Joe is back with his post-game thoughts…

Sometimes, Joe has to doff his cap to the other guy. That “Other Guy” today was Braves hurler Tim Hudson. The guy was a simple Bulldog, keeping the Rays off the scoreboard as the Rays suffered their first shutout this season.

Of course, the way Carlos Pena has been playing, and played today, surely didn’t help. Pena is in a terrible slump at the plate, and judging by his play in the field and on the basepaths, Pena is in dire need of a short-vacation.

Pena hasn’t been playing his normal solid defense lately and today he dropped a ball. Sure, Will Rhymes got a throwing error on the play, but Pena still had his glove on the ball and didn’t secure it.

Pena’s bumbling baserunning in the eighth inning was simply inexcusable. With the bases loaded and two outs down by two runs, Wolverine blasted what appeared to be a potential game-tying two-run RBI single. Pena initially watched the ball come toward him near second base, then instead of trying to dodge the ball, began looking at second base and got hit by the ball for the third out.

Now if Pena was trying to shield the ball from Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, Joe could live with that. But Pena wasn’t even looking at the ball. That’s a Little League stunt.

Yes, Joe knows the Rays are razor-thin thanks to so many injuries. But it’s clear to Joe that Pena is in dire need of a couple of days off.



  1. Dave L says:

    When Pena is in a slump and as usual his massive uppercut swing becomes a huge liability. Any ball not struck perfectly cleanly has such topspin if hit well that it always dies before getting any distance. and any ball undercut just makes a mammoth pop out.

    That really was a little league base running error.

    In that situation? Try Luke at first I agree Joe.

    Pena makes nice digs at first but its like Molinas framing.

    Being excellent at one facet of the game cant keep you as an everyday player if you fail miserably at all else

  2. Andy says:

    Totally agree!!! Obviously that 1 day rest @ 1 wk ago was not enough!!! And if Maddon needed any further convincing other than his crappy bat, that boneheaded base running gaffe should have done it!!! Seriously SMH!!!

  3. YoBuc says:

    Signing Pena and Scott were mistakes from the get-go and I said so. But not to the right people.

    Both were exiled from other teams, Pena once removed from the Rays.

    Signing Willingham as a RH DH/OF seemed to make much more sense. Then keeping Kotchman would have been practical and possible. And affordable or maybe even cheaper in total.

    Now what they're left with is a strikeout King (Pena) and Scott, who has turned out to be the player Reid Brignac wishes he was: a singles hitter who sometimes visits the warning track.

  4. don says:

    Boy, here comes the bandwagoners..If I remember right I was the ONLY ONE who almost had a fit when they resigned Pena..esp at $7mil.. turns out as usual after 2 months I'm right again....suffer you Smiley Pena lovers...I can't stand him..but don't worry he will hit a HR in about a week or so and everything will be ok again....for you... not the Rays

    • Machdraught says:

      I had a similar fit .... but suffered in silence, figuring the Boy Geniuses knew better than I did. I had same thoughts about Scott.

      They needed a righthanded bat and didn't get one.
      They needed a catcher who brought a bat and didn't get one.
      They needed a shortstop with a glove and a bat and didn't get one.

      The Boy Geniuses aren't that smart. It's easy to scout pitchers. They don't know how to develop or sign or deal for position players.


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