USATSI_7466269_154511044_lowresThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 5, Rangers 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: David Price. King David Rose Again! What a performance. There was a case to be made for starting Alex Cobb. In theory, the Rays needed a win from both Cobb and Price to get to the real playoffs against the Red Sox on Friday. So, does it make a difference if Cobb starts against the Rangers or Cleveland? Maybe not and we all know Price has struggled against the Rangers. But we’ve seen Price be huge when the most is on the line. And if Joe Maddon started Cobb and the Rays had lost, the backlash would have been enormous. In the end, this game was all about King David. He just wasn’t going to lose. What a great, great performance…Evan Longoria. Many Statheads (of which I like to consider myself one even if I don’t bury this site in them) will tell you there is no such thing as clutch. I have long argued that it depends on what you mean by the term “clutch.” Do players get better when it matters most? No. But without a doubt, there are players that don’t get worse, and to me that is clutch. Just like in all aspects of life, there are people who get nervous and struggle when the pressure increases (do all people handle speaking to a large crowd the same way?) and there are people who are able to remain calm and do their job just as well as if nobody is watching. That’s Evan Longoria. Last night it was three more hits including a huge 2-run home run in the third inning. When it matters most, I never worry about whether or not Longo will show up…Sam Fuld. What a huge and gutsy play that was in the 9th inning. With the pitcher not paying attention, Fuld broke for third base forcing a bad throw from the mound. Fuld would easily score the 5th run for the Rays. This was big for Price as it gave him a longer leash when he came back out for the bottom of the ninth…Joe Maddon. Good on Maddon for having the confidence to stick with Price the whole way. Hindsight is 20-20, but I was genuinely nervous about bringing Fernando Rodney in and felt a little better when it was Price…Nelson Cruz. I loved that he was the final out. More than the suspension, it was a chance for Price to slay two demons in one at bat, the Rangers and Cruz.

THE BAD: Trade Talks Will Only Get Worse. No matter what happens this postseason, the off-season story line is going to be all about whether or not the Rays will trade David Price. And the one team that will be mentioned the most is the Texas Rangers. Maybe they will step up, and maybe they won’t. But with Price pitching as well as he did last night and eliminating the Rangers in front of 43,000 Rangers fans is just going to make the Rangers fans want Price even more. Who knows if the wishes of the fans will have any influence on what the Rangers front office will do, but they are going to yell loud for the team to make a deal and that will mean even more stories and speculation. So brace yourselves, it’s coming.

THE TELLING: Kevin Kiermaier made his major league debut in the 9th inning as a center field defensive replacement…Cleveland will start Danny Salazar against the Rays on Wednesday. Salazar started the season in double-A…Remember the “Chase for 92 Wins” posts? The Rays finished 92-71 and are the second Wild Card team. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays now have a 100% chance of making the playoffs.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • There was no screencaps post this morning. You can find them in last night’s Live post. [Rays Index]
  • And here are our favorite moments from the post-game celebration. [Rays Index]
  • Here is the strikezone plot from last night. There were basically two bad calls by the home plate umpire. The red triangle in the first plot was the strikeout of AJ Pierzynski. In almost the same spot on the second plot, there is a red square, that was a called strike earlier in the game to Delmon Young. Otherwise, the umpire was pretty solid. [BrooksBaseball.net]
  • Hey MLB, you need expanded replay NOW, not extra umpires on the field. [BI Sports]
  • When David Price yelled “that’s what I am talking about!” he was looking at Evan Longoria. Price explained why to Scott Miller. [CBS Sports]
  • Andrew Friedman on Kevin Kiermaier: “He is as good of a defender as there is in professional baseball in our opinion…he has a chance to be a real weapon for us late in the game.” [TBO.com]
  • The Rays are no. 8 out of 10 teams in Jon Heyman’s postseason power rankings. The good news is that Cleveland is no. 10. [CBS Sports]
  • The Best GIFs of Week 4 in the NFL. [BI Sports]
  • Just blow up the Bucs and start over. This is an ugly mess and it’s getting uglier. [JoeBucsFan]

 

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20 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    Go Rays!

  2. Gus says:

    Best way to keep Price around is to win a world series. Rays can do that if they can get through Cleveland somehow (they’ll be tough at home).

    IF they got to Boston, you’d have Moore-Price on regular rest start Games 1-2, and Cobb on regular rest at home in Game 3. Couldn’t ask for anything better than that.

    • Phil says:

      Thinking If there is a game 5 in the sux series ..both price and Moore will be on regular rest..So start Moore and bring Price in relief to complete the game!

  3. Ken says:

    The NY Times posted a very interesting interview with Longo a few days ago. The interview focused on why Longo signed a very team friendly long term deal in light of Cano’s demand for 305 M over ten years. Longo pointed out that some “stars” in MLB seek to be the highest paid whereas he wanted the security of staying with one team for most if not all of his career.
    I have to believe that Gus is right on with his thoughts on Price. Get into the “real” post season against the Sux and see how it plays out. I gotta feeling that King David would love to remain a Ray. Winning a series would cement that thought.
    While it’s true that the Rays can’t afford to pay him, it may also be true that they can’t afford to lose him either. Time will tell. Stewie, sharpen your pencil.

    • sledge says:

      While I’d love to agree with you it is possible, I think that Price has already made pretty clear he feels a higher obligation to the players as a whole to chase big bucks.

      • Rob says:

        I agree. I don’t think Price will stay with the team because of happy times and camaraderie. I predict he goes after the big payday.

    • Sarah says:

      Ah, yes, yet another national media article that makes it sound as though the Rays play in a rec center basement with no fans.

  4. Gus says:

    He’ll become more affordable in arbitration 2014 (in realtive terms) because he didn’t have a lights out year and missed 7 weeks or so. You never know what the future holds for pitchers. I will say Texas seems as a poor choice of a desintation for Price as Boston was for Crawford. LA seems to be where he end up; NYC potetnially as well.

    Winning championships is the only rebuttal to the union pressure to cash in. Price is enough of an independent thinker that he’d consider it, but the odds are still long for him to stay (absent injury).

  5. Dave L says:

    Price staying is really not a realistic option. Its not just the money per year but the overall length of the contract that is guaranteed in a typical ace pitcher hitting his prime.

    Once you see the actual terms of what Price will command be it 2014 or 2015 you will see that the Rays can’t even get close to that nor should we want to and still maintain the ‘Rays way’.

    As long as the current management regime stays together just look to the recent past and you will see the immediate future.

    I think we can afford one more year of Price 2014 for around $20mil (easy for me to say) before cashing him in ala Shields in 2015 and reloading with sub 25 yo guys for the future. If we get something in return that will knock our socks off in 2014 he may go but I just dont see it.

    I agree with Gus that the further we go in 2013 the closer we will feel we are to a WS ring in 2014 which will tend to make us keep Price and go for it again.

    I expect to beat Cleveland. I wasn’t so sure about Texas so I am feeling good.

    But in a one game series that only puts me at a 60% chance which is all I can ask for.

    In retrospect I think keeping Shields and WD in 2013 would have made us a stronger and better team (this year only That may seem controversial to some.) but had to be done for 2014 forward. Otherwise we would have gotten nothing in return.

    • Ken says:

      Gotta disagree with you on the Shields/Myers trade. Myers carried us for most of September. I can’t imagine Joyce, Zobrist, KJ and whoever else being more productive in his slot. Also, consider this, Myers arrival allowed Zorilla to play 2b regularly and he responded with a gold glove season. 7 days a week of Myers far outweighs 1.5 starts a week by Shields.

      • Dave L says:

        We all love Myers but you arent being coldly objective here sorry.

        Substitute Shields 220+ innings of 3.15 era ball vs all of Faustos 150 innings of 4.89 ball. Factor in his 34 starts of averaging 6 2/3 innings vs Robertos 24 and you can cover and improve Odorizzi and all the other mediocre spot starts as well we had.

        Now add in WD back in the pen being productive instead of killing his Royals team with a -2.1 WAR and covering innings and made our pen stronger.

        That vs half a season of a very productive Myers. I think its pretty clear.

        Sheilds full season WAR of 4.1 plus a productive WD in the pen vs Wils 2.0 WAR.

        Our pitching staff would have rivalled last years.

        In the coming years we win by far with Myers but not 2013. I predicted they would get more in 2013 and it was bourne out in reality.

        • Ken says:

          If my memory is correct you were one of the few Fausto supporters while most of us were throwing him under the bus. Now you are throwing him under that same bus just to prove a point. The benefits of the trade far out weigh all the cyber stats you’re so fond of. Shields departure, plus the unforeseen injuries to Price and Cobb allowed Archer to get into the rotation and perform admirably. Your reasoning that Davis would have performed more effectively as a Ray instead of a Royal is a real stretch. The Royals didn’t make the post season with Shields and Davis and the Rays did with Myers. Ordorizzi came on strong at the end of the year and has a chance to make the rotation in 2014. Bottom line is we gained 15+M in salary flexibility and still are playing for a chance to move forward. The Royals are sitting at home.

          • Dave L says:

            I can admit I was disappointed by Fausto yes I was one of his biggest boosters. He ate innings as I predicted and finshed 3rd in the team in that category as I predicted. Im not throwing anyone anywhere just stating the obvious. But he gave up 50% more runs than Sheilds with 50% less innings. That is fact.

            The WDavis observation is borne out by history. Sorry if facts and stats confuse you. But here they are.

            Wade was mediocre as a starter for the Rays and for the Royals but shined as a reliever as we knew. He had a 5.67 era this year when they mercifully moved him back to the pen in Sept. In Sept he gave up 1 earned run out for the bullpen in 10 innings. Hes an excellent relief arm. and was for us in 2012.

            The Rays went from 90 to 92 wins with one extra game to do it. The Royals went from 72 to 86. Big difference. I could go on if you like?

          • George says:

            dave is correct. For this year alone, we would have been better with Shields but for the next 6 years we are way better off and we still made the playoffs this year so looks like the trade was a win win for both sides. More a win for us though since we got at least two strong major league contributors for 6 more years each and shields will leave the royals after this year. Wade Davis shouldn’t even be brought up because a reliever is never going to be as valuable as a starter or a position player.

          • Gus says:

            It would have been the perfect “trade that helped both teams” if Myers had made the team out of spring training, as he deserved. By icing him in the Myers for 80 games, the Rays cost themselves some WAR, and they were slightly worse (compounded by using Hernandez and not Archer in the rotation when it was healthy in April and May).

            As with all of these decisions, because Myers played well you can say “the Rays developed him perfectly.” We’ll never know. By keeping Archer and Myers in Durham as long as they did, they probably cost themselves some wins early in the season, which ended up costing them the division and a home wild card game.

            All that can be forgotten as quickly as the blown call on Delmon’s liner if they win tonight and get to Boston.

        • Ken says:

          Please do go on Dave. WD had one season as a Rays reliever and was used mostly in low pressure situations. Same with the Royals, signing Wright more than made up for losing Davis. Shields 4.1 WAR did not add 14 wins as you say but 4. Guthrie, Santana and a much improved bullpen made up those other 10. Stats are stats, but comparing the value of a 30+ year old pitcher with a 22 year old ROY candidate is like comparing apples to raisins. The Rays never intended to replace Shields with Fausto. To say so is simply not true and a manipulative attempt to prove your point. Simply put, we just disagree and I’ll leave it at that. No doubt you’ll post a final word as you always do.

  6. Dave L says:

    I just caught the end of the TBS NL Wild Card pregame.

    Was that ‘friend’ of TRI Dirk Hayhurst in studio?

    WTF?

    I caught 3 minutes just the end.

    It sure looked like him. I never watch TBS is this a new gig?

    • phil says:

      it was him ..they kept showing all the home runs he allowed..funny

    • OriginalTom says:

      Hayhurst works on Blue Jays Broadcasts during the season.

      I agree and do not see anything controversial in saying the Rays would have been a stronger team this year with Shields instead of Myers. They still would not have caught Sox for the division though and as you say they will be better for the future.

  7. Alex says:

    Why are the Umpires not in the bad?

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