Well, thanks to Dirtbag, the Rays avoided being no-hit by Bob Gibson Sunday.

Oh, that wasn’t Bob Gibson? Morrow is the guy’s name? Wow, Joe never knew Ken Morrow could pitch. Dude was a helluva hockey player for the Islanders. Guess a great athlete can also be a good player at another sport… wait, it’s not Ken Morrow?

Brandon Morrow you say? The man with the vaunted ERA pushing 5.00? Really? This is the guy who tossed 17 strikeouts against the Rays today? Really?

This is getting to be absurd. The Rays lead the American League in strikeouts with 864. Joe knows you can’t do this in early August with a team that, if the season ended today, would win the American League wild card, but how can Rays hitting instructor Derek Shelton sleep at night?

Under the watchful tutelage of Shelton, the Rays have been no-hit twice this year and came a whisker away today from setting a modern baseball record for being no-hit three times in a season (and there’s a plenty of time for that mark to be reached this season).

Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times could do just as well as a hitting instructor. Rays color analyst Brian Anderson had a telling piece of information in the ninth inning on Sun Sports when he remarked it was the first time he saw the Rays adjust to Morrow’s slider all game long.

In the ninth inning no less!

Please feel free to detail veteran players who have improved their hitting this year with Shelton guiding them? Has he helped B.J. Upton? Has he helped Carlos Pena? Has he helped Ben Zobrist? Has he helped Jason Bartlett?

The answers are no, no, no and hell no.

Yet another wonderful pitching performance pissed away, just like Friday night. Joe raises his glass for Andy Sonnanstine. Well done son, well done. Too bad your team has a joke of a hitting instructor and your fine performance was wasted.

Yes, it’s too late to run Shelton now. Going into the stretch run of the season with a new hitting instructor could do more harm than good. Besides, the Rays still have the second-best record in baseball despite Shelton which explains just how wonderful the Rays pitching truly is.

If Joe were Andrew Friedman, the minute the final out of the season is recorded, Shelton should be told to pack his bags and be given a one-way ticket out of town.



  1. Dew says:

    All I got to say is unreal. No, I'll also say BJ needs to be sent to the minors until he gets his swing back. And duh do we need Hellboy now or what. And has any team ever had three no hitters pitched against them in one season before? We almost did.

  2. Kaite says:

    Joe I have to agree with you on this.
    You do write decent blogs on this website, however this is your finest piece of work.

    You have to mix the postive and the negative when a team loses into one piece. If you focus on the negative, then it's just not going to help you at all. You did that today and good for you.

    I don't care if people say your writing sucks most of the time, but today you wrote a good blog.

    & thank you Longo for breaking up the no hitter, and Rays: please start hitting. Hopefully today's almost no hitter will end the Rays's slump.

    But the Rays need to start hitting ASAP.

    I know there's nothing postive about being almost no hit, but could you imagine if we got no hit three times?. That would have been much worse.
    We got lucky and thank god.

    Sonny did great today, let's keep doing the great pitching and start hitting.

    and Im sorry if my postive comments about the team contuine to piss some of you guys off right now. It may sound like there's nothing to be postive about right now, but there are some things we can be happy about too.

  3. Dew says:

    Well I still say we have two tired arms and maybe three if you count Shields. We need to bring up Hellboy and go to a six man rotation if we still have six that can pitch.

  4. John says:

    Yeah, firing him now would cause more harm them good. We'd be begging for some scrub to no-hit us!

    Oh, wait...

  5. Gatorbuc15 says:

    I don't quite understand why Shelton is still the hitting coach. I wouldn't even allow this guy to be our F***ING Bat Boy! Right now, I am comepletely convinced he is the main reason why our hitters have sufferd so much this year.

    • Alex says:

      Did it occur to anyone that this offense just sucks and is streaky as hell? We had a perfect game thrown against us last year. One this year and an 8 walk no no. Maybe we should stop blaming the coaches and maybe we should just accept the fact that our team's offense sucks.

      • Gatorbuc15 says:

        Well Alex, I would probably agree with you if most of are hitters weren't hitting worse than they were last year!

      • Stephanie says:

        Two no-hitters and two one-hitters this year. A number of other games when they didn't get their first hit until the fifth inning or later. That's more than streaky. I don't have the answer, but this offense is utterly futile way too often.

        • Gatorbuc15 says:

          This is exactly why I felt the Rays needed to pick up another bat at the trade deadline! It would have helped make the offense become more prolific, and much more consistent.

  6. Sublime says:


    "The Team" comes a freakin millimeter away from being no hit and you chime in with BJ needs to be sent to the minors??? Bwaahaahaa, he probably has the 5th highest batting average on the team! What does that mean for the others? Caning?

    Some People on this forum and on talk radio go instantly to "bj" and the offensive problem with the team, newsflash, The Team can hit for Sh*t, that's Bj and everyone else!

  7. Earl Weaver was here... says:

    Before sort of re-hashing all thats been said, I would just like to know why Rodriguez seems to continually live in the dog house. Unless he's hurt and I missed it, why the lack of playing time? Joe says he has one of the better gloves he has ever seen, and despite a couple rookie mistakes, seems to make better contact than just about anyone in the line-up, why does he sit? Joe's love affair with Kapler, is starting to remind me of his ridiculous handling of Troy Percival. Kapler needs to go. everyone seems to be jumping back on the " Bartlett is back bandwagon", but I don't see it. Reid needs to play short full-time, and Shawn at second. I might not improve anything instantly, but give the young guys a chance for a couple weeks or more in a row. Also, in addition to ruining the hitters mentioned above, how about Evan. Yeah, he has 70 RBI, but where is the power. Add him to the Shelton list. He's 10th in the league in strikeouts? Also, whats his average with runners in scoring position? Everyone says it's to late to bump Shelton, but why not? what's gonna happen, we go from 5 hits a game to 4?

  8. Don says:

    I am so tired of media types...no matter how bad we do...they rationalize "Besides, the Rays have the second best record in despite of...blah, blah, blah"
    If you are leader in a horse race half way thru and break down, or leader in a golf tournament half way thru but can't make a putt, or ahead in a football game by 3 and the other team is about to score 6 pts. with 3 sec. to go...
    Something has to be done about your problem(s)...Please!
    Also did Maddman address the media after the game? radio or TV..I could of missed it.... or is he ducking??

  9. Myrna says:

    It's very frustrating for all of us right now. Who knows what the answer is for this team. Let the blame games begin...Shields blames Jaso for his bad pitching and oh yeah, let's get on the BJ bandwagon again. This team sux right now and I sure hope they find a way to turn things around. Not to worry...Gallaraga on Monday!

  10. Stephanie says:

    This is the second time this season the Rays have been one-hit. I don't know what the answer is but it is getting really annoying to watch the hitters collectively suck. Every team has bad games, but the sheer number of bad games these guys put together is amazing when you consider how much talent is on this team.

    I think they should at least consider getting a new hitting coach. Maybe I'm overreacting and a new coach wouldn't help, but I can't imagine how it would hurt.

  11. Tom says:

    Let's give Morrow his due, he has struck out over 10 per 9 innings and had filthy stuff. Rays really need to beat the Tigers this next series.

  12. Sarah says:

    I have no idea is Shelton is a decent hitting coach, and neither do most of you. As for the observation that the team is hitting worse this year than last year -- really??? True about Zobrist and Bartlett, but they had unusually good years last year (and was that because of a great hitting coach? But then Henderson had been their coach for several years, so why did he have an impact in 2009 that he didn't have previously?)

    One thing that can perhaps be attributable to coaching: the Rays don't seem to adjust well. Lots of teams encounter good pitching, but getting so few hits means you are not changing what you are doing at the plate to account for the pitcher's strengths and weaknesses.

    • Let's take a step back from the Skyway and not go all Raheem and start firing coaches half-way through the season. It's one thing if you're the Bucs and the worst team in football... it's quite another when you're a team that's in contention for a playoff run with just a couple of months left in the season.

      With that being said, I did feel like throwing up in my mouth watching this "offense" at work today. But, I think it's more of the way the roster is built as opposed to the coaching. This roster is designed on pitching and defense behind some *timely* hitting. The are only really 3 batters in this lineup that make pitchers think twice: Crawford, Longo, and Pena. Pena is out. Longo is slumping. And Crawford is sore enough that he sat out two games.

      Look at the lineup today, the Rays had 3 guys who were part of Durham's Int'l league championship batting behind Longo today. Morrow was scared of nothing.

      This team is very frustrating to watch because they really lack the consistency of a veteran team like the Red Sox and the Yankees (or even the Blue Jays for that matter). The Rays have to depend on players with plenty of potential, but not a lot of experience in order to survive with their payroll. Because of that, we're going to get games like this. Young players tend to start pressing when things start going against them.

      More concerning than the almost no-no for me is the

  13. BTW, sorry I stopped mid-sentence... but I think was getting a little long winded. And, Sarah, the backing off comment wasn't aimed at you. You were actually the voice of reason.

  14. Tone says:

    You all are missing what I have been saying since last year. IT IS THIS TEAM'S AT-BAT PHILOSOPHY THAT CAUSES SUCH SHITTY OFFENSE. It's the whole organization, not just the hitting coach. They can develop really really good pitching but when it comes to offensive players and their offensive philosophy they suck total ass. Don't you see they have an approach that they are supposed to follow that was put in place well before Shelton came around? Whether it comes from Maddon or higher I do not know but the hitters look frustrated and it is almost statistically impossible for them all to suck in unison like this for so long unless it has something to do with how the organization as whole wants them to approach their at-bats. They are using their saber garbage crap too much and it effects the natural organic flow of a baseball game. They have no real "baseball gut" but instead a lame ass spreadsheet that calculates for them the most "logical" method for getting on base. They need to scrap the whole offensive philosophy and figure out anything else since what they got has been broken. It is not just players or a single coach, runs much deeper than that. Dirty Wall Street type methodology has no soul, that be all from me. Adios amigos.

  15. Rick says:

    Kevin Kennedy has more insight into what the pitchers should be throwing than Hickey, and Brian Anderson was dead on on the sinker problem today. I can understand not being able to get word to someone in mid-bat, but figure out the problem in the dugout! It seems that all the teams we face have the line on us!

  16. robert says:

    what a weird ride. a crazy roller coaster ride that somehow I don't see it ending well but rather ending with a punch to the wall, and maybe third place. really weird.....................

  17. Gus says:

    I've never seen a team be seemingly immune to ball-strike count. No adjustments within the at bat.

    How can a guy stuck in the minors look (by far) like the bets hitter all weekend? How does that happen?

  18. stunna says:

    Why is Kapler on this team? Why has Upton continued to underachieve miserably, yet we still put him out there every day? How come his bat has declined every year, when he was supposed to get better? How come every hitter we get rid of finds success with another team? Burrell is playing much better since he was dumped. Coincidence? Look what Jonny Gomes has done since he left. He has become an everyday player in Cincy, and putting up solid numbers the past two seasons, the best since his rookie year. Much more complete hitter, not just trying to crush it every pitch. Is it a coincidence that he has greatly improved since his days here? Hell no. They didn't even have him hit righties in batting practice. What happened to our clutch role players? Why did we let Hinske go? So we could replace him with the electric bat and solid glove of Old Man Kapler? Give me a break. Why did Navarro's production drop off so badly? Why is Pena lucky to hit over .220 these days?

    There are a number of problems, and I'm honestly not sure how to fix them because I don't know where they are stemming from.

  19. Don says:

    Stunna, You know these are all problems/questions even the avg. Rays fan can see and ask in sites like these blogs...
    BUT we don't have one sportswriter or broadcaster that has the balls to ask these questions of coaching or management...
    Are they just blind/stupid/lazy, what are they affraid of, are the Rays going to band Channel 8 or the times? Do your job!


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