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.