Joe is back with his post-game thoughts….

Well, at least the big guns in the bullpen are rested.

Joe’s reaching here for positives after the Rays took their second consecutive drilling at the hands of the Royals tonight. This time it was 8-2.

For the optimists out there, J.P. Howell was solid again. And while Joe cringes every time Howell enters a game, he is either improving or getting a little lucky. Regardless, if Joe Maddon’s obviously going to stick with him, then Howell not throwing batting practice is worth applauding.

Sadly, the defensive lapses returned, as Sean Rodriguez made many a Rays fan pine for E-6, aka Elliot Johnson. Also, the Rays made a solid left-handed pitcher look an All-Star and Karlos Pena continues to whiff at nearly a historic pace.

Yep, things are sort of back to the new normal in the post-Longoria era.

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10 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Yankees have won 17 of 21 and Boston is winning more and more. The AL East will soon take on a familiar look I am afraid. I said very early in the season that this would be 2010 all over again. High hopes going into the season and disappointment at the end. We seem to do better when nobody thinks we have a chance.

    I think the Rays will be lucky to finish the season .500. My prediction is they finish 83-79 and fourth place in the East and a ways out of the WC, which will go to the 2nd place East team and the Angels.

    My philosophy for the rest of this year will be to enjoy seeing some of the younger guys (e.g. Archer and Torres) play in the majors. I bet we even see Beckham in Sept. If I let my expectations be any higher I’ll have to take medicine to control my blood pressure.

  2. Tone says:

    They suck. Pitching is very good, offense and defense are absolute garbage. The Rays are not winning the division and the two Wild Card spots are going to be hard as well, with the Angels, Red Sox, O’s, and even possibly a Central team competing for them. If Longoria was coming back when originally scheduled, I think this team would have hope, but he’s going to miss at least half the season now. I think the team is done. I hope they trade Shields for a nice package. He’ll fetch more now from a contender than he would in the offseason. The farm needs A LOT of help in the upper levels. Awful. Just pure awful.

  3. YoBuc says:

    Bottom line: Cheapo owner and poor free agent moves in offseason. Has turned entire year of 2012 into an OFF SEASON.
    Keeping Kotchman and signing Willingham were my hopes this past winter. Instead they spent more and got two pieces of ‘shift’ in Loook At Me Scott (a Jake if I ever saw one) and Karlos Painful, whose time ran out four years ago.
    And their Genius Manager, the GooRoo as his peers regard him, can’t keep his hands off the lineup card, keeps shifting his fielders around until they don’t even know where they are. And wonders why his team can’t field. And then asks “why?” Sometimes you can’t see your own nose in the mirror.

  4. Ken says:

    Sadly I must agree with the above posts. Key injuries and bungled front office moves have reduced this year to a .500 season. We are now the Jays and Orioles of the past 5 years.
    If the front office has the moxie and brilliance so often attributed to it then major rebuilding moves must begin now.
    Who goes? Upton (we’ll never sign him), Molina (never should of signed him), SRod (let him play with Briggy be gone), Matsui (we don’t need the extra reporters anyway), Pena or Zobrist (salary reduction move), and Shields, Davis (both should bring in decent prospects).
    We’d be left with a team that will probably play at the same level and have hope for next year with a still “solid” rotation and pen, some young players with potential, and possibly a future star or two.

  5. Drew says:

    Remember when we were talking about trading for Derek Norris, Ian Desmond, Yasmani Grandal, etc during the offseason? I guess having 8 major league pitchers was more important than an offense that can rank outside of the bottom 1/3 of the league in K’s, average, slugging %, and wOBA. There’s still hope though, it’s early.

  6. Nick says:

    After 3 years, Sean Rodriguez has no clue how to hit to right field. Ben Zobrist has regressed. None of the hitters have gotten better. This is directly the responsibility of the hitting coach. Please fire shelton. Its long overdue

  7. don says:

    Boy losing really brings out the “bench” posters, poor front office moves, player confusion & ineptness, and Mgt. GooRoo
    Gee… I wish I would have thought of all that stuff early in the season

    • Tanyon Sturtze says:

      Yeah, I agree with Don. Everyone shut up. It’s June 27th, there are 88 games left, and the Rays are 5 1/2 games out of first. They’re going to get their best hitter back in a few weeks, another bullpen arm soon, and whatever you want to call Luke Scott soon too. They’re going to be there in September, no doubt.

      If you all are wondering why everyone thinks the Rays have the worst fans in baseball, it’s because they do. A late June ass-kicking at the hand of the Royals means the season is over?

      Last year, they got destroyed in KC in July, and we all know what happened then. So get off the comment boards, save up some money, go to a game or two, and support the team you supposedly care about. Jesus.

      • Ken says:

        As a season ticket holder who has yet to miss a game this year I ask you one question: where can I get a pair of glasses like yours? Our offense has struggled since 2009 and the front office moves to correct it has left me scratching my head. I don’t care if it’s June or not. Look at the numbers Drew quotes above. These are real, and reflect a very disappointing trend. We field a team night after night that has (maybe) 3 players above .275 who have had a significant number of at bats.
        The rest of our division is stronger than ever. Leading the league in errors neutralizes our strength: pitching. Putting it all on Longo seems like a pretty big longoshot to me. Self criticism is good for the soul. I won’t “shut up” after shelling out thousands of dollars for 4 season tix. Tell me you think that Molina, Rodriguez, Johnson, Matsui, Upton and Pena are equal to what our rivals field at those positions and I’ll prescribe a fine anti-psychotic medication for you.
        BTW, Jesus won’t help either. He’s not as smart as Maddon.
        A bad fan is one who refuses to look at a team’s performance for fear of realizing the truth. A good fan implores the front office to step to the plate and make smart decisions. Which one are you?

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