USATSI_7898693_154511044_lowresThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 5, Yankees 1 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Erik Bedard. Bedard was able to keep the walks to a minimum (just 1, which is impressive against the Yankees) and the result was perfect, 6 innings, just 1 run allowed. At this point, that is all we can hope for from Bedard, 6 innings and 1-2 runs. If he does that the Rays will win more of his starts than they lose…Bullpen. After what happened on Thursday and Friday (32 innings in 36 hours), Joe Maddon was limited in his bullpen choices on Saturday. The result was ugly. But on Sunday. Maddon was able to go back to his main guys and Jake McGee, Joel Peralta, and Grant Balfour combined for 3 shutout innings to nail down the win…Wil Myers. We are going to give Myers a pass for now and hope that his lack of hustle on his inside-the-park home run was just a one-time thing. But Myers has not hit enough home runs, especially opposite-field home runs, to be pimping a long flyball off the wall. Luckily Carlos Beltran fell asleep in right field and Myers was able to round the bases. He finished with 2 hits and 4 RBI.

THE BAD: Doug Eddings. I am usually an umpire apologist even when the calls don’t go the Rays’ way. But Eddings is awful. And to make matters worse, he was antagonizing Joe Maddon on Saturday. Maddon wanted to get ejected and Eddings wouldn’t do it, instead choosing to just yell back at Maddon from the field while missing a couple of crucial callsJake Odorizzi. We’ll have more on Odorizzi later today, but as good as his stuff can be, he is not a big league starting pitcher right now and Joe Maddon was unusually critical following Saturday’s game: “If we just pitch our normal game today we had a chance to win. We’re playing well. We just need more length out of our starters.”

THE TELLING: The Rays designated Heath Bell for assignment, a costly move. The Rays have already given Bell about $1.1 million and still owe him another $4.4 million if they are unable to find a trade partner in the next 10 days…


  • Couple of days late, but here is the latest Power Rankings. [BI Sports]
  • Lovie Smith likes to draft offense in the first round of the NFL Draft. [JoeBucsFan]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores]  Doug Mathis made his first start for the Bulls, giving up 2 runs in 4 innings. He struck out 1 and walked 1. Mike Fontenot went 3-4 with a double and Kevin Kiermaier was 1-3 with a walk and his 8th stolen base…Jeff Ames gave up 5 runs for Charlotte (2 earned) in just 3.2 innings. He allowed 5 hits and 4 walks…Blake Snell pitched 6 shutout innings for Bowling Green, striking out 3. Catcher Oscar Hernandez hit his 3rd and 4th home runs of the season.

Another view of Wil Myers’ inside-the-park home run, the 11th in Rays’ history.

Here is the great catch by Desmond Jennings that Alfonso Soriano thought was a home run.





  1. Ken says:

    Never thought I'd be overjoyed with a 5-5 road trip but I am right now. I was at the stadium for Saturday's game and thought the crowd was unusually subdued. Could be because my section (208) had predominantly Japanese fans who were very, very quiet.
    A Yanks season ticket holder seated next to me pointed out three different sections in the park that were nearly empty. Told me those sections were sold to Ticket Master and other secondary market brokers. Weird.
    Heath Bell was the biggest goof by the Rays brain trust since Burrell. Can't see us finding a trade partner when he could be claimed at a much cheaper price.
    Will Karns get a start instead of Ramos or Odorizzi? Can't believe they brought him up soley for long relief. Taking the next two series' at home before a west coast swing would be big. Props to Mr. Smith 1980 for a solid prediction, keep it up. Go Rays.

    • David says:

      I believe I read this morning that Karns was returned to Durham after the game, which tells me he was only brought in as long relief insurance if Bedard faltered early.
      Word is Boxberger will be recalled before tomorrow night's game to take Bell's place on the roster.

  2. JMN says:

    Happy with the Rays finishing the road trip at .500! Got Heath Bell off the scrap pile and unfortunately didn't work out. Can't win them all. Doubtful any team will trade for him.

    • Gus says:

      $5.5M is not the scrap pile. $5.5M is the Rays 6th or 7th highest paid player. It will turn out to be one of the two or three worst moves in the Friedman era, and fairly forseeable if you've seen Bell work in the last few years. It is truly "Percivilian" and as we now know, not every one can be a Piccasso. Also, we have 3 or 4 losses at the hands of Bell. That may cost us in September. But kudos for doing it now.

      • AJNO says:

        why is this such a big deal? at no point this season was HB worth $5.5MM, but since the Rays designated him, now SUDDENLY it was a bad trade?

        Come on, no one is going to claim/ trade him. Rays can put him back on the roster in 10 days, right?

        I think the only surprising thing to me was, they didnt try to stick him on the DL. then again, clearing waivers is only a 10 day process. DL is minimum 15 days...

        guess we'll see if he ever wears a Rays uniform again, but my guess is, he will...

        • Gus says:

          Rays cannot afford to make $5.5 M mistakes. They just can't. They have nothing in the bullpen now.

          Interesting to see if the results of the Lobaton-Karns trade fare any better. He at least, is the kind of projectable player who is worth the risk. Heath Bell -- best case -- was going to be Kyle Farnsworth. That role is not worth $5.5M.

          Like Percival he is a vet taking his money and going home. Doubtful he'll pitch again (ironic, because his sinker/slider he was throwing Friday night was maybe the best he'd looked all year movement-wise; but still had no command).

    • KT says:

      You guys are somehow forgetting that the Rays got Hanigan in the Bell deal. They've wanted Hanigan for years now, and then this deal was presented to them. They took it knowing damn well that Bell could be a bust but thought it was worth the risk in order to get a solid catcher that they've long coveted.


  3. Dave L says:

    To be fair if a one year $5.5M mistake is the 'worst since PB' then you guys are actually making the opposite case for Friedmans acumen. For one thing the PB mistake ended 3 years ago and cost 4x the commitment that Bell did and for more years.

    Plus there were 2 other teams who were paying the majority of his salary and getting zero innings.

    Lets face it virtually every team in MLB has at least one and maybe more $10-$15M guy on the roster and some committed for multiple years who's producing at replacement level or worse or injured. And thats every year.

    Its times like this that make some Rays fans point out the big blunder of a one year deal to Bell. For some of us it reminds us how rare the blunders are and so small in comparison to other clubs even taking in to account our lower payroll.

    Plus you can't lay 3 to 4 loses and attribute them solely to him. He was the second lowest regarded reliever on the roster and was in way too many leveraged situations because the starters were epically horrible for three straight weeks.

    • Beth says:

      Dave L, I agree with you. There are gambles across every MLB lineup, and like batters, it's hard to expect management to get it right more than 3/10 times. Mostly the Rays poor gambles have not been expensive -- e.g. Jesse Crain - but every once in a while they will lose real money. It's hardly the defining event of the season. And some would argue that the deal was mostly one to acquire Hannigan -- so if he has a strong season, how much will the RFO miss that $5 million?

      • Gus says:

        Friedman is great, make no mistake. But he is only good shopping at the discount store, shopping for Rondey ($1.75M, Peralta ($2.1M) and Keppingers ($1.525M) types. Get him anywhere near the expensive merchandise selling at market value, and the decisions have been pretty awful.

        When they have spent any significant money (more than $2.5M say) in the free agent market/trading for guys with contracts, it has usually not turned out well.

        2009-- Burrell (no discussion necessary)
        2010 -- none
        2011 -- Farnsworth ($2.6M), Shoppach (2 years $5.5M)
        2012 -- Farnsworth ($3.3M), Luke Scott ($5M), Carlos Pena ($7.25)
        2013 -- Hernandez ($3.25) and Scott ($2.75), Escobar ($5M)

        Escobar the only example of taking on salary that has really worked out, no? Now we get to 2014, and lots of salary added on, and I'm a little nervous about all of these contracts:

        2014 -- Bell ($10M-- Rays on hook for $5M), Balfour ($4.5M), DeJesus ($4.375M), Hannigan (3 years $10.75M), Loney (super backloaded 3 years $21M).

        Source: Cot's Contracts

        • Dave L says:

          I dunno you are sort of making your point in reverse by the total lack of examples. Plus the mistakes were all 1 year.

          Farnsworth was good in 2011 thats why he came back for 2012 where he wasnt so good.

          Hernandez at $3.25M for the guy who gave us the 3rd most innings on a playoff team was never as bad as you guys made him out to be. Go back and look at his stats. 2013 Fausto would be our #3 starter today easy.

          If you standard is perfection, as Beth points out then yeah AF isnt perfect. My standard is reality and the other 29 teams. Go through you under value exercise for the other teams in MLB and you will see how good we have it and how few total cheap for term busts we have in comparison.

          • Dave L says:

            * should read 'short term busts'

          • Gus says:

            My point is that the Rays are far better evaluating and paying money to their own players than in mid range of the Free Agent pool (they'll never be in the upper range).

            When Hernandez and 2012 Farnsworth are the shining stars of your free agent work, I rest my case.

            That $5M for Bell could have certainly been better deployed. If Hernandez's starts had been turned over to Archer from spring training, the Rays win the division. Nobody is perfect, but nobody is beyond criticism either. I'm sure Friedman would admit it was a terrible signing today.

            If Bell was playing ball with the Rays,he'd be on the DL today. No reason for him to come back and humiliate himself further.

          • Dave L says:

            Gus the Archer 2013 lead us to the promised land is frankly silly. He flamed out emotionally last year and was unusable past mid August. Are you seriously arguing if we brought him up earlier he would have lasted longer?

            You need to re-evaluate your Fausto analysis honestly

          • Gus says:

            Dave L: Your facts are simply wrong. Hernandez flamed ou in August, getting yanked from the rotation, but before he was dumped fromt he rotation, the team was 9-15 in his starts (by far the worst of any starter). With Archer, they were 14-9 in his starts, and he didn't flame out. Team was 6-3 in his last 9 starts in August and September. It wa s amistake to break camp with Hernandez last year; the only reason they did was Andrew paid him $3M.

          • OriginalTom says:

            This is in reply to the Rays win the division if Archer had started the year in the rotation instead of Hernandez.

            1)The Sox won 97 games to the Rays 91 games (only including the first 162).

            2) Archer was called up on June 1. At that time Hernandez had made 10 starts.

            3) Lets assume Archer would have started these exact same games which seem reasonable as he would have been the 5th man in the rotation. This gives Archer 33 starts for the year which is exactly what he had between the majors and the minors.

            4) The Rays were 4-6 in the 10 games started by Hernandez prior to Archer's call up.

            5) This means the Rays would have needed to win all 10 games started by Archer to tie for the division

            Appears unlikely to me..

          • Dave L says:

            Gus you are crazy. Archers last 2 games he pitched 4 1/3 and 2 1/3 innings game 161.

            We never used him in the playoffs. He was mentally and emotionallly spent. We needed those innings out of Fausto. And we squeezed every drop of baseball out of Archer in 2013.

      • Nathan says:

        Good point! We didn't sign him as a FA this past offseason. He was part of the price to get Hanigan, considering we only gave up a Class A pitcher.

    • Rob says:

      For me, the problem is that with one look at this guy, anyone could tell he wasn't going to produce. Why the Rays couldn't also see that is alarming. Now, if he was critical to the success of getting Hannigan, I think it was worth it. If Hannigan could have been acquired without Bell jn the picture then the Rays have a serious, serious flaw in the way they evaluate talent.

  4. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I wouldn't be surprised if Bell makes it back to the roster then finds himself on the DL with a torn right roster spot. That way the Rays can come back to him later and try again to see if he's able to produce or if they need arms in the bully out of over-use desperation.

    • AJNO says:

      thats EXACTLY what i think will happen.

      then again, a guy like Bell may just take it to the house.

  5. Alex says:

    Are people really forgetting that we got Ryan Hannigan in the Heath Bell trade? He was well worth having to take a chance on Bell.

  6. KT says:

    On Myers trotting: He had 2 runners on base ahead of him, he can't book it in that situation until he knows the ball isn't caught!

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      That's a valid point, but that was definitely his home run strut, and even if you have a valid reason not to bust it down the line you better be sure it's gone if you're gonna admire it, or you look like a tool.


Leave a Comment