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

RAYS 5, Diamondbacks 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Attendance. On the same night that we learned the TV ratings have been strong, 17,402 showed up at the Trop on Tuesday night against an NL West club. Just three weeks ago, on their last Tuesday night game, the Rays played a non-divisional opponent (Twins) and the attendance was 12,777. And the last Tuesday home game before that was against the Blue Jays and only 12,041 showed up. The Tuesday before that, the Rays played the Red Sox and 16,870 showed up. To have 17,402 show up on a Tuesday is huge…Roberto Hernandez. Think Not-Fausto knows his job is in jeopardy? This win was big for several reasons. His complete game win, in which he didn’t allow a run until 2 outs in the ninth, was the seventh for the Rays this month and just keeps things rolling. It also shows that the Rays and Joe Maddon have a nice problem, too many quality starting pitchers. But more importantly, today is the trade deadline and anybody needing a starting pitcher is suddenly a little more interested in Roberto Hernandez…Rolling. When was the last time the Rays played a bad game? I mean, one of those game where you know it is over early and there is no hope. The Rays were shut out by JA Dickey on June 26, but they only lost that game 3-0. You have to go back to June 14 to find a game in which the Rays lost by more than 4 runs. They lost 7-2 to the Royals. And the night before that they lost 10-1 to the Royals. That’s more than 6 weeks ago. All teams have bad games. But the Rays are so good right now that even their bad games are not really bad. Amazing what a strong rotation can do.

THE BAD: Evan Longoria. Bad is not the right word. Worrisome is probably better. His 0-5 with 2 Ks last night ended an 11-game hitting streak. But he only had 13 hits during that hitting streak. And since July 3rd, he is hitting .187 (17-91) with 34 strikeouts in 23 games. We see occasional glimpses of his greatness, which seem to happen just often enough to give the allure that he’s fine. But it has been a long time since he was hot at the plate.

THE TELLING: Ryan Roberts was pulled from the Durham Bulls game after 2 at bats. There is speculation that he could either be traded to called up if somebody else (Kelly Johnson?) is traded…The game included a 20-minute delay when a storm knocked some of the lights out…The Rays are now 64-43, one-half game ahead of the Red Sox and 5 games ahead of the Orioles for the second Wild Card spot. The AL playoff picture is clearing up. In reality, there are seven teams still alive for the 5 playoff spots with the Indians a half-game behind the Orioles for the second Wild Card and the Rangers 1.0 game back.


  • The Red Sox traded for Jake Peavy. [MLBTR]
  • 800 missed calls at home plate this season. One goes against the Red Sox and now people are screaming to change the rules? Well, if that’s what it takes to get more instant replay then I am even more glad the call was blown. [BI Sports]
  • One walk-off home run. Three calls. One was good. One was great. And then there was Hawk Harrelson. [BI Sports]
  • Don’t forget, Joe and the Big Dog will go head-to-head at 5 pm. [JoeBucsFan]


The best hitter for the Durham Bulls this season has been Vince Belnome (he’s 25, was drafted in the 28th round and is in his second organization). Here he is hitting a home run on Monday night…

DURHAM 6, Toledo 2. Merrill Kelly held the Mud Hens to 1 run in 5 innings. He did not strike out a batter, walked 3…Tim Beckham 1-4 with a walk.

Mississippi 7, MONTGOMERY 4. C Curt Casali was 3-3 with a double and 2 RBI…Mike Colla gave up 7 runs in 6 innings.

Lakeland 8, CHARLOTTE 4. Drew Vettleson was 2-5 with a double. He’s hitting .281…Richie Shaffer went 1-4 with a double.

Dayton 6, BOWLING GREEN 2. Blake Snell struck out 7 and walked 2 in 6 innings. He allowed 1 run…Andrew Toles was 3-5 and raised his average to .318.

HUDSON VALLEY 4, Vermont 2.

PRINCETON 8, Johnson City 7.





  1. Rob says:

    Some of the people in attendance last night were part of a promotion the Rays were doing over the weekend. If you topped up your burst pass with $20, you got a free ticket to last night's game, which is what I did.

    I think it was a pretty good marketing idea too because they gave us seats one notch up from where our partial season tickets are, and now I am thinking of upgrading for next year.

  2. Dave L says:

    On the other hand.....

    From the Nattering Nabob of Negativism Department be aware that.....

    Before last nights game we were next to last in MLB attendance.

    After 23,408 showed up at Marlins park to watch them take on the Mets last night, we offficially just took over last place for now. And the Mets are in Miami for two more games.

    Just preparing you for the slings and arrows to come fellow Rays fans.

    • Ken says:

      ...and come they will Dave, no doubt. I'm ashamed to admit that I even gave away my season ticket due to Fausto pitching. What a dumb move that was. My reasoning was that the Rays allowed me to take advantage of the $2 kids special tonight so I'm taking my grandson and 2 of his buddies. Nice gesture on their part and a great deal for families in the bay area. I hope we draw close to 25,000 tonight.
      I getting a little tired of all the Rays fan bashing. I'm not going to get into the reason(s) why area Rays fans do or don't come to games. They have been cited in this blog and many others ad naseum.
      What's really starting to piss me off is the total lack of political, corporate and "rich-bitch" sponsorship. These "power" brokers are the folks who guaranteed MLB a franchise would work in this area. Where are they? Look around most MLB parks and you'll find the "luxury" boxes sponsored and usually full. Look at the embarrassing lack of signage and corporate promotions compared to other parks. Case in point: Mayor Foster has season seats in the right field bleachers (woo-hoo). His name plates are on the back of the seats. A buddy of mine has a single season seat three rows behind. He swears he hasn't seen Foster there yet this year. What's up with that?
      There's plenty of 1% folks in this area who talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Time to start bashing them not us loyal fans.

      • Rob says:

        What I don't understand is why isn't OSI, Publix, Jabil, TechData, Raymond James, etc plastered all over the place? These are the big names in town and they are barely noticeable.

        • Ken says:

          My point exactly Rob. Every major employer in this area should own a corporate box and give the tickets to their hard working employees.

        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          Because they've been brainwashed in to thinking that The Trop (and by proxy the Rays) are a lost cause, and a sponsorship nightmare.
          They've been told for years that the Trop is garbage and that the Rays are moving, and that no one cares or attends, so they listen to the "pundits" and spend their money elsewhere.

          • Ken says:

            You're probably right Mr. Smith but that's a very scary thought. To think that our local major companies put more faith in the observations of "pundits" rather than their own marketing gurus says a lot about vision.
            Yesterday at the Publix on TI I saw more folks wearing Rays gear than bathing suits.

  3. Rob says:

    The park also needs a signature food. Cuban sandwiches don't seem to be it. The Blooming Onion could be, but I think they need to redesign it to make it easy to eat with one hand (beer in the other). Another idea for the kids is to make some sort of ice cream/frozen OJ snack from Tropicana.

  4. Ken says:

    On a totally unrelated note, here's an observation on the Biogenesis, PED, HGH scandal. What's the common thread between Clemens, Petite, ARod, Cervelli, Colon, Montero, M. Cabrera and probably a few others yet to be mentioned? Hint: If you can't buy 'em, juice 'em.

  5. angrybuddha says:

    There's no way we unload Hernandez. If there's one thing Andrew seems to love, it's pitching depth. After unloading Shields and Davis this off-season, we cut into that pretty deeply. And when Cobb & Price got hurt, we digging pretty deep to bring up Archer "ahead of schedule."

    That's all worked out, but I'd be more comfortable (as would, I think, Andrew) if we kept Fausto around as a 6th starter.

  6. Pat says:

    I have never understood why the Rays do not have some kind of inexpensive deal for the seniors and others in and around St. Pete, if only to fill some seats. A $5 walk-up ticket at game time would at least put bodies in the place. And I agree about the corporate support; it's pathetic here. I hail from Baltimore and remember when I could only get a ticket by begging one from one of my business colleagues or vendors with whom I did business, they were that hard to come by..


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