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

THE GOOD: Closer. The Red Sox and Orioles split their double-header yesterday, so the standings still say that the Rays are trailing by 2 games in the Wild Card race. But more importantly, the Rays now only trail by 1 game in the all-important loss column. Remember, a team can make up wins. They cannot make up losses.

THE BAD: The Oops Factor. What if the Rays come up a game or two short? Will we applaud their ability to just be competitive enough to make the Red Sox sweat? Or will we remember that Andy Sonnanstine made four starts for the Rays this season and the Rays were 0-4 in those starts? Or will we remember that big league-ready Desmond Jennings languished in the minor leagues for 1,000 at bats while the Rays continued to start Sam Fuld, even though there was nothing in Fuld’s past that suggested he could keep up his early pace for an entire season?

THE TELLING: The Rays are 20-11 in games started by James Shields this season…The Rays have yet to decide on a starting pitcher for Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays.


  • Another one of Fenway’s quirks may have cost them the first game of yesterday’s double-header. Where is the outrage? [Big League Stew]
  • Wade Davis is excited to make today’s start in Replica Yankee Stadium. []
  • John Romano explores how the Rays have been able to close the gap on the Red Sox. []
  • Marc Topkin takes a look at how the Rays have approached this pennant race with a “light-hearted approach.” []
  • Carl Crawford is worried about the “haters” at the Trop? What about the Red Sox fans that already want him traded? (thanks Rg) []
  • Back in the preseason, one Boston newspaper declared this Red Sox team the “best team ever!” [@hawthe]
  • Mark Simon breaks down James Shields’ season. [ESPN]




  1. Charles says:

    To be fair, that paper is the Boston Herald, which is what you get if FOX News and the National Enquirer have a baby. This isn't the first or last very stupid thing they'll print :).

  2. Don says:

    SO rays you want to play with the big boys...the next 7 games with the yankees will determine if you deserve to be there..
    ZOs... gone tonight Can't wait to see the line up...three blanks at the bottom....
    Orioles doing their job(amazing) Showalter wins with garbage...can you picture him in Blue?

  3. Tom says:

    I would not be too hard on them for starting Sonny 4 times, The Bosox have been running Weiland, Wake, Lackey, and Miller to the mound. Good Pitching is not as easy to find as people think.

  4. Beth says:

    On the Oops factor - you just can't go there. Ruing decisions that may have cost games is no more productive over a 162 game season than reviewing every bad umpiring call and stewing on those (of course, if you are dealing with a team whose management is so poor that it's one bad move after another that's a different story). Here's how I look at it -- just about every projection system had the Rays winning 84-86 games. They've already won 85, so they have a good shot at 90. So overall I can't get too down about the way the season has gone, assuming that the $40 million payroll was not negotiable.

    That doesn't mean I won't be crushed if (when?) the Red Sox grab the wildcard. I just think that over the course of the season the questionable decisions and the good decisions (managing a really mediocre bullpen so that it's not a complete disaster; maintaining a top flight defense even though your good defensive shortstop and reasonably good defensive catcher can't hit and get benched) even out.

    • Greg says:

      True...take a look at the roster again and ask yourself if you honestly thought they could win this many games. I asked in spring training who our commenters thought would have a surprise or breakout sort of season. Turned out to be Kotchman. No one guessed that. Not much else offensively for this team. Zobrist has had a nice year and Longoria has been productive despite a low batting average/injuries. Matt Joyce had a nice first half and Des has been fun to watch in the second half. Other than that, it's all pitching and defense.

  5. jim says:

    "post awaiting moderation" come on cork. she could easily be dabbing up some spilled beer.

  6. Gus says:

    Is Game 163 at the Trop because the Rays won the season series?


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