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Rangers 8, 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: BJ Upton. He got on base twice. Yay?

THE BAD: You Guys Give Up Yet? There was a lot of chatter in the Raysiverse yesterday about how the Rays could still make the playoffs if they could just get within 4 or 5 game of the Red Sox before this weekend’s series and then sweep the Sox. Essentially, those fans were asking the Rays to go on an 8-game winning streak. Instead, the Rays got pounded, and the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 14-0. And now the Rays sit 8 back in the Wild Card with just 21 to go. Even if the Rays can somehow go 17-4 (including 14 games against the Sox and Yankees), the Red Sox would only have to go 10-11 to win the Wild Card. Hey, we love the enthusiasm and the optimism. You guys are good fans. But what you are asking for is a miracle.

THE TELLING: After committing 4 errors in 7 games, Evan Longoria got the start at DH. His 13 errors are 1 short of his career-high…Jose Lobaton tweaked his knee and will be sidelined until at least Friday...Joe Maddon now has 500 career wins, although we still don’t understand why he gets credit for those two Marlins games in 2006 when he left the team to attend his then girlfriend’s graduation...The Rays will stay on rotation for the Red Sox series, meaning they won’t skip Jeremy Hellickson despite Thursday’s off-day.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Next Stop For College Football: 5 Super-Conferences, A BCS Division, And 40 Pissed Off Schools. [Business Insider]
  • In the aftermath of Sarah Tyson’s interview with Evan Longoria, The Pepsi Max Field of Dreams team has been announced. [MLB.com]
  • Is this Jeremy Hellickson’s lady friend? [Busted Coverage]
  • Adam Sobsey previews the Durham Bulls opening round playoff series. [IndyWeek]
  • How one man’s idea led to the Rays becoming the first team to open a baseball academy in Brazil, and the challenges the Rays face in finding baseball players there. [Fox News Latino]
  • Some similarities between David Price and Lee Roy Selmon. [The Ray Area]
  • Fun with the Durham Bulls and some end of season charts. [WDBB]
  • BRaysBall Talk feels the city of St. Pete isn’t doing much to help fill The Trop. [BRaysBall Talk]
  • Chuck LaMar has resigned as assistant GM of the Phillies. [PhillyBurbs.com]
  • How is there not video evidence of David Price swimming with the Rays in the Rays tank? [TampaBay.com]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM: Best-of-5 playoff series begins today
  • BOWLING GREEN: Best-of-3 playoff series begins today
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14 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Either Neimann just can't figure out the Texas lineup, or we're going to hear that he's injured. Seems to me that whenever Niemann has a few really pitiful performances in a row, next thing we know he's on the DL.

    As effective as we've seen him be as a starter, I really think he's a candidate to be converted to a relief role. He just hasn't shown himself to have the physical stamina to pitch 200 innings in a year. Something always seems to break down.

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  2. JoeRaysFan says:

    On giving up, it's not that simple. It's not just about winning it all, it's about getting back in the hunt first. If the Rays keep it where it is now and sweep the Sox and sit five back on Monday, is anyone going to say, 'well, since we needed a miracle last Wednesday, we're not going to get caught up in the race.'

    The Rays largely control their own destiny, which is enough to keep me scoreboard watching constantly.

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  3. Don says:

    Guess who the odd man out is.... next year in the pitching rotation?
    Welcome aboard "corn" COBB!

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    • LoLJFH says:

      Do you pay attention? Expect a trade of Davis or Niemann, someone has to go. Or, one accepts bullpen per Sarah above. We have to use one of them as bait for a bonafide catcher and Cincy has 2 sitting in AAA waiting (MUCH better prospects than what we have currently) and a HUGE need for a starter(s). Trade $3mm for a $410k starter is MO, but we can live without either guy.

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      • phil says:

        Shields to the reds for Yonder Alonso (1st) and Yasmani Grandal (catcher) and one more piece possibly Todd Frazier....they have plenty of starters...

        2012 starters: Price/ Hell boy/ Niemann/Cobb/Davis/Moore/Torres

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        • LoLJFH says:

          You may be right! You'd hate to get rid of him but his trade value for the guys you mentioned has never been higher, and in the last year of his contract, could make this a perfect fit. I had forgotten about Alonso. He needs to go somewhere as he is "jammed" behind Votto so he has to be traded. Grandal would be ideal, but I believe he has more plate discipline than Mesoraco which is saying something for a guy hitting .302 with 26HR in AAA (provided he doesn't go all Dan Johnson in majors!).

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  4. Hal says:

    Yonder Alonso is the best name in sports

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    • Beth says:

      I've always liked "Buster Posey" (did his family know he'd be a ballplayer when they named him? You really can't be an art historian or an accountant named Buster Posey, can you?), but Yonder Alonso is good too.

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  5. Gus says:

    Okay Cork, I think I give up with that 2-game swing.

    A lost season. People can blame the fans all they want, but this was an intentionally tanked season with a payroll of $40M. They never added payroll when they could have (after Manny's suspension). Despite Stu's promises, they didn;t get any help at the trade deadline. The run the team as pure business when it isn't just a business. They have at least $20M profit this season, maybecloser to $30M, without playoffs. Better for them to run it cheap and hope to luck into the playoffs. Not a great business model, but obviously not the only MLB team doing it.

    These starting pitchers desreve better. We as fans deserve better. Tough to build a long-term fan base when (a) you sabotage your own season ticket efforts with crazy low payrolls and (b) criticize (through surrogates at ESPN and other places) the very half of the area that is supporting you the most and make go-go eyes at Downtown Tampa.

    I'm almost of the view that they should go ahead and sue to get out of their lease. Get the issue resolved one way or the other. Tired of people thinking and acting like there is a rainbow out there that doesn't exist.

    That said, I'm fired up for an Upton and Shoppach-free 2012.

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  6. Thadw says:

    Look, I appreciate the firehose of realism that you continue to rain down on RaysNation week after week. You're like the Dead Collector wandering down medieval streets lined with failed baseball teams shouting: "Bring out your dead, bring out your dead."

    But on the topic of whether the Rays are truly dead or not, I would offer a few questions:

    Is a miracle run to the finish line unlikely for the Rays? Sure, any sane person would agree that it's very unlikely.

    Does the math look daunting? Of course it does on paper and even moreso with some historical context. But everything changes if the Rays win just the next four games and happen to be only four games back. Heck, if the Rays bats could just get hot for a week (understandably a big ask) and get to within 3 games with 14 to play and four more games H2H with Sox, all bets are off.

    Is it impossible? Not hardly. The way the schedule unfolds anything is possible.

    Can John Lester pitch for the Red Sox every night? No. The Sox rotation is in tatters and Lester can only pitch four more times max.

    I just think it's too early to throw in the towel completely. Every day that goes by with the Rays remaining 7 or 8 games back makes the task a little tougher. But it's not impossible. And however unlikely it may be, the Rays DO have a fair amount of their own destiny in their own hands. With a little hot streak and some breaks, the extremely offensively challenged Rays COULD get back in the race.

    In most other years, if the Rays were nearly done playing the Sox and if both the Yanks and Sox were steamrolling teams down the stretch, I'd say sure, it's prob time for Rays fans to pack it in. But the facts are that since reaching 29 games over .500 on August 9th, the Sox are exactly 13-13 and that was WITH Beckett in the rotation. And frankly for every 9+ run game the Sox offense has had the past two weeks, they've had at least that many 2's or less, including getting shut out 3 times in the past 11 games.

    Again, not likely Rays can make a run. But Rays fans who think they can make a run shouldn't be labeled as myopics.

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    • Beth says:

      Really, as long as the players play as though they have a chance of winning, it hardly matters what fans, or even bloggers, think, right?

      I think some of us fare better saying "there's no chance" and then being pleasantly surprised when the Rays remain in contention for a few more weeks. And others -- like you, perhaps -- do better remaining optimistic even if disappointment is likely.

      I'm in the former camp -- I was getting stressed out by the Rays' one-step-forward, two-steps back late July -- when I found myself snapping at my son after every Rays loss I knew something had to give. Once I concluded that this just wasn't our year was I felt liberated. I'm still watching and maybe even hoping, but without any expectations. I like it better this way.

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      • Des from Durham says:

        Des sez: Never give up Rays nation. Des is here.

        26-18 (.600) since Dez arrived to lead the games off, get on base, score some runs, d-it up in the OF.

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