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Rangers 4, Rays 3 (Rangers win series 3-1)

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: Joe Maddon. He can finally get that haircut…Attendance. The Rays had better attendance in October than 22 teams, including the Red Sox.

THE BAD: Swiss Cheese Lineup. There are holes all over the place. The biggest problem with the Rays lineup is the lack of depth. They have enough talent at the top of the order to carry the offense when they are doing well. But on those occasions when the heart of the order is struggling — you know, like games 3 and 4, where the 2-3-4 hitters went 1-20 — there is not enough talent in the rest of the lineup to pick up the slack. The Rays don’t need a big bat in free agency. They just need two or three bats that are league average at their position or a little better to fill in the bottom of the lineup…Evan Longoria. Dirtbag picked a hell of a time to wet his pants. In games 3 and 4 combined, Longoria went 0-7 with 5 strikeouts.

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon says he expects his entire coaching staff to return in 2012, except possibly Dave Martinez, who may be a manager someplace.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Red Sox owner John Henry: “We got the manager’s search right eight years ago with Tito and Maddon as finalists. We’ll secure a great manager this time as well.” [@John_W_Henry]
  • Johnny Damon and BJ Upton say they want to return in 2012. [TampaBay.com]
  • John Romano is already worried that people won’t remember the 2011 Rays. [TampaBay.com]
  • Josh Hamilton does not remember being teammates with Jeremy Hellickson in 2006. [Rays Report]


Evan Longoria (via TampaBay.com)


Sean Rodriguez (via TampaBay.com)

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24 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Can we at least have a shout-out to Sean Rodriguez? He sure showed up ready to play yesterday.

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  2. phil says:

    Cork - Agreed about the lineup needing better hitters at catcher and ss but how about a pinch hitter off the bench?

    They need to trade Shields to the Reds for Grandal and Alsono and someone else ...that would solidify first base and catcher.

    Will Tim Beckham be ready at some point in 2012?

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  3. Selly says:

    Better question would be is Tim the answer... Not saying he's not, but I'm just not convinced yet.

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    • Sublime says:

      Ok, so you had a shortstop in Reid Brignac who hit .150, an owner who came out 2 seconds after the Rays lost to effectively put the blame of the lack of bats on the attendance (in other words, us), so at this point, do you see any other options. Anything Tim Beckham can do is better than Reid "Uppercut" Brignac.

      Phil:

      Trade James Shields for what? Unless this team is going to get a real bullpen, James Shields' 11 almost 13 complete games masked the fact that our Bullpen save 2 guys is not that good. If not for Shields, we would have hovered around .500.

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      • jim says:

        "If not for Shields, we would have hovered around .500."

        post of the year. without shield our bullpen would have been exposed a lot more than it was.

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      • phil says:

        Trade for young hitters and take Shield's salary and add a bullpen arm or 2 ... we have 7 quality starters and Matt Moore (replacing shields) appears to be ready to start

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        • Sublime says:

          Excuse my pessimism Phil, this is not a personal attack, maybe someone more baseball astute could find the answer to this, but is anyone willing to trade with us (Rays) for a good young bat? Remember in the Trades we've had the past 3 years, these guys were suppose to be the good young bats: Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce (3 yrs. later finally comes to fruition) Robinson Chirinos, Brandon Guyer, Hak Ju-Lee, ect. These are some of the young bats we've traded for in the last 3 years, I'm not sure it's as easy as we think it is to get young bats or the scouting department, hitting wise, sucks. All these guys may turn out to be studs, but I'm not sure if the "young bats" will be a quick solution.

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          • Drew says:

            It's been said before, but think of how many wins we would have had if the best players were on the field for (at least) the majority of the season? (I'm singling out Russell, Sonnanstine, Howell (partially), Fuld, Ruggiano, EJ, Brignac, Rodriguez, Shoppach, The Pumpkin, Felipe freaking Lopez, etc.) That's almost half a roster worth of replacement level players. I'm not saying there were solutions during the season for all of these spots/guys, but we all know that not enough was done by the FO this year. Sucks that the views of ownership differ from those of the fans when it comes to fielding the best possible team. After all, we just want to win.

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          • phil says:

            there will be a lot of teams lining up for a top of the rotation starter under the age of 30..so finding a trade partner will be the easy part ..getting a young stud catcher or first baseman will be the tricky part. I hesitate to say ss because Beckham is almost ready (and should hit better than Brignac) and Lee will be ready in 2 years.

            Robinson Chirinos and Brandon Guyer may get shots to contribute next year

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          • Phil says:

            Sublime - Here are 2 that should be available from the reds for Shields:

            Yonder Alonso, 1B, Cincinnati Reds, Grade B+: Hit .296/.374/.486 in Triple-A, then .330/.398/.545 in 88 major league at-bats. Can't complain here, just needs a job.

            Yasmani Grandal, C, Cincinnati Reds, Grade B+: Hit .296/.410/.510 in High-A, then .301/.360/.474 in Double-A. Power, patience, good glove. If Mesoraco doesn't seize the Cincy catching job, Grandal will.

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  4. jim says:

    great derek shelton is coming back.
    2011 .244 13th in the AL
    2010 .247 13th in the AL

    yet 2012 is going to be different? WTF? look at the numbers, shelton cost us at least 20pts in batting average. something has to change. but hey, anyone want to bet we pick up jp howell's contract also?

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  5. MarkE says:

    Beckham is a good start. And I know they play the same position, but how about Hak-Ju Lee somewhere in the middle infield? This would create a big question with Zobrist vs. Joyce in RF, but good God man, we need some offense. We don't HAVE TO have a .290 power hitter, just a "hit for average", consistent bat or two in the lineup.

    The catcher position problem reminds me of the offensive line for the Bucs. For DECADES the offensive line was the glaring weakness holding back the Bucs from ultimate success. The second half of the Super Bowl season, all Brad Johnson needed was an extra 1/2 second more on every pass play, and somehow, the offensive line stepped WAY UP and lo and behold... history.

    There is probably no way to tell, but the pedestrian batting from the catcher position, the endless pass balls and impotent throw-down success (from 3 out of 4 catchers) surely contributed to a few in the loss column this year and years past.

    I understand the money problems. I understand that we can't just "trade Shields for some bats", because we'll have to pay a large salary for those bats. But can we perhaps re-prioritize our minor league process to develop some quality hitters and catchers? If not, perhaps re-focus trading priorities to acquire some quality hitting/catching prospects. I hope they actually make some aggressive moves in trades next year. They have to take a swing before the trade deadlines next year instead of watching the third strike every at bat.

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  6. Don says:

    You can point out managerial mistakes, player failures (longo& Upton)
    BUT in THE END : THE BEST TEAM WON THE SERIES...
    IF anyone knowledgeable watches the Ranger Hitters& pitchers.... the Rays Players are not in the same Class
    ANd According to Stuie THAT IS THE FANS FAULT..BECAUSE YOU DON'T GO TO ENOUGH GAMES Well Stuie I not Going again till next April does that mean YOU don't have to do anything this winter to improve your product and to SELL MORE TICKETS...just wondering? and
    If you are so unhappy with the team(no Profits) WHY don't you.......... do what you would do with one of your real work investments...SELL THE TEAM..
    BElieve me there are many Billionairs that would love to own the Rays.and I believe THEY would work their Ass off to fill the Stadium.something YOU haven't been wiilling or Able to Do....and the bad mouth act is not working...... SO do us a favor and SELL.

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    • Mike says:

      You are an idiot. Stu and his team has done everything possible to market the Rays and they have done a great job. Unfortunately, the economy is really killing the team's ability to sell tickets, and to get a new stadium in Tampa. If Stu sells the team, we will be back to the Namoli years of futility within 3 years.

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    • jim says:

      don,
      don't kid yourself, the profits are there, or stu wouldn't be in it. the leaked documents on deadspin showed that. stu can plead that he's not making money but it doesn't jibe with what was released. but with the marlins, it came back to bite them in the ass. they claimed they were losing their ass and the city pitched in more than they wanted to, then the documents were released and the city was pissed and looked like fools. i would think that the area leaders took huge notice of that.

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  7. Gus says:

    This team WAY overacheived for the payroll management gave it. Like 2008, where we wondered if a Brignac for Bay trade could have put us over the top, or 2010 when we wondered why Qualls was the best we could do at the deadline, 2011 will be remembered for management failure to fill any of the gaping holes in the offense when they (a) were obvious from march 31 and (b) management should have had some budget room given the dramatic payroll slash of the Al East champs.

    Off season, it is on ownership to (a) renegotiate the TV deal; the Rays have outperfromed their horrible TV contract; Fox won the ALDS for Texas with its crazy contract for the Rangers and terrible contract for the Rays. That was the difference last two years -- money for Lee and money for Beltre. (b) make a legit effort to sell season tickets. You have something to sell now -- no payroll cutting, etc. This is a likeable bunch. They need to figure out ways to get the season ticket number moving in an upward direction. make it a community-wide efforts.

    You fix those two problems, everything else will follow. Maybe even an evening playoff game one day . . . .

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  8. NashVegas Ryan says:

    I just wanted to congratulate the Rays on a good season. I never expected 91 wins and a playoff trip after what they lost last year. I was just thinking, 5 years ago we would have loved to make it in the playoffs, now we have been to the playoffs 3 of 4 years. That is awesome! But like others I want more. I hope the owners will open up their wallets a little to find another bat or 2 and maybe another reliever. I am excited for next season already.
    Here are my offseason questions.
    What is going to happen with Matt Moore to start next season?
    Is Shields and or BJ getting traded?
    Can the Rays find a SS and a catcher that can hit?
    Will Dave Martinez be back? (I hope so, this guy knows baseball)
    I think most importantly, will Freidman be back?

    GO RAYS!

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  9. Joe D. says:

    You want to talk bad, less than 30k at a playoff game... Now introducing your San Antonio Rays!

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    • Sublime says:

      Bad is having a playoff game at 2:07pm on a Tuesday, that's bad.

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      • Joe D. says:

        It sucks, but I made it there, I live in Orlando. I have a full time job and am a part time student. I sat in Gandy traffic for an hour last night, it sucked, the infrastructure to support the stadium sucks. Even knowing the outcome of the game I'd do it again. St Pete, and Tampa are just apathetic when it comes to ML baseball, there were $20 seats that were empty. That's apathy, not economy.

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        • Sarah says:

          Good for you, Joe, but not all of us can take time off from work or find others to pick up their kids from school with 48 hours notice. I can't stand watching this discussion deteriorate into blaming our fellow or sister fans for not being available at the last minute on a Tuesday afternoon. The Monday evening game sold out quickly, and 30,000 people came to Tuesday's game. That's a lot of people rearranging their lives and paying a lot of money for what is, when we get down to it, just a game.

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          • Joe D. says:

            Sarah, it's, not an indictment on you or other fans, that make the effort to go to games through out the year, it's an indictment on the region, and the vitality of the area ever being able to support 81+ games a year, baseball has day games, and they have to sell too not just weekend concert series games with Toy Kieth and trucker hats.

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  10. Matt says:

    I wouldn't trust maddon saying everyone is coming back. That happened to the braves last week, fredi gonzalez said everybody was coming back. Then the next day they announced the hitting coach was dismissed. I still fully expect shelton to be gone.

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