Joe is back with his post-game thoughts….

Joe’s wondering how many late-game collapses a team can endure and still be a good team, a playoff team.

Sadly, every last Rays fan is being forced to ponder the question.

Joe took in the last half of the Rays’ 4-3, 4-hour, 11-inning choke job at a bar filled with Rays fans. The consensus was it’s time to give up on Fernando Rodney, who has lost his control, swagger and whatever intangibles that made him great last year. Yeah, he was one strike away from a save last night, but that doesn’t count, no matter how many times Joe Maddon says getting close is encouraging.

Joe had to laugh hearing the buzzed Rays fans thinking Rodney will get yanked from the closer role. Of course, that’s not going to happen, not in May or June.

Here’s what Maddon said after the game: ”As long as [Rodney] does not lose confidence in himself, I will not lose confidence in him. It’s just one of those moments.”

These aren’t the days of Troy Percival, when the Rays didn’t have legitimate other closer options. Now they do. But Joe suspects Maddon will stay loyal to Rodney. This is the same manager that senselessly rode Karlos Pena into September last year. It’s how Maddon rolls.




  1. Mr.Smith 1980 says:

    Who do you think would be a better closer? A more consistent closer? Before you say Peralta let me say this; Peralta has been really good, but what is the likelihood of him staying that hot long-term (probably about the same likelihood that Rodney continues his current woes)?

    • Ken says:

      I guess my answer would depend on your definition of long term Mr. Smith. If “long term” means till the All Star break then I disagree. Peralta’s risk/reward factor much more palatable that Rodney’s over the next two months. It also gives us some time to find some suitable support arms.
      I can’t see Peralta as the season long solution either but JoMa’s irrational loyalty to Rodney must end soon.
      We’ve seen this behavior from JoMa before. Pena, Rodriguez, Howell, Percival, Wheeler, Brignac, Fuld and so on.
      We were 29-19 after 48 games last year and barely missed the playoffs, so there’s time but the late game losses have to stop soon.

      • Mr.Smith 1980 says:

        You think Rodney’s irreparable?
        I think I could get on board with Peralta while he’s hot, but I’ve gotta believe that Rodney has to come back around at some point.

        • Ken says:

          I really don’t know. It’s not like he has an extended successful track record. Relievers, especially closers, are an emotional sort. Rodney may have blew his wad during the WSB this spring. His mound presence lately is scary to watch. If Hickey can get this pitch tipping corrected maybe he’ll become useful.
          Time will tell.

  2. Jimmy Delach says:

    Thanks for bringing up Troy Percival. He was the last Rays closer that gave me nightmares before Rodney (2013 version) came along.

    Interestingly Today is May 26th. A year ago on this date Rodney had the first of his two blown saves. What a difference a year made.

  3. MarkE says:

    Joe: “As long as Rodney does not lose confidence in himself, I will not lose confidence in him. It’s just one of those moments.”

    Employer: “Well, Employee, this is the fifth major account you’ve lost for our company in 7 weeks, but as long as you don’t lose confidence in yourself, I will not lose confidence in you. Go on your way and let’s hope you don’t have another one of those ‘moments’, because the company is about to go bankrupt due to your unfortunate missteps.”

    This would never be said in real life. Is it time to get real, Joe?

    For someone who goes out of his way to make sure everyone knows he’s somehow mystically “tuned” to people’s feelings and emotions, how does JoeMad NOT see the lack of confidence in Fernando’s face and demeanor? Joe, this just in: Rodney has LOST HIS CONFIDENCE.

    I don’t want to see Rodney sent down, just SAT down in the ninth. Or, maybe use him in non-save roles. Please, the projected 87-92 wins this season meant that the Rays needed to WIN these types of games more often than not.

    • Ken says:

      On point Mark. Rodney looks ready to take a dump each time he takes the mound. Stick a plantain in him. As far as all the votes for bullpen by committee, I doubt it will work here because Maddon is too rigid. He’s got all of the BB world fooled into thinking he’s the second coming of McGraw, Stengel, Alston, et. al., but he’s really just an ordinary manager with an ability to turn a phrase, allow his players to act like children and slop down good wine. To paraphrase Bubba Gump, “Stubborn is as Stubborn does”
      Note that Giradi is betting far more mileage out of Overbay, Wells, Hafner and others than Maddon ever has with similar players.

      • Mr.Smith 1980 says:

        That’s a reach (the Girardi comparison). I would say with a massive degree of certainty that Maddon did more with less in 2007 and 2008 at the very least.

        • Ken says:

          Agreed on 07-08. Still wonder if it was JoMa or kismet. BTW, for the record, I think Giradi sucks, but that’s a fans opinion. Yup, a Yankee hater since the 50′s.

  4. Bill says:

    Rodney sucks. He is not bright to begin with, but he is losing the head game big time. I was his defender on the Toronto collapse saying he just missed his location with the game tying pitch or it would have been the game winner. Wrong. The guy is just a moron. Letting an ump get under his skin on a balk call that is meaningless? Runner was going and had second base taken anyway. And before that, when you’re down to your last out and you’re up two or more, you don’t go for the K at the risk of a walk. Let the guy get himself out. A solo homer is not really worse than a walk in that situation anyway. Either one brings tying run to the plate, with a home mathematically much less likely. The walk is what killed Rodney. Yeah Lueke gave up the game winner. But pitched really well to that point. And more than one inning. Give the guy some more experience at high leverage situations and he could be real good for three outs. Regardless, I’m ok with a comittee of Peralta, McGee and Lueke over bonehead shoot the moon but can’t shoot the strike zone Rodney. He is a joke. Last year is last year.

  5. Dave L says:

    if only the bullpen problems could be solved by demoting Rodney, but they can’t.

    Even though I think saves are the stupidest stat ever invented…. well here it goes

    Last year as a team we led the majors with only 8 team blown saves this year we have 9 already. So the entire team is failing at the end not just Rodney. Actually 3 teams have more than 9 and Baltimore has 11

    Sure Rodney leads with 5 but guess who is second? McGee with 3(tied).

    Right now im for closer by comittee and even multiple guys working the ninth in the same game. Rodney, Lueke from the right and Ramos and my boy Torres from the left.

    No need to annoint anyone. Closer is a bullshit position created by a stupid stat. If you have one good for you. If not dont try to force one.

      • OriginalTom says:

        that article shows Dan Wheeler as the Rays Closer in 2008.

      • Dave L says:

        That article is irrelevant to the Rays current situation. We arent trying to win a playoffs or World Series— right now its May.

        Theoritically if the pen rights the ship and we get to the playoffs a closer will most likely emerge.

        But to now Lueke (or whoever)! Go out and be infallible! Its a recipe for failure.

        Rodney emerged as a closer remember he wasnt even called that for months last year.

        Ninth inning by commitee!

        • Ken says:

          “Closer is a bullshit position created by a stupid stat. If you have one good for you. If not dont try to force one.”
          What a completely moronic statement. Have you been bar hopping with Don? Great idea, get the whole pen up in the 7th night after night, the use three of them to get through one inning and watch them implode by August.
          We aren’t trying to win a world series? Then WTF are we even watching the games?

          • Dave L says:

            You need to read more if you think im the only person who believes all teams must have a closer at all times and the concept is moronic.

            When did u start watching the Rays? Rodney wasnt named the closer last year until about this time.

            Yes that article is about the World SERIES and PLAYOFFS. We aren’t trying to win it in May.

            Reread your own source material.

  6. Tone says:

    What’s the point. As Joe Bucs Fan said, Maddon and the front office stick to to their plans no matter the results. We all have to ride this sinking ship and hope for a magical turnaround.

  7. Ken says:

    From a DRays Bay article in March:
    “Something else to note with Rodney, is whether he was tipping his pitches in the WBC.
    ESPN analyst Mark Mulder tweeted the following during the championship game:
    Anybody else able to call every pitch Rodney throws as soon as u see how high he brings his hands at top of delivery.
    The Process Report provided some photos comparing Rodney’s 2012 Opening Day stance versus his in the WBC, noting his differences in delivery on fastballs and changeups. Whether hitters actually noticed, or if this is routine, is hard to tell, but it’s worth observing going into the season.”

    Fast forward to the 9th inning last night. I had DVR’ed the game as I was at a cook out. Watch the Boesch and Gardner AB’s. Both batters down 1-2, both batters not getting around on the FB. Notice how both waited and stayed back unbelievably long on the next pitch. Notice Boesch laughing, clapping his hands and gesturing to the 3B coach after reaching 2nd. Notice the footwork during each of Rodney’s picthes in question. Notice the location, high and away. Notice Rodney’s FB/Change splits: 97/81. Lucky hits? Bullsh*t. No way even the greatest hitter of all time can risk staying back that long on a 1-2 count unless they know what’s coming.
    Now Maddon, Hickey and all their apologists can clamor all they want about luck, inches, and the Yankee mystique but to me the proof is in the pudding.

    • pete says:

      That’s a very solid point. If Rodney is tipping pitches , that could be a large part of the reason he is failing. Good observation. His fastball command is also shot.

      I’m sure Maddon and Hickey have noticed his issues but aren’t going to throw him under the bus to the media. It’s time for Rodney to sit for a few games , or come into some lower leverage situations. Problem is. Who closes?

      • Ken says:

        I’d rather throw him under the bus than put him on the mound at this point.

        • Dave L says:

          Yes and fire Maddon too. yeah we get it

          Being a bomb throwing, guillotining revolutionary is fun and feels good. But you have no concept of responsible governing of a team.

          Call any sports talk show in america in any market national and say hey I’m from Tampa Bay and I think we should fire Maddon!

          You will get laughed off the air.

          • Ken says:

            Wow Dave, being called a moron really got your panties tight. Really, you and the rest of your “Madslum” supporting apologists believe that autocracy is how to govern anything?
            Call YES sports, NESN, want the numbers? Callers on those shows nail Maddon constantly and are rarely called Jihadists.
            Facts are facts. Name the number of drafted position players by the braintrust playing for us? Name the number of players the braintrust have traded for that are in the Rays lineup today, then look at their averages. Fuld, ooh, CC must be scared sh8tless. SRod, yikes, can’t risk pitching to him. Only Zobrist is a threat.
            “We have to make this process work for us to be successful in this league”, JoMa’s latest quote.
            What process? Identify it to us rebels Dave.
            Yankee players are expected to win. Rays players are expected to perform as JoMa so dictates.
            Do I want Maddon fired? Only if his dog and pony show doesn’t work, and right now it’s not.

          • Ken says:

            By the way, season ticket holder since 1998, how about you?

          • Ken says:

            Sincere apology to SRod, you played a hell of a game. I even put my picture of you and the grandson from fan fest back on the fridge.

  8. CC says:

    Batista said he knew what was coming when he hit his homer against Rodney. He is tipping his pitches. You have batters turning around a 98 mph fastball and waiting to slap the change up. Last year hitters were completely fooled.This year there is rarely ever a swing and miss. MEMO TO JOE. CHECK THE TAPE. HE’S TIPPING HIS PITCHES.

  9. peter says:

    I would like to know why Maddon can’t see what everyone else does? Rodney has blown 5 saves against division opponents. So if he had saved just 4 Rays would be 28-20 and have same record as Red Sox right behind the Yankees. Instead they are a .500 team with obvious bullpen problems.

    I’d like to see the circus crap (rock band in clubhouse before game and dressing up like it’s Halloween on road trips) stop too. If Maddon wants to be a circus ringleader instead of a MLB manager he needs to quit his job. Someone else posted what I have been thinking all along: Joe Maddon and his shifts and unusual decisions have had no real effect on the Rays winning. What effects the Rays winning or shall I say losing is when leads late in the game are lost.

    I feel like we are watching Fantasy Island and everyone is shouting “THE PEN BOSS, THE PEN” but management is not listening. Keep living in the past and this fantasy you have with Rodney and it should cost you (Maddon) your job.

  10. Don says:

    And it gets harder and harder for the Maddon defenders to continue their meaningless support…it took a long time put Joe Public Average, has seen enough,
    Now there are many Joe “Average” Maddons

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