think Don is pretty old. He seems pretty bitter.

    • LoLJFH says:

      I think Don is “that guy” we all grew up with that we hated but somehow tolerated as a kid. He was hysterical but a pain in the ass and you kept him around “just because” he could be useful at some point. He is kinda like Eddie Haskell, if you will. Maybe he is Napoleonic. He’s the guy that pops up out of nowhere, instigates a fiight, slinks back into the shadows and takes bets watching the house burn down around him telling everyone what happened for his 15 seconds of fame on Fox13.

      • Beth says:

        I think “Don” is actually some really sophisticated guy who has created an imbecile of an alter ego just to have some fun with us. And we keep responding to him, so he keeps doing it. So could we all just ignore Don, and maybe he’ll go away?

  9. Don says:

    Different take for Maddon…for 2012 position players..Kotch,jennings. Zobrist, Damon,Joyce Have jobs base on 2011 performance…EVERYONE else trys out for a job..there will be NO .230 and below hitters on this team in 2012…in order to for us to compete in the American league
    IF you CAN”T hit over .230…I (we) don’t need you..then sign a couple of hitters in the off season to compete for jobs…

    • Drew says:

      “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare

    • jim says:

      don, please don’t EVER use “US” when refering to the rays and you. PLEASE!!!!

    • LoLJFH says:

      Start with a REAL hitting coach first. And don’t forget the second half that Longo is having.

    • mary says:

      I hope they trade Longoria and Bj, I think they both are supposed to get about 5 million a year and I think alot of other teams would love to have those guys for that amount. I’m sure the Rays have someone in the minors that people will love to see play and they will be alot cheaper. Don then maybe you will see some guys that really will “try “, because according to you, the guys out there now couldn”t possibly trying to play their best.

  10. KillaTapes says:

    It’d take a whole lot longer than 15 minutes for even the most accomplished teacher to teach you how to read, write, spell, or put together a coherent sentence.

    • KillaTapes says:

      *reply fail

      • Don says:

        How long will it take to teach you how to post?

        • Hal says:

          Thoughts for 2012….no Longo, he sucks…bring back Bubba Trammel, loved him, super sexy…Don new hitting coach, fix BJ in 15 minutes…fire Maddon…sell team, move to Helsinki, Finland, Fins love baseball…hire Billy Martin, he takes no shit and is very dead…unfreeze Ted Williams, bat him 5th….renew our deal with the Devil, drop “Rays”, new team called the “Satans”…Give Carl Crawford 250 million over 5 years..check for gas leak in house…

  11. Gus says:

    Can we get rid of Nashville’s skyline at the top of the site? Worse than maddon’s neck that was up there.

    Some nice St. Pete shore line shot would be appreciated.

  12. Sublime says:

    Save one batter, the entire team’s hitting approach stinks, but you mentioned BJ’s name and you get 87 replies, he’s the gift that keeps giving. Once he’s gone, you’ll use _____________________ to get this many replies??? Hilarious.

    • Sarah says:

      You are right, it can be difficult to single out a particular batter for criticism this year, yet I feel that BJ has been uniquely disappointing. Sure, Shoppach and Brignac have worse averages, but neither has ever been considered an elite hitter. Even Sean Rodriguez seems to have begun to figure out how to draw a walk or move a runner along now and then, Longoria is clearly having an off year but has still managed to drive in runs; but BJ just looks clueless when he’s at bat. One of his key assets is his speed, but how can he take advantage of that when he is so seldom on base? What really concerns me is the trend lines — his average has gotten worse each year he’s been in the majors. And he’s got the strike out percentage of a power hitter, without the home runs to show for it. It’s like a reverse learning curve.

      He keeps saying that he wants to stay on the Rays, and his strategy for ensuring that happens seems to be performing so poorly that he has no trade value.

      Sublime, I know BJ has at times been unfairly maligned. But this should have been his year to quiet the critics, and instead he has regressed.

  13. MarkE says:

    Don is Cork! ;-)

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