The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Yankees 7, RAYS 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Savior of the Universe. Flash! ahhhh. Savior of the Universe! Flash! Ahhhh. He’ll save every one of us! Right? Well, it was at least good to see Desmond Jennings back in the lineup…Cesar Ramos. Ramos came in and gave the Rays 3 innings of relief sparing the rest of the bullpen on a night when some arms could have been wasted.

THE BAD: Defense and Starting Pitching. Wait. What? These are supposed to be the Rays’ strengths, right? Well, three more errors, and just an awful night for James Shields equals an ugly, ugly 7-0 loss. Then again, how are the defense and starting pitching supposed to win ball games if the offense can’t score a single god damned run?…Where’s Sweet Swingin’? This is the problem that Joe Maddon has right now. With Desmond Jennings back, that leaves Luke Scott, Hideki Matsui, and Matt Joyce for DH and right field. And last night it was Joyce left without a chair when Maddon’s music stopped. And this also proves that not everything Maddon does is based on numbers. He basically put Matsui in right field batting cleanup on the hope that he would have a big night in his return to the Bronx. He went 0-4.

THE TELLING:Desmond Jennings was activated prior to the game and Rich Thompson was optioned to triple-A Durham…The Rays are once again tied with the Orioles for first place in the East.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Be sure to check out a couple of GIFs from last night’s game at the end of this post.
  • The Rays went heavy with speed in the draft. [TampaBay.com]
  • Here’s a full list of the players drafted by the Rays so far and the expected signing bonus for each. [RaysProspects]
  • The Cubs may trade Matt Garza and the Yankees are one possibility. [MLBTR] So are the Blue Jays. [@Buster_ESPN]
  • A Q&A with Dave Martinez. [Fangraphs]
  • No. 8 in a power rankings? Seems a little low, but whatever. But then we noticed that the Red Sox are no. 7. Huh? [SI.com]
  • Hideki Matsui explains why he picked no. 35 for his jersey. [TampaBay.com]
  • The New York Times recalls Elliot Johnson’s slide during the 2008 Spring Training that sent a strong message to the rest of the AL East that the Rays had arrived. [NY Times]
  • Rafael Soriano is still doing the untucked jersey routine after saves and some Yankees fans are not too thrilled about it. [NYYFans.com]
  • Where the Rays rank on the all-time no-hitters list. [BI Sports]
  • The Durham Bulls are slowly working their way back to .500. [WDBB]
  • JoeBucsFan.com spoke with EJ Biggers. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Scranton/WB 12, DURHAM 8. Jhonny Nunez gave up 4 runs in just 2 innings on 4 hits and 3 walks…Alex Torres allowed 2 runs in 2.2 innings of relief. He did strike out 5 and walked 2…LF Leslie Anderson continues to hit well going 2-4 with a double and his 7th home run…1B Henry Wrigley had 4 hits including a double and his 4th home run. He is hitting .274 in 23 games since being promoted. He also has 11 home runs combined between AA and AAA this season…C Chris Gimenez was 3-4 with a double…2B Reid Brignac was 0-3 and is hitting .162.

Tennessee 12, MONTGOMERY 3. SS Hak-Ju Lee went 2-5 with his 2nd home run. However, he also committed his 12th error…LF Brad Coon had a single and his 12th stolen base…CF Ty Morrison went 2-5 with a double.

CHARLOTTE @ Lakeland. postponed

BOWLING GREEN. no game scheduled

Well, this pretty much sums up this game…

This is an odd clip to use during the pregame…

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17 Comments

  1. Dre says:

    what is even worse about that SI.com ranking is the implication that we are only at #8 because of picking up Matsui. double huh?

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  2. bucyea says:

    Maddon's ego has finally become bigger than what's best for the team. He seems to believe all the national stories about "Genius Joe", and wants to be the "headliner". Yep, it's all about Joe now. Sitting Joyce and batting Pena cleanup are just the latest of Joe's that will prove he's a genius, no matter what happens on the field. Someone in the Rays organization needs to remind Joe, baseball in played on the field not a Dr. Jeckyls laboratory.

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  3. bucyea says:

    Correction..."batting Pena leadoff" is what I meant to say.

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  4. don says:

    What Maddon does has NOTHING to do with numbers, It has to do with HIS premonitions, dreams,and bike ride flashes...
    Putting Matsuie (.150) in at cleanup BECAUSE they were going to NY, and sitting the bench the only 2011 all star hitter.... completely negated anything Jennings could have done last night
    I know your tired of hearing it but until anyone starts to see the stupid shit Maddon does I will sing the song..our sports writers can not see the forest, the trees keep getting in the way...
    I feel sorry for guys like Joyce, his developement as an everyday star has been put back 3 years,since he got here..

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  5. Fatmosh says:

    FYI, SI's power rankings are now based solely on WAR. So that's why the Rays are so low (and the Sox so high).

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  6. Raysfan137 says:

    Wow. Haven't been looking in here lately, but just stopped by to see how people were taking last night. Lot's of negative emotion. Not trying to be a kool aid drinker. Things need fixing, but most are fixable. We are still a very good team and going to get better.

    Joe's ego isn't the problem. He tinkers and tries things. We know it. Accept it and get on with life. But whatever hole someone bats in is not that relevant, when NO ONE is hitting. We have major approach at the plate problem - or lack thereof. Ben's swing is bad, nothing but wrist rolls. He used to do that occasionally. Now it's all he does. Carlos is clueless. BJ is getting praise only because everyone else sucks so bad. Can they turn it around ? Of course. But Joe's lineups aren't thep problem. We've had games where EJ and the bottom third came through when others didn't. Not happening anymore. What's Shelton doing to shake things up, get people motivated, make adjustments ? And don't give me crap about how these are major leaguers and the hitting coach can't do much. Then why does every team have one? He absolutely sets the tone, works strategy, and deals with slumps like this. Correction, he doesn't, but should. Still seeing checked swing first pitches, checked swing 2-0 and 3-1 counts, etc. These are undeniable indicators of a lack of strategy, pitch recognition or both. If the hitting coach isn't responsible, who is ? And why does he only catch heat in these forums and never in the media ? He should run for political office. Shetlie is the real genius.

    Let me reiterate - every issue we have is fixable. Longo at 3rd, SRod at Short, Rhymes at 2nd or Ben there every day addresses the defense. No way to argue that. The lack of bats doesn't get fixed with lineup tinkering. Shelton needs to do something. He hasn't done jack since he has gotten here. If he won't, I'll be happy to volunteer my services looking at some data for 5 minutes and recommending a plate approach before each game. Can't do any worse.

    The other elephant in the room is Molina - pun intended. He can't move behind the plate, gets the occasional blind squirrel hit, and bully on calling a good game. DFA his A and let's go with Lobaton and Giminez. They both want to work at playing the game. And they both can learn and get experience for when we'll need them later this year when No Way Jose's body finally gives out or he has cardiac arrest on one of the blazing sprints to first base on a GDP.

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    • Beth says:

      Totally agree with you. The Rays hitting isn't poor because Maddon tinkers. He tinkers because the hitting is poor.

      You may be right about Molina, but there are some games where watching him lumber to first is our only excitement. I'm waiting for him to hit the ball into the outfield one day and nonetheless get thrown out at first.

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  7. Gus says:

    I had to bite my toungue for a few weeks when Elliot Johnson got hot, but the reversion to the mean hasn't been pretty to watch, and he's got a ways to go to get to his career norms.

    S-Rod is the best defensive SS on the team, has the most future, etc. He has to play SS when he is in the line-up. Period. You can flip Johnson or Sutton or whoever to 3rd for the next few weeks until Longo gets back, but Johnson's SS defense has been dreadful.

    Maddon is tinkering because he has sub-par offensive players for the most part. That said, MATT JOYCE IS HIS BEST ACTIVE BATTER. He can't be platooned, moved around, messed with. He is the key in the line-up. To sit him in favor of Scott or Matsui is just a bad move. The players "protesting" in his office was their way of telling him to knock it off.

    Hopefully, he learns here. This organization has under-promoted Joyce for years. He is a local kid with a great swing who produces. Leave him alone in the line-up and put him on some billboards.

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    • Rob says:

      Completely agree. The platoon should be Matsui for either Scott or Pena against left-handers. If that means Joyce plays first when Pena is out I am okay with that.

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    • Beth says:

      I agree! Platooning makes sense only when the other part of the platoon actually produces more than the player you are replacing might have. That's not the case right now.

      But I'm not sure I agree with you about S-Rod at short. As mediocre as Johnson has been at short, all the alternatives to Rodriguez at third are just horrendous.

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  8. Gus says:

    If he must play, Elliot does less harm at 3b than at SS, I'm thinking. But more importantly, there is a chance S-Rod could be an above-average SS and I don't want his development hindered. He has shown some positive signs this year now that he's playing everyday. He could be the infield version of Matt Joyce.

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    • Joe says:

      I agree with Elliot at 3B but that's because he has the strongest arm. Just have to hope it's accurate because all of Sean/Elliot and Sutton can get to any ball, it's just the off balance throwing thats killing us. Elliot wants to prove himself so bad, I think we should put S-Rod at SS and Rhymes at 3B...only guy besides Sean who plays it well.

      Sutton and Elliot are trying too hard, Scott is in a brutal, ugly, disgusting slump and I can't begin to guess what is going on with Zobrist on both sides, he has become both a rally killer (with his new DP ball) and a rally starter (wheres my awesome Zo defense?)

      I miss you so much Evan and full disclosure, I stopped shaving until you return also. He's not saying it but Longo probably feels like he can start tonight and he knows the Rays will keep him out til late June

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  9. Joe says:

    We can actually be in 3rd after tonight's game but I still keep asking myself, how in the world are we tied for 1st? Now hopefully the bats are given some red bull or something (although that might make for crazier throws in the field. Nova has been brutal and unlike Humber, lets not make him look good PLEASE.

    Now, normally Cobb is at his worst in the 1st and sometimes the 2nd, if he can get through those, he should be pretty good. Shields was off to a start that if anything was better than last year but lately, hes giving me 2010 flash backs. Yanks only scare him in NY though, he's usually good against them in Tampa (opening day not withstanding, Sabathia and Mo sucked that day and Pena was awesome!)

    As for Price, he lost his last start vs Sabathia but he's having a Cy Young type year and the Price vs Sabathia match up's went to Price the first 6 times so I always feel good with David.

    Last thing, he probably wont get it thanks to Maddon's love for him but I really would like to see Joyce in RF and Matsui at DH. Scott needs a day off. NO JOE HE DOESN'T NEED TO LEAD OFF

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    • Rob says:

      "...but I still keep asking myself, how in the world are we tied for 1st?"

      You may not have to ask yourself that again after tonight's game.

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  10. Hal says:

    Joe keeps talking about how good Molina's defense is and how he calls a great game. His defense is awful. Period. All of the framing pitch metrics are just stupid when you just consider them in a vacuum. The passed balls, the wild pitches with no effort erase anything positive about is framing. And its the effort thing that bothers me most - Joe always preaches hustle and Molina gives NONE. Hell, BJ thinks he needs to give a little more effort.

    And I love Zobrist, but he has to own some of this. I know we are supposed to make fun of batting average, but 200 ain't helping and now he's killing rallies on a nightly basis.

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    • Alex says:

      Molina just needs to retire and become a coach. He is awful.

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    • Raysfan137 says:

      Well at least most Rays fans agree, Slugman behind the plate is our 2012 Pat Burrell. Stu - want to sell tickets ? Stop signing has beens with recognizable names. Let them go do the infomercial circuit. Go trade some pitching for real impact bats. I know you hate to let that value go. But if these were stocks I'll bet you'd be diversifying your portfolio a little better. Pitching, fielding, hitting. Three legs of the stool. Pull one out, you fall to the floor. That's what we'll be doing over the next couple of weeks. Just dropped two slots. Two more coming up.

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