Joe Maddon Mr. Potato HeadThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 2, Brewers 1 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: James Loney. Loney’s numbers are down this season, but he is trending up at the most important time. His go-ahead single last night was his 15th hit in the last 11 games to go along with 6 walks and just 5 Ks…Boxbergering. How good has Brad Boxberger been? 3 batters, 3 strikeouts in the 8th inning of a 1-run game against a playoff contender. He now has 66 strikeouts and a 4.7 K-to-walk ratio in 42.2 innings…Jake Odorizzi. In his first 12 starts Odorizzi averaged 4.2 innings with a 5.31 ERA and opponents had a .769 OPS and a .374 batting average on balls in play. In his 9 starts since then, Odorizzi is averaging 6.1 innings, with a 2.25 ERA and opponents have a .581 OPS and a .238 OBP…The Joe Maddon Mr. Potato Head. See above. It’s awesome.

THE BAD: The home plate umpire. Well, he was bad, but that was good for the Rays, who got away with one. Two pitches before James Loney’s go-ahead hit, Evan Longoria was frozen on a 3-2 changeup that may have been a strike. Replays showed that it may have clipped the strikezone. Longo was waiting for a strike call. The home plate umpire flinched. It wasn’t the worst call ever, but it was huge. Longo walked and kept the inning alive. The Brewers were livid.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 52-54, 2.5 games behind the Yankees for 3rd place in the East and a half-game behind Cleveland for 5th place in the Wild Card race…The Rays now have 9 wins when they score less than 3 runs, most in the AL…The game took just 2:35, the 4th fastest Rays game this season.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • A “rival GM” told Jon Heyman that David Price is probably still available but that he “is sold at 200 percent markup or not moved.” In other words, the price for Price has gone even higher. [CBSSports]
  • Chris Archer’s teammates had his back after he ripped David Ortiz. [TBO.com]
  • Another sign that the death of baseball has been greatly exaggerated. [BI Sports]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscoresNate Karns struck out 7 and walked 2 in 7 innings, allowing 2 runs. Wilson Betemit hit his 16th home run in the Bulls’ win. Mikie Mahtook went 2-4 and Hak-Ju Lee was 1-3 and is hitting .201…Richie Shaffer went 2-4 in Montgomery’s win…Blake Snell struck out 7 in 5 shutout innings for Charlotte but did walk 5…

Here is a chart that Chris Wise of WatchingDurhamBullsBaseball.com put together showing just how bad the Rays were the first half of the season.

tbrrsra

Chris Archer and David DeJesus played the air instruments during Evan Longoria’s walk-up music.

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10 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    If they do make it all the way back and win the world series, last night's game would be one I'd think back on as just crucial. They were dead to rights in that game, 2 outs in the 6th with a pitcher dealing and on a low pitch count. 4 batters later it is 2-1, Loshe has a 33 pitch inning and gets knocked out and the pitching makes it hold up.

    If t hey lose the trade chatter becomes overwhelming. Still need some more offense, particualrly at home where the balls just don't seem to carry in the summer (what other park holds Longo's blast on Sunday?).

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      I agree. After the loss to Boston I saw yesterday's game as a crucial pivot in the trade deadline scenario. A second consecutive loss and the chatter would've been off the charts, and justifiably so- the Rays are walking on that sharp of a blade right now.

      I love that the Rays are winning, and nothing would be better than a miracle turnaround that resulted in a playoff run, but (and it's a big but) I certainly hope that all this flirting with success (and let's be honest, very small chance at the playoffs) doesn't end up costing the Rays an opportunity to rape and pillage someone's farm system by dealing Price at a time when he would provide the highest yield.

      I love that the organization isn't just throwing the fans and the team under the bus and unloading key pieces just for the sake of making the trade rumors a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      I have to believe that they are probably losing sleep trying to decide what to do... or at least I hope they are.

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  2. David Spenn says:

    Reason you don't trade Price: The World Series. You don't have many opportunities in this division to get into the playoffs and thus win a World Series. Yes, at some point the price is too much, and you will have to move David, but the best economics in baseball is to win the ring. If the Rays have a historic season they're still going to command the same bounty in return as you are currently. If you fall short, you're going to likely lose-out on either a flawed starter, or low to mid-range prospect and we'll never know anyhow if the prospect would have panned-out. We do know what we have in Price this year, and that's a Cy Young candidate. Go Rays....all-the-way.

    Since June 22nd-07/28

    (Games gained)

    Yankees - 7
    Mariners - 7
    Royals - 7
    Indians - 6
    Twins - 10.5
    Rangers - 15
    Red Sox - 8.5
    White Sox - 5.5
    Astros - 11
    Blue Jays - 6.5
    Orioles - 2.5

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  3. David Spenn says:

    ps- Would Don Zimmer trade Price? Answer - No

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  4. Gus says:

    Price's deadline value has been decreased by the Lester and Lee availability (it is the reason why the Red Sox are making Lester available -- they want to get the prospects the Rays could get).

    I think you have to play the season out, and you still have a year of control of Price to deal, and you set him up where a team can sign him long-term and make the financial commitments required.

    This is a year to go and get the division, the team is pretty much where we thought they'd be in May and while the hole is substantial, they have already dug out of the majority of it. It would be a historic comeback season. Have to let it play out.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Please don't get me wrong here, I AM NOT rooting for a Price trade I am just reiterating that the Rays have slightly above a 9% chance of making the post-season.

      (As a Rays' fan I say "great! they're gaining ground fast!" as a baseball guy I say "that's after ripping off a 9 game winning streak while a bunch of other factors also played in to their hands, so it's looking like a very, very long road to hoe.)

      As an investor I always look at 2 things; ROI and Dividends... what can I get as an expected return on my investment, and what kind of dividend are you offering me to make buying worth the risk?
      The same principles apply to baseball; looking objectively at what I have in front of me; will the return on my investment be worth the risk?
      Do I sit idly by and watch Boston potentially get prospects (for Lester) that could've been mine, that could've paid dividends for years to come?
      Is holding the stock I have worth the risk or should I sell while it's at an all time high?
      The whole reason I invest is to make the highest gain possible (get the best ROI). I ask myself 'am I holding on to these shares too long? Am I willing to risk an eventual downturn or massive loss on the hope that there is a 1 in 10 chance my shares can double then split?'
      Those are the questions whose answers drive my decisions.

      I suspect that if you approached it from a mindset of an investor it'd be easier for you to see the possible sense behind making a move now as opposed to chasing the WS.

      And to close like I opened, I DO NOT want to see Price get traded. I simply understand why it probably makes the most sense.

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      • Ken H says:

        Very nicely explained and timely Mr. Smith. It reminds me of the fact that the Rays owners are investors and have built up a very good franchise by using your logic. They don't have a primary business to derive income from, like the Steinbrenners and others. You are right, I wish you weren't.

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        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          Thank you. It's rare on the internet that a man can not only see someone else's logic, but also be strong enough to agree.

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          • Gus says:

            Without knowing what is actually being offered, hard for any of us to know. But if I assume a rational market, and the value of Price today is $100 worth of prospects and the value of Price in december is $80 worth of prospects (with the risk of injury making that value $25 worth of prospects), then I'm holding on and thinking that my whole design for this season to chase the world series (high payroll, Longoria, Price in prime seasons).

            I'm observing two trends that seem to make it more likely they play to win this year -- the price of starting pitching is (presumably) coming down because of oversupply and the chance of the Rays digging themselves out is going up.

            It is not every year that Sternberg can convince his limited partners (Naimoli et. al.) to increase the budget like he did this year. We can probably assume it will be dialed back next year unless they can make a run and get playoff revenue in the door. That is why I think they'll keep him. Stu wants the ring. He knows this may be his best chance to get one in the next 5 years or so.

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  5. Ken H says:

    Certainly this is the toughest trade deadline period the Rays and their players and fans have ever experienced. I'm torn between the prospect of losing Price or keeping him. Sure if the haul was overwhelming you have to move him. Will they get that haul? I dunno anymore. Hamels and Lester now in the mix would seem to dampen Price's value. Cole makes 24 M and is controllable and Lester is a rental who won't even get a qualifying offer if traded.
    My question is why can't we afford Price? How profitable are the Rays anyway? Sure attendance is once again dismal but as many here have posted attendance is not the most significant form of MLB revenue. We never really get to see the profit margin so I wonder. Many will knock my logic here, please be kind, but hear me out.
    If Price goes 21-7 in 35 starts for three straight years, and the team wins 4 of the no decision games he's giving us 25 wins a year. Which represents 25% of 100 team wins. Is that worth 20 million a year? I don't know. If traded, are we guaranteed that the prospects we get in return will be worth 25 wins a year? Don't know that either. I do know that the salaries given to Bell, Balfour, DeJesus and Hannigan are worth about that same 20 million. What to do?

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