Earlier this week, ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight Express Tour” stopped in Port Charlotte to preview the 2011 Rays (you can see the entire video clip below). Among the other standard no-thought lines like the “defense [was] depleted” this off-season, is the projected lineup you see at right.

Serenity F****ing NOW! Holy Sh*t this pisses me off! Who the hell put this idiotic, sh*t-brained piece of donkey doo-doo together? Oh yeah, ESPN did. Did they even get out of the god damned bus?

*Deep Breath*

They could have spoken with Billy the Wild Boar on the other side of the center field fence and he would have given them a more accurate projected lineup.

And if they had actually, you know, asked somebody in Port Charlotte, they would know that Joe Maddon has already made it clear that the opening day lineup will most likely look like this…

C John Jaso
LF Johnny Damon
3B Evan Longoria
DH Manny Ramirez
2B Ben Zobrist
CF BJ Upton
RF Matt Joyce
1B Dan Johnson
SS Reid Brignac

We’re not going to kill them for having Rodriguez in the lineup instead of Joyce. That could happen from time-to-time. But Maddon said just this week that Jaso will lead off. And the alternative was Damon, not Upton.

And why would anybody think Johnson would bat in front of Manny Ramirez. Why? Because it would split up the two-righties? You do that with equally talented players. You don’t do that with a future Hall-of-Famer and a guy that has been a 4-A player his entire career.

So if you are counting at home, ESPN got exactly one player correct, Longoria. One.



  1. BWoodrum says:

    Wow! ESPN is in mid-season form! I'm smelling MVP season for Kruk.

  2. Mike G. says:

    ESPN's lineup projection is just plain dumb. but that line about the defense is almost as dumb. Did the Rays take a step back at LF and 1B? Probably. And if Kotchman makes the team, it actually isnt that much. But those are the two least important defensive positions on the field.
    They should be significantly better at SS and maybe a little better in RF if Joyce gets significant playing time. And they still have gold glovers at 3B and CF. MAYBE they took a small step backwards. But to say it was "depleted" is dumb.

  3. ljk says:

    3 and a half minutes without a mention of starting pitching. I think (hope?) that the closer is not on the team yet. C'mon Andrew...

  4. Ian says:

    I agree with Ljk about the starting pitching. No mention of how our pitching is still dominant, arguably the best starting rotation in the American League and one of the top three in all of baseball I think. I take issue with that fact our defense is depleted after three guys leave. And the fact that NO mention of Jennings taking over the left side irks me too as well as IMPROVEMENTS at SS. They under the assumption we only have two good defensive players. When you over look the slew of talent that haven't gotten the time to shine like others then that's a misrepresentation of the team and a glaring error on the part of ESPN that's looking to beat down on small market teams for the goliaths from the north.

  5. Mike G. says:

    Other than being mentioned in the lineup, I'm still not sure they even know who Longoria is based in the video.

  6. Mark E says:

    Hey ESPN, another great, informative piece. You DID forget a couple guys in your projected lineup though... Pat Burrell... duh! And how could you leave Elijah Dukes on the bench?

    Seriously, ESPN is so desperate to fill 24 hours (x how many channels now?) with sports info, they're just crapping out content now. Quality is no longer a priority. The lackadaisical, inaccurate and redundant reporting coming from ESPN lately about the Rays just parallels their disrespect for Tampa Bay fans and our team.

    I don’t even think JoeMa, man of 140 lineups, will come up with ESPN’s projected lineup all year.

    Kruk: "Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist are going to be out there by themselves"??? How are you a part of this crapulence Kruk?

    The only thing I agree with them on -- the bullpen concerns. But even my deceased grandma and Muammar Gaddafi are well aware of the Rays' bullpen concerns. We don't need to hear it again from the all-knowing Goodyear Express team.

    Seriously sports media, we crave information about our team, the local television news and newspapers only give us so much – it’s limited and inadequate at times. So can we please get some quality, fresh, NEWS about the Rays when it comes along? (Thank God for RaysIndex.com!)

    Here's hoping the national sports media is FORCED into reporting more about Tampa Bay again this year and FORCED into delivering quality accurate content due to Rays success. Keep rollin', Goodyear Express... we'll catch the next bus.

    Hey Joe, the Heat Miser called and wants his hairdoo back.

  7. matt says:

    Before i see the media, i could understand the rays for losing in the east with boston stacked, but when i see this BS lineup from espn, i want them to win so bad just to shove it up espn. they're so bias in their reports its ridiculous

  8. Kevin says:

    "We’re not going to Read the rest of this entry »"

    Bad spot for the jump, Cork

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Man, you ain't kidding. /fixed

    • Amanda says:

      Best. Copy editing. Ever!!! lol

      Cork, now you know why I haven't watched SportsCenter regularly since the mid-'90s, ever since ABC/Cap Cities was bought by Disney. It's been about entertainment value and ratings instead of objective news gathering.

  9. MJ says:

    This really is par for the course for espn though. Unfortunately this is how a majority of the world is educated on teams like the rays.

  10. Don says:

    In a couple of weeks you COULD ask a wild Boar about the line up he will know more about it than MADDON..who has already had upton leading off in spring training....NO ONE in their right mind would have UPton anywhere in the front end of this line up....THere is NO reason for it...I dare anyone to give me a LOGICAL reason to have UPton in the first 4-5 hitters of this line up...maybe the Boar could but MAddman couldn't


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