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

RAYS 8, Yankees 6 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: David Price. OK, it wasn’t his best outing ever. He gave up 5 hits and 4 walks in less than 7 innings. But when staked to an early lead, he didn’t blow it *cough* James Shields *cough*…Matt Joyce. After going 0-4 with 4Ks in the opener, Joe Maddon moved Joyce to the cleanup spot, and Joyce delivered, with his first home run of the season, a no-doubt-about-it shot and also added a 2-run single in the 7th that put the game out of reach…Luke Scott. In his first start for the Rays, he delivered 3 hits, including a 2-run single in the first…Shifting. Nobody shifts more than Joe Maddon. And in the 8th inning, after the Yankees put men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs, the Rays ended the inning when Mark Teixeira lined out to Sean Rodriguez in shallow right field, who then doubled-up the runner at second to end the rally.

THE BAD: Josh Lueke. One day after Joe Maddon used everybody else in the bullpen, the Rays needed Lueke to pitch two quiet innings in an 8-2 ballgame. But after a decent first inning, things fell apart in the 9th. The Yankees scored 4 more runs, and eventually had the tying run at the plate in the form of Alex Rodriguez. In all, Maddon needed 4 relievers to get the final 3 outs…No Home Run. Evan Longoria nearly had his second home run of the season, but a fan appeared to reach over and grab the ball. The call was later changed to a double. What’s worse is seeing that the fan that interfered was wearing a Rays cap, and a Yankees jersey.

THE TELLING: Both the Yankees and Red Sox are 0-2, so all is right in the world. Of course, the Blue Jays and Orioles are both 2-0, so maybe this is bizarro season…Luke Scott says his teammates won’t let him shave his Wolverine beard…James Shields will move up in the rotation in the next series to stay on normal restBJ Upton will begin a rehab assignment this week and is not expected to join the team on the road trip.


  • If you want to see some of the highlights from last night, including Stuart Sternberg calling Matt Joyce’s home run, check out our video page. [RI Videos]
  • James Shields says the incident in the dugout with Jose Molina was not an argument. Rather, it was just Shields venting over a non-strike call. []
  • Here’s baseball’s newest slugger. [BI Sports]


DURHAM 6, Gwinnett 5Bryan Augenstein struck out 8 in 6 innings. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and no walks…Tim Beckham went 0-2 but walked twice…CF Brandon Guyer was 1-4 with a home run…1B Leslie Anderson went 3-4 with 2 doubles.

Pensacola 5, MONTGOMERY 4Kyle Lobstein struck out 3 in 6 innings, giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks…2B Tyler Bortnick tripled twice in 4 at bats.

CHARLOTTE 4. Fort Myers 3 (10) – Albert Suarez gave up just 1 run in 5 innings…CF Mikie Mahtook went 2-5.

South Bend 6, BOWLING GREEN 4 (13) Parker Markel struck out 5 and walked just 1 in 4 innings, allowed 3 runs…Reliever Austin Hubbard allowed a tying run in his 2 innings of work, but did strikeout 5 of the 10 batters he faced…CF Kes Carter went 3-6.

4/7/12 Game 2 vs New York Yankees

No manager uses the shift more than Joe Maddon and this one killed a Yankees rally…

Stuart Sternberg calls Matt Joyce’s first home run of the season…

Here’s Luke Scott’s first hit with the Rays, a 2-out, 2-run single…





  1. Raynkee fans should be publicly humiliated as often as possible. It's just disgraceful and it seems to be a growing trend. And if you're wondering what a Raynkee fan is, it's someone who grew up in NY rooting for the Yankees, retired down here (or was born here yet has some misplaced connection to the place their parents grew up), and now roots for the Rays *except* when they play the Yankees. On those nights, they're conveniently dressed in both team's gear so they can easily leave the stadium either chanting " BAY" or "Lets Go Yankees."

    If you see one of these people at the Trop, don't let them get away with it. Publicly call them out. There is no middle ground. It's one or the other, you can't be both and wear the winner's shirt. /end rant

    • Charles says:

      Totally! I feel conflicted enough about rooting for two teams that rarely play each other & aren't rivals. I don't know how you could not just pick one or the other in a heated division rivalry with more than 10% of a season's games against each other. If you're gonna be a Yankees fan, just embrace that and don't try to play both sides of the fence just to keep from getting mocked on your way out of the stadium. The mocking stings, but you'll live (been mocked enough over the years leaving Fenway to be pretty sure about this).

    • Don says:

      How about a guy at Fergs Fri afternoon with a Red Sox hat on, with Yankee/Rays fans everwhere, Radio show hosts when nuts!

  2. Dave L says:

    It will be interesting to see if the constant shifting for almost every batter in every situation continues or its just for the Yankees who Joe must have spent the entire offseason breaking down hit charts, He was determined to take away the hit directly up the middle and stationed a middle infielder just shading deep behind second on most all plays it seemed. Grandy was denied a few times so far

    It would be interesting to superimpose a hit spray chart over the actual field with our defense positioned. Damn if it doesnt work though. Its so rare to have a situation where it backfires and a traditionally placed fielder would have made the play, whereas it works so often.

    We went to a series in Seattle a few years ago late in the season where Ichiro had actually worn out the grass in his accustomed spot.

    The next night we were behind the Rays dugout and when a Rays shift worked to perfection an old lady in front of us shockingly exclaimed 'thats not fair'

    I bet Rays shifting is responsible for 3 to 6 wins a year. In my opinion without excessive shifting we would be 0-2 right now. Ok maybe 1-1....

  3. Don says:

    Never Agreed with playing Joyce aga. RH pitching ONLY but I tell you what after watching him Fri night (granted Aga. sabathia)...He stunk, his swing stunk...aga righties last night a completely different swing, If you put a bag over his head and a diff. uniform on.... I wouldn't have said it was Joyce.....
    What are they going to do for an outfielder aga. lefties?

  4. Dave L says:

    Off topic but I didnt see this addressed.

    Hey this thing about Rays havent touched Rivera since 2005 is horse sheet. I remember a game in 2009 where we like homered twice off Mr Perfect and won a game. maybe it wasnt even a save because thier lead was too big or whatever. sometimes these stats are so misleading. I was out of the country for that particular game so my stats may be off but this isnt as rare as they make it. Saves are the most misleading stats ever.

    You usually only even enter the game when the other team is struggling at the plate to begin with. Rivera is good but he isnt one of the top pitchers of all time by any stretch. ok i feel better now.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      It was may, 2009 at Yankee Stadium. Rivera came on in the 9th with the game tied. Longo and Crawford went back-to-back and I think Crawford's landed in the upper deck.

      So yeah, not a save situation, and yes we have gotten to him in recent years.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Also, if I remember the 2005 game correctly, that was Eduardo Perez' 2-HR game. He had one off of Randy Johnson early and then tied it with a HR off Rivera. How many people can say they got to Johnson and Rivera, much less in the same game.

      And, again, unless my memory is failing, that HR off of Rivera might have been reviewed if it happened today. It just cleared the fence and I think somebody might have reached out.

  5. Chris says:

    Trivia re Augenstein in Durham: it was 2 runs (1 earned) not 3.

  6. s says:

    BJ, milk the injury a little more and hopefully they'll stick their foot in your ass. dear front office, get what ever you can for him. he's healthy enough to be horseplaying with a shaving cream pie. he's not needed!!!!!

    • Jason says:

      Wow, seriously? I am so tired of retarded BJ-haters...if he was moping in the dugout clutching his ribs, you'd hear how he wasnt invested in the Rays victories and how we should get rid of him because he obviously didnt love the Rays. Now, he celebrates, is the first to congradulate people in the dugout, and is a picture of pure joy for his teammates, and we get people like "s" saying to trade him because he must be healthy enough to field center and hit 90mph heat cuz he can put a pie in Carlos' face. Ridiculous.

      • s says:

        woth bj in the lineup, who would have sat this weekend? zobrist? kep? joyce? do you honestly think we need bj upton to make the playoffs? hell no. to let him waslk like we did crawford is a complete farce. trade him while we still can.

        • Jason says:

          Vs Sabathia, Joyce would have sat...Jennings in left, BJ in center and Zobrist in right. Vs Kuroda, Kepp would have sat..Jennings in left, BJ in center, Joyce in right, Zobrist at 2nd. This really isnt rocket science. BJ is probably our 2nd best position player, we definitely are a better team with him on the field.

          Bj is one of the biggest reasons we made the playoffs last year. Please look at his numbers in the final 2 months of the season when we made our push. We actually lack a bit of speed on the basepads right now. BJ will bring that back. I dont think people understand how rare it is to have a 20+ HR, 40+ steal type guy in that plays huge defense too. Instead of trading him, we should be working out a contract with him, i am quite sure he'd give us a big hometown discount.

          • Jason says:

            I would like to amend the "2nd best"...I'd pencil in Zobrist as 2nd best, but BJ is definitely 3rd. 🙂

          • s says:

            hometown discount? what $12 million? there's no way he will give us any discount. he know the fans ride his ass, he'll take the money and run, don't kid yourself.

            BJ had 9hrs in 08 and 11hrs in 09, how does that equate to 20+ hrs/yr? your excuse will be "he was hurt". will that be the excuse this year? if jennings would have played an entire season wasn't he projected at 20-40? just sayin....

            once again, if the FO, which is the best in baseball, has been shopping him for a year, do you think they feel that we need him or can re-sign him? NO is the simple answer to that. they were and are trying to maximize the deal they can get for him. if we start the season out hot with him on the DL, then a BJ trade is a done deal, yes we are lacking in OF depth, but BJ is the best trade bait we've had since garza.

  7. Jason says:

    He's better trade bait then David Price? James Shields? Matt Moore? The Rays FO has been shopping Shields for a year we not need him? Regardless of if we start off hot without Upton, it wont change the fact that we are a better team with him. The only way we trade Upton this year is:
    1-We get an offer we can't refuse...stud 1st baseman, catcher or SS that's close to the majors.
    2-we are 10+ games back at the AS break...even then, it's not likely.

    • s says:

      Joyce’s batting numbers are comparible to BJ’s with a lot less bats. Zobrist puts up equal numbers also. Both don’t have the steals, but both score as many runs. DJ’s numbers project damn close if not better than BJ’s and I truly believe it’s a wash in the field between BJ and DJ.

      Now take into effect that next year BJ salary will be DOUBLE all 3 of them combined and his salary is easily a couple of million more than all of them combined this year. And yet you somehow think he will be wearing a Ray’s jersey next year? Yet you’re questioning my baseball IQ? I question your “Rays Baseball IQ”!! Like I said, how many times was Carl’s name mentioned in trade talks? ZERO, yet BJ has been openly shopped around. There’s a zero % chance he will be back next year.

      Please answer this in a % answer, if BJ is on the DL for the entire year, do you think we make the playoffs? If we get a player that makes the roster for him and ANY position, do we make the playoffs? If BJ comes back do we make the playoffs? Are you OK with letting him walk for nothing?

      I will make the case that the only reason that BJ showed up at the end of last year was the trade talk light a fire under his ass. Sign him to a new deal and watch that go away!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jason says:

        No, I dont think he'll be wearing a Rays jersey next year. I also dont think theres any chance hes traded this year unless one of those 2 options above happen. Once again, look at Shields, Davis, Niemann and Price...we had talks about all of them this offseason. Shields Davis and Niemann were all shopped and shopped hard.

        My answer? 50%. I'm sorry, but the likelihood that Keppinger and Pena hit near .500 is about less than 0%. Even with them doing that, all 3 games were FAR from gimmies. BJ makes the offense and defense MUCH better. Keppinger should never start for us. Hes a great pinch hitter or emergency starter, but thats it.

        If we can get a true starter for BJ, by all means do it. A bench player? No thank you. With BJ in the lineup, we have a much better chance of making the playoffs and going deep. I am definitely ok with letting him walk if it means a deep playoff run with WS possibilities.

        I think youre delusional if you think the trade talks had anything to do with his performance at the end of the year. He was healthy, pure and simple.

      • Dave L says:

        Your answers are absurd and pointless. Yes Zobrists and Desmonds numbers are nice and comparable with BJ's. Its totally irrelevant. They compliment him and DO NOT compete in anyway with his playing time. Dj will play in the outfield regardless of whether or not BJ is on the roster much less playing. Same with Zobrist he plays right or 2nd except on nights off which is at the teams discretion. With BJ gone he might play some left or more right with Joyce moved to left.

        So now that that red herring has been smoked, lets move on to his true replacements. Replacements in the everyday lineup

        1) Joyce more PT against to bank on that?

        2) Keppinger possibly, he looks like the slowest most timid infielder we have. I like him and he will get his at bats and I am fine with that.

        3) S Rod. Who I think has the most upside gets more reps along with Kepp spelling Zorilla in the infield.

        Finally the real players whos playing time is reduced thankfully is Reid and Johnson with above 2 and 3 times elevated as backups.

        Make the case for Reid or Johnson or one of the recent OF pickups being a better bat than BJ and your case crumbles.

        I dont care about 14 mil next year in theory. We are a world series legit contender. We can win it all THIS YEAR. Our SP depth is stacked. Our farm system is nice.

        Give me BJ in center with 250 to 260 20+ homers 25 to 40 steals, plus range in center.

        Every other fielding position is upgraded DJ>Matt in left Matt a wash with Zobrist in right and Zo an upgrade on what I have seen of Kepp at 2nd.

        With Kepp and SRod and the 4th outfielder sopping up the remaining at bats and fielding and Reid and AJ off the roster if you cant see the value in that its your hate clouds your baseball IQ for sure.


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