8-7-2014 8-53-02 AMThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 7, A’s 3 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Jeremy Hellickson. That was the best Jeremy Hellickson we have seen in over a year, maybe since last April when he, coincidentally maybe, shutout the A’s for 7 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 walk. Yesterday it was 1 run on 2 hits and no walks. We’ll take it…Ben Zobrist. He denied he wasn’t hustling on Tuesday night. But when he was running on Wednesday he seemed to find an extra gear. If I had to guess, I’d say he and Joe Maddon had a little talk about not taking things for granted and not embarrassing himself…Kevin Kiermaier. Things had been looking bad for the offense. So bad that before the game I was having flashbacks to Dallas Braden’s afternoon perfect game against the Rays. Things didn’t start to feel better until Outlaw hit his 2-run home run in the 4th. That seemed to lift the pressure off the team and the fans.

THE BAD: Grant Balfour. There are about three weeks left in the minor league seasons. Maybe the Mad Australian needs a trip to the DL with a sore left vocal cord so that he can make a half-dozen rehab appearances to get back some of his mojo…A’s record keeping. The average attendance for the 3-game series was allegedly ~19,000. That’s horsepoop. That just shows you what a decent corporate season ticket base can do for a club. There is no way there was more than 10,000 for the first two games and maybe a couple more with the kids in the final game. Those crowds were as small as anything we have seen at the Trop this season and yet they report 19,000 (avg.) because teams can report the number of tickets distributed, whether or not those people show up and whether or not people actually pay for the tickets. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Peter Gammons to rip the A’s and their fans.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 55-59, 4.5 games behind the Yankees for 3rd place in the East. They also leapfrogged ahead of the White Sox in the Wild Card and are now 2 games behind Cleveland for 5th in the Wild Card.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Drew Smyly had trouble seeing the signs from Curt Casali in his first start with the Rays, a problem he has had his entire career. [TampaBay.com]
  • Some Durham Bulls charts. [WDBB]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores]
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10 Comments

  1. Lane Meyer says:

    2 things -

    If Smyly can't see, he should get glasses or contacts. Period.

    The Rays have done a poor job securing a season ticket base among corporate partners. I am tired of the regular fan getting blamed because the Rays sales division does not do their job. Naimoli has been gone for years so there's no excuse anymore for poor relationships with the larger local corporations. Both stadiums in Tampa have naming rights deals and major corporate sponsorships with corporations based in Pinellas County. I sometimes wonder whether the Rays tank in corporate sales on purpose in an effort to angle for a new stadium.

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    • Jason says:

      agreed 1000%. The average fan is there it's the corporate sponsors lacking and keeping us the jokes of nationwide coverage. Such a shame

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    • Jim says:

      THE RAYS DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO COME TO THE TROP AS SEASON TICKET . If they were averaging 25K/night at the trop, then there would be ZERO reason for a new stadium, ZERO interest in getting out of a lease, ZERO interest in having another new half full MLB stadium.

      Don't believe me, then please explain why between 2009 and 2010, some of the lowest price season tickets went up over 30%. How can you bitch at people not showing up, bitch about the lack of season tickets, and then jack up prices by 1/3? Simple answer, lower attendance gets Stu the results he needs, a new stadium, or a new city.

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  2. Woodrow744 says:

    Note to Joe Maddon: yes, it does seem logical to put Grant Balfour in when you're up by 6 in the bottom of the 9th, but it is actually wiser to wait until the team is either up (or down) by double digits.

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  3. Steve says:

    Balfour doesn't need to get his "mojo" back, he needs to get his velocity back and learn how to command his fastball. Simple as that. I don't think he can though, he's done for.

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  4. Gus says:

    Balfour needs to get his elbow fixed. The difference between the Orioles and the Rays might be brought down to that one fateful decision. If Balfour closes for the O's, his 5-6 blown games are on the O's and the Rays don't have his 5-6 blown games. Basically even then. Maybe Price still on the team and they've added a catcher in July . . . .

    Sorry; hard to not look back on this season as a bit of a lost opportunity.

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  5. doug says:

    Balfour needs to go somewhere, for sure. Just not sure where that might be, however. Perhaps Australia...where cricket is still in vogue and he can safely chuck those "bouncing" throws without worrying too much...every time I see him entering the game I reach for the antacid.

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    • Nick says:

      Antacid. Your a better fan than I. When Joe calls for Grant to come in, I usually go work on the honey do list my wife gave me. I come back 20 minutes later to see how much damage was done. Then decide if I want to finish watching the rest of the game. Sadly Monday night I was listening to the game on the radio in the 10th and had to go to sleep with that outing fresh in head.

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    • Jim says:

      Do you remember back when Balfour had issues with the fans booing him? I said that his days as a closer and even an effective pitcher were OVER in TB. I even suggested trading him early, and eating this year’s salary as a enticement for someone else taking on the millions we are on the hook for next year. Yet ONCE again, I was told I didn’t know shit about baseball and how much AF was smarter than little ole me. Now Cork is suggesting that we mystery DL him to “mojo” him.

      We cut 3 pitchers this year due bad performances/bad scouting/ or just bad. We should have made any effort possible to move Balfour early. No ROI needed in a trade, just get him off the books for next year.

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  6. Ken H says:

    This team is a direct reflection of the Front Office's ability to make sound baseball decisions.

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