Ryan Hanigan

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

Orioles 4, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Joe Maddon’s charity t-shirts. Should have brought this up earlier, but Joe Maddon is wearing a different t-shirt every night during his postgame pressers. The t-shirts are from different charitable organizations.


THE BAD: You get thrown out at home! You get thrown out at home! Everybody gets thrown out at home! The Rays lost by 2 and had at least 3 runners thrown out at home. Honestly I lost count. Did Joe Maddon get thrown out arguing a play at home? That would have been fitting.

8-26-2014 6-11-43 PM

Desmond Jennings. Remember how excited everybody was when Jennings showed up to camp all bulked up with muscle? “Here comes a 30-30 season!” Instead, a typical HR season for him (10), his worst career slugging percentage (.692), just 15 stolen bases, getting thrown out at home running from third when the ball went from third base to first base, and whatever this was in the outfield last night.


THE TELLING: Can somebody in the national media please yell at the Orioles fans about their support for the third-best team in baseball?…Alex Cobb wasn’t terrible. But as soon as his pitch count started creeping up you knew Grant Balfour was going to make an appearance and the Rays were in trouble…


  • Joe Maddon wants to add a “real speed dude” when roster expand on Monday. We also know Curt Casali will be back but we don’t know much else. [TampaBay.com]
  • Joe Maddon is not sure why MLB denied their protest of Saturday’s loss. Somebody send him our post explaining why. [TBO.com]
  • Wil Myers is the character in a new baseball video game for kids. [TampaBay.com]
  • Royals manager Ned Yost did go off on Royals fans for not showing up to a game. [KansasCity.com]
  • The Marlins finally have a superstar they want to keep and he sounds like he already has one foot out the door. [BI Sports]
  • 25 years of MLB salaries. [BI Chart]
  • The Bucs made a huge trade yesterday. JBF has several stories covering the topic from all angles. [JoeBucsFan]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] The Bulls had a typical post-clinching 7-1 loss with just 4 hits. Nate Karns was pounded for 6 runs on 11 hits in just 4.1 innings…Willy Adames went 3-4 with 2 doubles and his 8th home run…

How great is this photo of Delmon Young?






  1. Chris D says:

    There is no real speed guy in the AAA level except maybe Lee. Wonder who they'll call up.

  2. Ken H says:

    Depending on any off season moves I anticipate a platoon in CF next year. Jennings is beginning to look like another pedestrian outfielder. Upton without the attitude if you will. Despite all his faults at least Kiermayer looks like he gives a damn when playing.

    • Dave L says:

      Desmond Jennings is one of 4 cornerstone offensive players on the 2014 Rays along with Zobrist, Longo and Loney. They play against everybody.

      Desmonds plays a position more difficult and way more demanding than Loney and even Longo second only to Zo ( who plays everywhere).

      His offensive output is close to Loneys this year a horrible year for all Rays position players collectively.

      Desmond has zero errors in CF in 2014. His dWAR amongst CF is 7th amongst all CF.

      Ken do you fully understand the demands of an everyday CF?

      Pedestrian? Do you know what that even means ?

      • Ken H says:

        Once again, Dave L you immediately go into attack mode when you see a post you don't agree with. You, Dave, are pedestrian, and I'm surprised Jim hasn't run you over as you walk down the street.
        I assume you treat everyone you encounter with the same antagonism.
        A bit of advice: drop the holier than thou attitude and get some counseling.

        • Dave L says:

          Thats ok Ken, your bombastic statements are indefensible, so I understand why you dont try to defend them.

          Most commentor critics are used to throwing thier bombs at the struggling home teams in online settings and getting cheered wildly no matter how misdirected thier criticisms are.

          Sorry i hurt your feelings again. My mistake for hoping you would try back up your arguements this time.

          What does pedestrian mean to you by the way?

          My god man, defend your criticisms effectively for once and stop whining. Have you ever debated anyone who doesnt agree with you?

          • Ken H says:

            Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays
            Age: 27
            2014 salary: $517,000
            Skinny: Jennings has never really lived up to the expectations many of us had for him after he had 10 homers, 20 steals, 44 runs and an .805 OPS in 247 at-bats as a rookie in 2011. The next two years, Jennings averaged 84 runs, 14 homers, 50 RBI and 26 steals. In that stretch he batted only .246 and .252, with an OPS of .702 and .748, respectively. He produced similar numbers in his first 50 games of 2014 (.234 with a .709 OPS).
            This is where the precipitous fall begins for the position. Jennings has not quite blossomed into the player he was projected to be in his prospect days. He does not throw well and has issues with balls in front of him in the field. At the plate, right-handed pitchers, especially those with good velocity, handle him rather well. He has added size in the offseason in hopes of doing more at the plate and staying strong throughout the season.

            Jennings, Desmond + Rays CF 525 .242 .293 .374 .217 1.544 .090 .204 .307 .335 649* (overall rating)

          • Jim says:

            I actually agree with you on Jennings. For what we are paying him, his numbers are acceptable. We probably can't replace him for double his salary.

            Is he worth signing to a long term deal? With Boras being his agent, his price will be way too high for us. Boras will demand elite money for him.

          • Dave L says:

            Ken I had to google that to find out who you were quoting. Were we supposed to think you wrote that whole thing? As you add your scathing summation to thier stats?


            They rank Jennings as the 8th best CF in MLB you failed to mention that.

            Sorry if 8th best isn't inspiring enough for you.

      • Jim says:

        DJ is 7th out of 17 in dwar and 9 out of 15 in war.

        To show you what a over hyped BS stat that is of being 8th vs 9th in war.

        Jacoby Ellsbury vs DJ
        avg .284 vs .242
        obp .347 vs .318
        slg .422 vs .374

        All of that translates somehow into 1/3 of a game difference. 3.2 war vs 2.9 war.

        And combining dwar and war, there's less than a 3 game difference between DJ and Mike Trout. BAHAHA! That's priceless and proves my point about how over hyped the "war" stats are. Possibly the best overall player in baseball is less than 3 wins better than an average starting CF.

        • OriginalTom says:

          One thing WAR factors in that your analysis does is the players home park. Yankee stadium is much more hitter friendly than the Trop. If you compare both player based on how they have performed on the road you get.

          Jacoby Ellsbury vs DJ

          avg .246 vs. .258
          obp .300 vs. .338
          slg .396 vs. .435

          As you can see DJ is ahead in all three categories. He is also rated as a deter defender which is why the difference between the two players is much smaller than you might think.

          • Jim says:


            Complete farce of a stat.

          • Dave L says:

            Yes countering OTom is not easy, Jim..... Better to declare victory and run!

            Stats are confusing I know.

            WAR isnt perfect I will agree but its the only stat that allows you to compare offense and defense taking into account the position played and compare position players to pitchers for analysis of worth when looking at possible outcomes of trades and roster construction.

            He is not 7th or 9th out of 15 or 17. Maybe this is where you have trouble with stats. Those are just qualified players. Those are mostly the 15 or 17 best who are healthy and are not platooned (except guys like BJ who are being payed $15M). There are 30 CF postions in MLB. remember. The other half of MLB has injured or platooned or unproven CF players. Health has value

            So regardless he is in the top ten both defensively and offensively thanks for pointing that out for me. That is above average.

            3 games is huge for one player, Trout has been 5 or 6 games above DJ per year his first years actually.

            You hyper critical guys really dont understand what an AVERAGE MLB full time starter is and that its a compliment and to be valued. Above average is a bonus and trading or demoting or letting either of them go scot free in a waiver move is just plain dumb until you have a better cheaper replacement in place.

        • Drew says:

          First of all, you should be using this instead of BRef. http://bit.ly/1qDucit
          Second of all, if you are really going to debate the "hype" of WAR then you might as well not say anything. You can debate the defensive component of it if you want, but the offensive component is accurate. Over the last 3 seasons, Jennings isn't even a top 30 CF by wOBA. That's not surprising at all. His value is mostly in defense and baserunning (while carrying an average bat). That is why he is 7th among CF's in WAR over that time frame, ahead of Michael Brantley, Austin Jackson, Michael Bourn, Shin-Soo Choo, Josh Hamilton, etc. This is how the Rays keep valuable players. Teams value offense more (in terms of $$) over defense and baserunning)

          • Dave L says:

            Drew using BR jennings 9th amongst wOBA out of 18 CF qualified?

            You cant compare him with guys with 10 or 50 PA?

            Sure hes lower if you include every MLB player who suited up for CF in 2014

          • Drew says:

            Out of qualified CF's he's 27th in wOBA last 3 seasons. The point still stands though.

          • Dave L says:

            Drew in 2012 he only played 21 games in CF.

            As a full time CF, 2013 and 2014 combined he is 9th out of 18 Qualified in wOBA.

            Check it out. Thats when he became a full time CF after BJ left.


      • Ken H says:

        adjective: pedestrian

        lacking inspiration or excitement; dull.
        "disenchantment with their present, pedestrian lives"
        synonyms: dull, boring, tedious, monotonous, uneventful, unremarkable, tiresome, wearisome, uninspired, unimaginative, unexciting, uninteresting, uninvolving;
        I'd say this is more descriptive of your posts than Jennings play, but I still find Jennings' offensive value becoming more pedestrian day to day. Revere, Spahn, Ackley, A. Jackson are good comparisons. Serviceable CF's all, but not capable of sustainable inspired play.

  3. angrybuddha says:

    ....aaaand Cork has had enough. The bitterness at this wasted season is clear and present.... reflecting the rest of us.

  4. Gus says:

    The signature moment of the 2014 season (and perhaps beyond) was crystalized with Balfour pitching, a routine DP ball to Loney, who throws to Escobar who then air mails the throw, keeping the inning alive. Next batter, single off the ineefctive Balfour.

    Doesn't show as an error in the box score (because you can't assume a douple play), and I'm sure Dave L. and Andrew Friedman will tell me it was an above-average SS, but it was a crucial mistake, one that cost them the game (because every Rays run is a small miracle and Friedman assmbled the roster with comeplete indifference to offense; that formula can't work when the defense falls apart at SS, CF and sometimes 3B and your highest paid reliever can't get anybody out).

    How many days to spring training? Really sick of watching this particular version of the Rays. 2015 can't come fast enough.

  5. edward williams says:

    what makes anybody think it will get any better in 2015 , if i remember correctly all of our infielders signed past that year, hopefully it will get better, but than again there is the talk of trading zobrist because he will be making too much money, I was going to say the ownership needs to suck it up and spend some money, but they did this year. I guess it's on Andrew than, who i do think is a real good gm. Oh question , when did Hunsucker leave, maybe that was a bigger lose than we can admit.

    • OriginalTom says:

      Reasons for optimism in 2015:
      1) Myers will be healthy
      2) Longo will hopefully be better
      3) Balfour will either be better or not see any high leverage situations
      4) Escobar's defense will be better or else he will find himself on the bench
      5) This team has been somewhat unlucky as they have scored more runs than they have allowed and it his hard to see the team hitting into
      473 DP's again next year.

      Of course none of these reasons for optimism are guaranteed to happen and we will not have Price next year.

      • Gus says:

        The problem with the entire Rays organization is that cost control, not production, is what determines playing time far too often. If Escobar were in a real competition next spring, then I'd be interetsed. But if you get one of Andy's mid-level deals, you are playing and the other guys rot on the farm. It is the reason Shoppach played over better younger catchers like Jaso, Vogt, Chirnos; it is the reason why Balfour has lit himself on fire, and he still pitches high leverage situations (includng last night); why Percival and Burrell were given far too many chances.

        Let the kids play. They have upside. The vets are in decline and once the season is lost, they shut it down.

        • OriginalTom says:

          I think this is true of all teams. BJ is still getting playing time for the Braves. The Braves also gave Uggla plenty of chances before dumping him and calling up La Stella. Usually it is 2 of either Ethier, CC, or Kemp playing in the OF with Puig out in LA when Pederson and Van Slyke are probably just as good. A Soriano received plenty of At bats in the Bronx this year. What team does not give the players who they sign free agent contracts a chance to perform? If they did not believe in the player why would they have signed the player in the first place?

    • Ken H says:

      He left after the 2009 season.

  6. Jim says:

    The telling.....

    Maddon defends Escobar, and throws Balfour under the bus, even though the throw looked wide on the double play.

  7. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    The farm is a little scary to me.
    -no real speed guys
    -no massive power
    -no 4/5 tool players
    -no legit catching prospects

    The Rays need hitters with power so Longo and company can get some protection in the lineup or the offensive woes will never end. The problem is where can it be found and how much money would it take to get it?


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