The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Orioles 2, RAYS 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Evan Longoria now has a career-high 35 home runs and has an outside shot to reach 40 home runs with 2 weeks to go. He is also on pace to play in 160 games for the fourth straight season. Remember when there were legit concerns about his ability to stay healthy? Longoria has now played in 629 games since the start of the 2013 season. That is the most in baseball over that stretch. If there is a concern it is that this new power-happy Evan Longoria is still not as good of an all-around hitter as he was early in his career. This is a better Longo than the last couple of seasons, but this is not the best Longo. His OBP is just .324 and his OPS is .857. From 2009 through 2013, Longoria had an OBP of .357 and his OPS was .870. If you like wOBA, he does have a very good .357 this season. That number was just .316 and .327 the last two years. But that number was regularly in the .370s early in his career. And while Longo is still a plus-defender, he is not lights out like he used to be. So maybe the Evan Longoria we should expect from now on is a thumper who is above-average with the glove. That’s still pretty good.
THE BAD: Steven Souza Jr is headed to a hip specialist today and may need season-ending surgery, according to Marc Topkin. While the season has long been over, the timing is unfortunate because Souza has been red hot. After hitting just 1 home run in June and July combined, Souza has 7 home runs since the end of July and is hitting .327 with 4 home runs this month.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now backpedaling faster than a Bucs cornerback on the David Ortiz thing. At first the Rays said they would not have a special ceremony for Ortiz in his final game against the Rays on Sunday. Then came the backlash from those far and near and how it just didn’t look good and it looked cheap and petty. Now the Rays are saying they may do something after all. The change of heart is being framed as the players speaking up and saying they want to do something. So either the Rays backed down because of the criticism or it turns out that the players wanted to do something and the front office never consulted with them. Of course it doesn’t sound like the players have any idea what they are going to do, which makes it sound like this is a last minute change of heart.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Chaim Bloom is one of the candidates for the Twins new President of Baseball Operations position. President of Baseball Ops is basically the new name for GMs. [MLBTR]