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

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: Roy Halladay. At least the Rays weren’t no-hit like the Reds. Still, watching that Phillies team last night left us wondering if they just had their Larry-Bird-in-the-’86-3-point-contest moment. Because it sure seemed like they just walked in the room and said, “We’re just looking around to see who is going to finish second.”

THE BAD: David Price. Maybe James Shields should have pitched game 1. We’re kidding of course. But seriously, should he have?…GTMI Fail. A team won’t get very many chances to push runs across against Cliff Lee. So when the Rays loaded the bases in the first with only 1 out, it was a critical blow when they failed to score. After loading the bases, Lee went on to retire 20 of the final 23 batters he faced…Donut Lineup. As in there is a big hole in the middle. It is bad enough that the Rays game 1 lineup featured two guys hitting under .200 and five hitting under .240. But even worse is a 5-hole hitter (Carlos Pena) who had the lowest batting average in the majors this season and a 6-hole hitter (Rocco Baldelli) that had 25 plate appearances all year. Those two went a combined 0-6 with 5 strikeouts and 7 runners left on base. And to make matters worse, Pena missed two scoops on errant throws that he would normally make…TBS. First there was Buck Martinez, who seemed shocked that David Price would throw so many fastballs in the first inning. My 13-month old daughter knows Price is about 90% fastballs these days. But then there was the Carlos Pena at bat in the bottom of the first. Did he get hit by a pitch with the bases loaded? Did the ball touch anything? Several people have said they could clearly hear a sound prior to hitting the catcher’s mitt. We still haven’t seen a good enough replay to know. With HD technology and 876 cameras, how TBS could not provide a clear replay is beyond us.

THE TELLING: Is today’s game important? Of the 22 best-of-5 postseason series in which the home team lost the first 2 games, only 1 came back to win the series

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays trail the Rangers 1-0 in the best-of-five ALDS. Today is game 2 at 2:30. James Shields will face CJ Wilson.


  • Business Insider has launched a new website, “Sports Page” that will deal with the business side of sports. I will be a regular contributor over there. In addition, I’ve heard there is another name that is very familiar to Rays fans that will be joining me. So there should be plenty of Rays content. [Sports Page]
  • Carlos Pena says the ball did graze his hand (Video). [The Heater]
  • We mentioned a couple of days ago that the BRaysers would soon be available for purchase. Eduardo Encina has the details. [The Heater]
  • Bud Selig is concerned about the local market. But is he concerned about Tampa Bay as a whole, or just St. Pete? It is not clear. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • Ed Price writes about why Joe Maddon still has confidence in James Shields and why Shields wasn’t as bad this season as you might think. [Fanhouse]
  • Joe Maddon appeared on the “Mike and Mike Show” on ESPN Radio. Here is the audio. [ESPN Radio]
  • John Romano on Joe Maddon: “…the middle finger that seems permanently raised at the establishment.” Good read on why JoeMa is the way he is and why that frustrates us so much. [St. Pete Times]
  • Remember the Rays usher we spotted a couple of weeks ago that has an uncanny resemblance to Joe Maddon? Lane DeGregory has his story. [St. Pete Times]
  • Click on the “AL East Race” tab on the right side to see a cool graphic on how the Rays came to win the AL East. [Boston Globe]




  1. Kelley says:

    I said the same thing last night about Shields, that I wish we had Price going today and Shields pitched game 1. I'm not going to give up hope. Shields has had some good games, prior to Sept. and hopefully his experience and "maturity" will help him today. Can you tell I'm trying to make myself feel better about game 2? I feel like it's over if we lose today so I hope Shields is ready.

  2. Edward says:

    This is sad. I guess we will get to see crawford's final game today. My confidence in them winning is low. We have the worst offense led by shelton and shields. I hope shields proves me wrong

  3. Charles says:

    Tough tough loss yesterday. The first inning GTMI fail really set the tone for the day. It felt deflating to me as a fan, so I can only imagine what it did to the players.

    But 0-1 is not 0-3, 1-3, or 2-3 so this thing is far from over. Pick up, dust off, give it another go today.

  4. Tone says:

    Not trying to be a downer, but..... it might be over. Texas looks like a better team, just like the Royals did the first 2 games of that series. Coming back on Texas at this point(now healthy/post season) is not even close to coming back on the Royals or even the Yankees(during the 4 game set in NY). Maddon was quick to site his team's "resiliency" in coming back in those 2 series, but this is not the animal at all. I got my hopes up for the post season thinking in some delusional way they could "turn it on" now that it was truly meaningful. But they are just not as good as the record says, the very good start was a long time ago and they just are not playing the "Rays" game anymore. No stealing, not forcing the plays, no clutch hits, and terrible "choker" defense. The Rangers are a better team and we are TOAST. Maddon is my fall guy, moronic moves without the team bailing him out = THE END.

  5. A Larry Bird reference? Who let Bill Simmons write The Hangover?

  6. Stephanie says:

    Was Cliff Lee that good or were the Rays just that bad? Today we find out for sure.

    I guess Maddon was just looking at Pena's HR total and nothing else when he had him in the 5 hole. Why would you bat him behind CC and Longo with a tough lefty on the mound?

  7. Hal says:

    I am a huge Maddon fan, but Pena can't be 5 and Rocco? Really?? It just seems so anti-Rays to leave Aybar off and keep Rocco.

  8. John says:

    More TBS fail: did anybody see the local commercial breaks that popped up in the middle of the inning during the Yankees/Twins game? Seriously, they've had this problem before. Why is it so hard to reset some timers?

    Ah, well. At least we didn't miss any games so they could show Steve Harvey...

  9. Gus says:

    The only people happy with TBS were the chambers of commerce, as the aerial shots of the area were awesome; a rare day during the season where you might have wished to be outside to play.

    Buck Martinez's voice sounds like a cartoon character, but he knows the Rays and the Rangers quite well.

    As bad as Shields was in September, CJ Wilson was just about as bad. If the Rays win it, I like their chances in the series as I think the Rays will get Lee on short rest in Game 4 as Washington tries to avoid a return to the Trop.

  10. Charles says:

    Here's a further fail - I was following the score on the ESPN widget on my Mac, and they listed it as Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    But hey, it is ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Yankee/Red Sox Bias


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