Joe is back with his post-game thoughts…
OK, Joe’s had it. Time to call a spade a spade.
Joe has zero issues about giving a guy mad kudos when it is deserved. But if someone is lauded for his good works, he should also be called out for his drawbacks.
Ladies and gentlemen, Joe presents to you Andrew Friedman.
Now Joe’s not going to say Friedman is some bean-counting, spreadsheet-loving schlub who needs to be jettisoned. Hell, no! That however doesn’t mean Friedman has given the Rays — or Rays fans — a fair shake at a postseason run this year.
The Rays are absolutely loaded with pitching, ridiculously so. And for that Friedman deserves every pat on the back he gets from the baseball community. But as fans are booing Godzilla for popping out to end a 2-1 loss today, in which stud rookie pitcher Matt Moore got hung out to dry with virtually no offensive support, and as fans watch Karlos Pena makes a run at the major league record for strikeouts (he has 126 after today’s loss; the record held by the immortal Mark Reynolds with 223, who has the dubious distinction of recording 200+ strikeouts four times), they should realize it isn’t Merlot Joe who has kept Godzilla on the roster. It wasn’t Merlot Joe who signed a reject from a putrid Cubs team and heralded the signing as if Albert Pujols was added to the roster.
No, this is the work of Friedman.
The organization is filthy rich with pitching. Again, largely thanks to Friedman. Though Friedman deserves derision for not using that excess of arms to acquire a decent bat or two.
Yes, Joe knows this is not what Friedman does. Perhaps it’s time to start?
For years Braves general manager John Schuerholz refused to acquire a badly needed closer and how did that work out for the Braves of the 1990s? How many seasons were lost as a result?
So when you grit your teeth the next time you see Godzilla fly out, when you slam your glass of beer on the bar the next time Karlos Pena strikes out, don’t blame Merlot Joe. He’s not the guy who signed these over-the-hill albatrosses rather than trading for some offensive punch.
If we are going to give Friedman praise for having one of the most pitching-rich organizations in years — and he should be lauded for that — then we should also scold Friedman for not doing the right thing and getting some legitimate offensive help.