Joe Maddon to Manage Cubs in 2015

The latest info that sends Joe Maddon to the north side of Chicago for 2015.

Andrew Friedman leaves for the Dodgers

It's the end of an era in Tampa Bay. What does the future hold?

2015 Rays Schedule released

We disect the 2015 Rays schedule.

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from BRaysball Talk

by Aaron Giddens

We here at BRaysball Talk would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. May you enjoy your time with your families.

To those that celebrate something other than Christmas, we here at BRaysball Talk would like to wish you a Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy Hanukkah.

What ever you celebrate, enjoy your day.

Merry Christmas Happy Hanukkah Happy Kwanzaa

Dec 22, 2011

All I want for Christmas in Rays land is a Stadium agreement

by Aaron Giddens

Christmas time shot of downtown Tampa
Courtesy: Flickr
It's Christmas time in Tampa Bay. A time for giving. A time for family. And for those of us, like myself, who celebrate the religious aspect of the holiday, a time to celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

In this holiday season, there is one thing still weighing on my mind ever so slightly, the stadium situation is far from being solved still. Even though we have not heard from Mayor Foster in a while about the stadium, I'm sure he's trying to think of how he's gonna be a stubborn person next.

There is hardly peace and good will towards men when it comes to the two parties involved in this dispute, the Rays and the City of St. Pete (three if you count the fans). And none of them seem to be interested in sitting down to find a solution to this growing problem.

The Rays can't use Tropicana Field for much longer. By the current standard, it's outdated in a lot of aspects. And the waterfront stadium went up in smoke. Rays need a new stadium to call home, but no one is willing to budge. Especially not the Mayor of St. Pete.

We express our dismay with how St. Pete mayor Bill Foster is handling this situation quite often here on BRaysball Talk, but I feel it's justified. He's not willing to work with the Rays who want to jump to the other side of the Bay. And the Rays are convinced that a new stadium won't work in St. Pete.

There also the issue of determining who's to pay. Again, no one is willing to budge. Fans and the the City of St. Pete largely want the Rays to pay 100% for the new stadium. While the Rays, I guess, want the fans to pay. I myself, want the two (three?) parties to split the bill.

We realize Mayor Foster has his citizens interests to protect, but what about the other fans in the Bay Area? Are they not important too? And for the Rays side, we realize that they want the new stadium in Tampa, but isn't there a compromise that can be made to make both parties happy?

So in this holiday season, I shall write my letter to Santa. And on it I will say "All I want for Christmas, Santa, is for the Rays future in Tampa Bay to be secured by what ever legal means necessary."

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Dec 17, 2011

GIBBY recap for Rays

by Aaron Giddens

This is a list of where the Rays events and players finished in voting for the MLB.com GIBBY awards.

  • Jeremy Hellickson finished tied for second for the GIBBY Rookie of the Year award with the Angels' Mark Trumbo with 8.8% of the vote. Braves' Closer Craig Kimbrel wins the award.


    • Opinion: Hard to argue with 46 saves as a rookie, but how did Trumbo get second?! That's the only negative.


  • James Shields finished 3rd behind Ellsburry for GIBBY Comeback Player of the Year. James received 7.5 percent of the vote. Cardinals' Lance Berkman won the award.


    • Opinion: I never expected Shields to win, and agree with where he finished.


  • Andrew Friedman finishes last out of five for Executive of the Year with 13.4% of the vote. Cardinals' John Mozeliak wins the award.


    • Opinion: I understand he probably wouldn't win, and he didn't, but last?! Somebody's not paying attention.


  • Joe Maddon finishes third with 14.4% of the vote behind LaRussa. He loses to Kirk Gibson.

    • Opinion: I disagree completely, call me a homer, but Maddon took a team that was absolutely gutted and went on to knock off the Red Sox. Gibson was excellent but Maddon was better. Also how did LaRussa get second? Just because he won the World Series? Or is a Legendary manager? How?


  • Dan Johnson's game tying home run in game 162 wins the GIBBY for Moment of the Year with 33.7% of the vote, beating out Jeter's 3,000th hit and Mo Rivera's 602nd save.


    • Opinion: Completely agree. If you don't agree, you just don't understand how the emotion of the moment factors in.


  • Sam Fuld's diving catch in Chicago in April, which started The Legend of Sam Fuld, finished last out of five with only 8.7% of the vote. Ben Revere's catch wins.


    • Opinion: In the words of "Hawk" Harrelson on the call of Fuld's catch: "You gotta be bleeping me!" Are the voters not paying attention?! I agree there were some plays that were as good or even better, but last?! Seriously?!


  • Evan Longoria's performance in game 162 on Sept. 28th and Ben Zobrist's performance in the April 28th double header with the Twins both lose out to Derek Jeter's 3000th hit game on July 9th for single-game "Performance of the Year". Evan's day received 21.9% of the vote and finished 3rd, Zorilla's day finished fourth with 2.9% of the vote.


    • Opinion: You've gotta be kidding me. How does Jeter's day significantly help anyone but himself? Longo's day did more for his team than any of the other candidates. Sorry, the voters got this one wrong. By the way, Yankee fans, where's that "bias against the Yankees" you were complaining about when Nova lost AL Rookie of the Year?


  • Evan Longoria's walk-off home run in game 162 to send the Rays to playoffs and clinch the Wild Card wins the GIBBY for walk-off of the year. The home run received 62.6% of the vote.


    • Opinion: No disagreement here. Congrats to Longo. I want to re-live this day.


  • James Shields wasn't even among the five finalist for Starting Pitcher of the Year. Justin Verlander wins.


    • Opinion: I guess 11 complete games doesn't get you the attention it used to. Bullcrap.


In the end, the awards were largely right, there are a couple I have issue with as I outlined. But all in all, I think they were fair. Congrats to all the winners, regardless of if they're a Rays player.

Dec 13, 2011

Red Sox fan reaction to Sept. 28

by Aaron Giddens

For the final time this offseason, we're gonna flash back to the Sept. 28th and watch a couple of Red Sox fans react to their teams heartbreaking elimination. Enjoy.

Shoppach heading to Beantown

by Aaron Giddens

Kelly Shoppach
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated
ESPN is reporting that Kelly Shoppach will be heading to Beantown for the 2012 season. While we wish Shoppach luck, we hope the Red Sox as a whole still show themselves being the Red Sux.

What does this mean for Rays fans? Well as Cork Gaines of Rays Index pointed out, this means the Shoppachoppters could live on at the Trop after all and the fans behind the third base dugout aren't so safe after all.

Kelly Shoppach returns to the team that drafted him in 2001 and becomes the latest ex-Ray to taste success with the Rays then head to Boston. This also signals a worry for Boston fans as for the future of team captain Jason Varitek.

Dec 12, 2011

Thanksmas underway

by Aaron Giddens


Joe cooking Sunday at the Trop. — Courtesy: Rays via tampabay.com
Joe Maddon's annual "Thanksmas" event is underway. The annual event, now in its sixth year, gives needy people a warm meal.

Tonight the event is at the Sallie House in St. Petersburg. Tomorrow the event will be a the Salvation Army centers in Bradenton, at noon, and in St. Pete, at 4:30pm. Wednesday at the Salvation Army center in Tampa at 5pm.

I find it heart warming Joe started and continues to do this event yearly. Just makes me love Joe more.

[UPDATE, December 13 6:57pm]: Video of Joe and his Thanksmas event is now available below thanks to MLB.com.


Dec 5, 2011

What with the hair, Joe?

by Aaron Giddens

Joe Maddon showed up to the winter meetings in Dallas with a new hair color and 'doo. Take a look:



Allow us to be the latest to say "What the heck, Joe!" Looks like Helen Keller found her way to Joe's house and styled his hair! We shall call it "The Keller 'doo". Hopefully by the time the season starts Joe's hair is back to normal.

Manny "Juicing" Ramirez wants back in

by Aaron Giddens

Manny Ramirez
Courtesy:Flickr
So, it's being reported that Manny Ramirez wants another shot at the major leagues.

To which I say, not a snowballs chance in Hell!

This unprofessional, cheating, juicer is a cancer on the game anymore. We don't need the bad press.

And after his selfish retirement last year, well, I hope that was his last AB in the MLB.

Should he be granted reinstatement by Selig, I hope the GMs send the message loud and clear. "We don't want you anymore, Manny!" The game is better off without him. I wish him luck anywhere else though. He's still human afterall.

Dec 3, 2011

Rays Christmas wish list

by @MandaGator

I wanted to try something new here at BRaysball Talk, so I asked @MandaGator to write a letter to Santa. Here's her letter.

Santa

Dearest Santa,

I hope you and Mrs Claus are healthy and happy during this busy Christmas season. Thanks for joining me in MY favorite season this year, I knew you would fall in love with the Tampa Bay Rays too! As you know from watching, I took your advice from last year and I've been quite well behaved. I believe my position in the Nice standings has climbed a couple notches and I hope you take this into consideration as you review my Wish List.

I wish for some things to remain the same! I'd like Casey Kotchman & Johnny Damon to re-sign with the Rays. I wish for arbitration talks to be smooth and result in successful contracts with BJ Upton, David Price & Joel Peralta. In an ideal world I'd also love Love LOVE for the contract of AL Manager Of the Year Winner, Joe Maddon to be extended NOW but understand that it will probably be on my Wish List again next year.

If you could provide me with a couple of Rays Season Tickets Santa, that would rock! I'm not picky, upper deck is fine with me, just try to make it Row A & an odd section because I so enjoy watching the dugout antics during games. I promise that at least 41 of those games I will bring a newbie to Tropicana Field to experience world class MLB baseball at it's finest, making this the gift that keeps on giving!

If season tickets are asking too much, I'll be just as happy with the Rays Holiday Pack and it's a great deal! It includes opening day + 3 others for only $50! Game options even include July 4th, which is my favorite holiday, against the Yankees, my favorite team to hate!

I would like to be appropriately dressed at the Rays games, these few things will do! This is nice, this is warm, this one sparkles too!! I lost a couple hats last season so I'm asking for two!

Some of my wishes are for others Santa, I hope that you don't mind! Please give Sam Fuld another Legendary streak! To Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez please grant offensive breakouts equal to their defensive prowess! Keep ALL our Rays healthy and Santa, please keep the injuries away!!

I understand you're very busy and I want to take some of the pressure off of the whole Christmas Eve journey you'll be undertaking. With that in mind, I eagerly await delivery of my deepest Christmas Wish, the MLB World Championship Trophy for the Tampa Bay Rays next October .

As usual my wish list this year is topped with desire of peace in the hearts of everyone, yes, even Yankee & Red Sox fans but especially for those who I hold dear.

My best to the elves, Rudolph and the posse!
Love,
MandaGator

PS You'll find the cookies, milk & pipe in the usual place, will also leave the foot massager you brought me last year, feel free to use it on your tired tootsies! Go Rays!

Nov 28, 2011

Rays finally sign Jose Molina

by Aaron Giddens

As expected the Rays have officially signed Jose Molina for 2012 at 1.5 million with a team option for 2013 again at 1.5 million.

As I said yesterday, this leaves us in a much better position at catcher for 2012 with Lobaton and now Molina rather than Jaso and Shoppach.

Do you like the move, tell us in the comment section.

Nov 27, 2011

Jaso traded

by Aaron Giddens

And the first shot has been fired for the Rays this offseason. The Rays have sent John Jaso to the Northwest, to the Mariners, for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lueke.

I will kinda miss Jaso, but let's not forget that he lacked a lot of the time offensively and MOST of the time defensively. So to that we say "Good riddance and good luck!" to Jaso.

As for Lueke, it appears to be one of those players that suck and the Rays are expecting to have a break out year. So we'll see if he goes the way of Burrell or the way of Farnsworth. Remember to have faith in that Rays front office. They rarely get a deal that blows up in their face recently.

And by the way, don't fret about being a catcher down. Not only is it expected that Jose Labaton start the season with the team, it is also expected that the Rays are to sign Jose Molina. Between the two the catcher position is looking much better.

What will the next move be? Only time will tell.

Nov 24, 2011

Rays-giving

by Aaron Giddens

Taking inspiration from Cork Gaines of Rays Index, we're gonna name some of the things we here at BRaysball Talk are grateful for this Thanksgiving day.

We're thankful for...

  • ...the 2011 season. The guys had a rough start and no-so-easy year, but they pulled off a miracle to make the postseason. So regardless of the fact they didn't make it past LDS round, I'm grateful for what they did.

  • ...Sam Fuld. It was like Santa got my Christmas card last year. The guy had a season full of highlight reel worthy plays.

  • ...for the fact no one out side Tampa Bay has offered to build the Rays a stadium yet.

  • ...Joe Maddon. Thanks to him, Rays baseball knows success.


These are a few of the things we're grateful for this Thanksgiving day as Rays fans. What are you grateful for? Let us know below. And have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your day with your family. DON'T EAT TOO MUCH!! :D

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 19, 2011

The Play of the year is...

by Aaron Giddens

You voted people, and I hereby crown Evan Longoria's wild card clinching HR the play of the year.



Here's the break down:

'Evan Longoria's wild card clinching walk-off home run' wins


This video will be displayed just below the countdown until the 2012 season begins.

Nov 17, 2011

MLB expanding playoffs

by Aaron Giddens

Breaking News out of the owners meetings in Milwaukee, MLB will add two teams to the playoffs, 1 extra wild card for each league. The details about whether it will be a 1-game playoff round or 3-game playoff round are still being worked out as well as when it will be implemented, but it could happen next season!

Personally, I like this move by Bud Selig and the owners. Not only does it put emphasis back on winning your division to avoid the extra round of playoffs, but it also helps other teams in the American League that are good teams but are usually shut out by the Red Sox/Yankees money show.

I don't think this will ruin the game. But that won't stop you from hearing people say it.

Bottom line here is this is, in my opinion at least, a good move to help baseball. Good work, Bud!

Please vote in our related poll to the right.

Nov 16, 2011

FUNNY: Mickey Mantis

by Aaron Giddens

This is a Rays blog first and foremost but we're always on the look out here at BRaysball Talk for something to share, in this case we found this oddity from July involving the then-Florida Marlins. Enjoy "Mickey Mantis". By the way, this video is up for a GIBBY.

AL Manager of the Year is.... Joe Maddon

by Aaron Giddens

Again, the picture says it all:

2011 AL Manager of the Year - Joe Maddon
Courtesy: RaysBaseball.com


Joe is the manager of the Year. Such a deserved award for him. I mean was there really any other choice? You don't take a take from a 0-6 start, then make a 9 game comeback in September and not win. Chances are though is that you will see Yankees fans whine that Girardi didn't win.

Doesn't matter though. Joe wins.

And that conclude the Rays BBWAA award season, unless I miss something. Stay with BRaysball Talk for other opinions over the winter.

Nov 14, 2011

To Yankees fans, Nova wasn't robbed

by Aaron Giddens

I see a lot of Yankee fans on twitter and around the internet saying that Ivan Nova was robbed. Let's break this down real quick. We're gonna take 3 claims go claim by claim and debunk it.

***WARNING: Statistics ahead!!***


1. "Nova had a better win-loss record!"

Yes he did, but that is not the only statistic that goes in to determining a wonderful pitcher. There are other statistics like ERA, WHIP, BAA, CG, etc. that also are relevant to figuring out who's the better pitcher. Let's take a look at a couple for the 2011 regular season between Nova and Hellickson:



2011 Regular Season Statistical breakdown

Jeremy Hellickson
Ivan Nova
W-L13-1016-4
ERA2.953.70
WHIP1.151.33
BAA.210.258
IP189.0165.1
CG/SHO2/10/0

Further statistics for Hellickson External linkFurther statistics for Nova External link


As you can see, other than wins and losses, Hellickson led every other category between the two.

2. "This is another example of bias against the Yankees!"

There's no real way to debunk this as it's in the eye of the beholder but in general, 9 times out of 10, the bias is in favor, not against, the Yankees. Especially on ESPN. Two words: "Money talks."

3. "But Nova plays in the AL East, the most competitive division in baseball!"

Well, in case you haven't notice, Hellickson plays for the Rays, who are also in the American League East. So this claim really has no basis. Being in the AL East should and doesn't get you extra consideration. The stats talk. Nova was out pitched statistically.

So based on these facts, Ivan rightfully didn't win. As for whether he deserved fourth place, that's a different argument. But the right pitcher between the two came out on top. Get over it.

2011 AL Rookie of the Year is Hellboy

by Aaron Giddens

The picture says it all:

2011 Rookie of the Year - Jeremy Hellickson
Courtesy: RaysBaseball.com


Congratulations to Hellboy on the much deserved award. I'd like to point out this tweet. I think TK is right.

Just in case you want to know, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel won the award for the NL.

We have two other Rays up for awards this week (James Shields for Cy Young and Joe Maddon for Manager of the Year). Stay with BRaysball Talk for opinions after the fact.

Nov 8, 2011

VOTE: 1st Annual BRaysball Talk Play of the Year

by Aaron Giddens

So I've decided to try some interactivity with my readers here. Below are five plays that happened this past season with the Rays, and below that is a poll. You get to vote in the first annual "BRaysball Talk Play of the Year". The winning play will be displayed in the right hand widget bar until the beginning of the season. Voting will run from when this is posted til November 19th at 4:00pm ET. Have fun and remember the letter of your choice! **VOTING IS CLOSED!!! RESULTS BELOW!!**


A. Sam Fuld's walk-off triple plus error




B. Dan Johnson's game-tying home run in game 162




C. Rays' season saving triple play




D. Sam Fuld's diving grab in Chicago on April 9th




E. Evan Longoria's wild card clinching walk-off home run




'Evan Longoria's wild card clinching walk-off home run' wins

BRaysball Talk is on social media!

by Aaron Giddens


We are pleased to announced that we are now on Google Plus! Be sure to stop over and add us to your circle!

And don't forget to follow us on our other pages too!

We're also on Facebook and Twitter!

Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS feed too!

Nov 7, 2011

HOT STOVE: What I think we need

by Aaron Giddens

BRaysball Talk presents Hot Stove Talk

The Hot Stove season is underway here in Tampa Bay and around the MLB. As such the rumors have started to fly.

I just want to highlight a few things I think need tending to this off season.

First, resign Kotch and Damon. If not for these two last season the outcome would have been much different. I firmly believe we would not have cashed in on the Red Sox collapse.

The next thing of concern is the catcher position, either we have horrible defense and "good" bat in Jaso or a horrible bat and good defense in Shoppach. This cannot continue. We are too good a team to have as many bone headed errors happen behind the plate as happened last season. Hurts me a little to say that as I will miss the "Shoppachopters".

The Bullpen was solid in 2011, especially after being gutted in the previous offseason. But there is room for improvement. With Farnsworth returning along with most of 2011 bullpen, there's not much room but there is room. I would like to see a couple good relief pitchers signed. Maybe even a closer. Why? Because while Farnsworth was good in that role this past season, however, his career numbers don't suggest that will continue.

Starting pitching, I'd like to see Neimann or Davis traded for a catcher who's major league ready. With Moore obviously ready for the majors, it's time to make room for him in the starting rotation, and the two I've mention have never been dominate long enough to make an impact. So move one of them and fix a position that's desperately needs it.

As for trades I'd rather not see, those two are James Shields and BJ Upton. Despite the headaches Upton has given, he's still such an asset out there in center field. James Shields is at the top of his game and has a year left on his contract if I remember correctly. I think it would be stupid to trade either at this point in time.

There are rumblings that both Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman are being looked at by other teams. For the future of the franchise let's hope nothing comes of this. Especially after seeing this last night.

These are just some of the things I'd like to see. Do you agree? Comment below and let me know. And don't forget to vote in the poll to the right.

Oct 27, 2011

VIDEO: Tarp Trouble

by Aaron Giddens

It's a slow time of the year for Rays baseball. The Hot Stove season hasn't started yet, but the Rays are done playing, which leaves a lot of down time.

To fill that time, we turn to YouTube. Enjoy this baseball blooper committed by the Marlins Ground Crew in around 1993.

Oct 24, 2011

Mayor Foster proves his inability to talk a solution out again

by Aaron Giddens

Mayor Foster
Courtesy: SaintPetersBlog.com
So once again last week, Mayor Bill Foster proves how little he is to do to help keep the Rays in St. Pete. In case you haven't heard, last week when Mayor Foster was posed a question about the Rays at a city council meeting he walked out but not before sticking to his stance that the Rays could leave the Trop if it was to another stadium in the city limits.

Mayor Foster comes off as the stingy child who doesn't want to share. The bad apples of St. Pete continue to make their city look selfish with each new news story about the Rays stadium situation.

As I wrote on the 27th of last month, it seems St. Pete doesn't care. It's either what they want or good riddance to the Rays. Screw the rest of the fan base elsewhere in the area. St. Pete residents have made it clear they will not quietly or willingly take a small hike in taxes to fund a replacement home for the Rays. In fact a few, probably more, would rather see the Rays move away they help protect an asset. Mayor Foster appears to be the perfect representative of his city.

I don't want you to misunderstand me, I do not hate St. Pete nor it's residents, however they really know how to get under my skin. They act like brats. "They're our team. Nanny-nanny-na-na!" Ok fine they're you team, will you help keep them in the area and help fund a new stadium? "NO THEY SHOULD BUILD IT THEMSELVES!"

*facepalm*


I continue to fear for the future of baseball in Tampa Bay. Apparently Bud Selig does too. When asked about the stadium situation on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio channel by Chris Russo, he said:

"I can't answer that yet but I'm usually an optimist and I don't have any reason to be too optimistic."

Essentially the Rays are stuck without a lifeline. Rays want to talk and look elsewhere to save baseball in Tampa Bay, but St. Pete won't have it unless it's done their way, with the team paying 100% of a five hundred and fifty million dollar plus stadium and it being within St. Pete city limits. This in my honest opinion doesn't bode well, the situation is getting uglier and unless the two side sit the heck down and leave the child like behavior behind then, well...GO PORTLAND RAYS! (Assuming they keep the Rays name.)

Oct 23, 2011

No one cares I guess

by Aaron Giddens

NOTE: The following article was written back on September 27th. It's just now being posted.

I've done this before, gone on a rant about the City of St. Pete and the way they treat the Rays, in fact my latest one is the most viewed article on this site. But my most heated one from nearly a year ago fits more in line with the contents of this one.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. St. Pete just doesn't care. And now I have proof. Let's take a look at one of them:

comment 1


Isn't that just interesting. The guy just screams team spirit. Maybe the Rays haters are right, maybe the St. Pete fanbase does suck, if it exists at all. Nah, he's gotta be the only one that doesn't care, right? I mean how could someone not enjoy cheering the underdog?

comment 2 and 3


Er, maybe not. Wait a minute the trop was over 50% full tonight, that MUST mean there are some fans in existence in St. Pete, I mean, not all the residents could want to harm such a community asset.

comment 4


Well, I guess it's true. Not enough people in St. Pete care. Trust me after 4 years of defending the Trop and the Rays being here it hurts to write that. Now don't get me wrong I still love the Rays and my fellow Rays Heads. It just doesn't appear there's enough of us to support baseball...in St. Pete. No, St. Pete just needs to let them go, they don't care, most of the citizens I've seen are apathetic. I'm not saying all the citizens because I know that's not true. But most I've seen, especially after today, are either apathetic towards the Rays and sports in general or would rather just spend their money elsewhere for entertainment.

I'm done fighting to save St. Pete's reputation, they just don't care. And those of you that really do I commend you. But most just don't. It's time to just move the team to Tampa where there are large number of fans willing to actually care for the team. You don't have to keep them. But you are because you're wanting to squeeze every penny out of them before their inevitable move out of the state at this rate.

It hurts me to admit that ESPN was probably right all this time. But I refuse to fully give in. I truly believe baseball can work in Tampa Bay, if they are given a stadium in a proper location in a city that cares about sports in a good economy, I think the attendance could break records, in a positive way. If this war over the Rays continues, I fear for our future.

As I said in my last article, you can't expect to reap the rewards of having a team (i.e. jobs, tourism, etc) no matter how little without putting the money in to the team.

Either you care or you don't, but if you don't I'd wager that you like having no joy in your life cause I don't see how anyone couldn't like a good day with family and friends at a sporting event.

In short, St. Pete needs to decide if they want the Rays or not, if not just release them from their lease use agreement on the Trop and let them move where people want them, in Tampa, preferably.

Sep 30, 2011

GAME REVIEW: Moore life injected as Rays get off to strong start

by Aaron Giddens




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ALDS Game 1 — Rays lead series 1-0

Click here for expanded Box Score.


Good afternoon, Rays fans. Postseason time! Today is game 1 of the ALDS. Matt Moore takes the mound for the Rays. C.J. Wilson is on the mound for the Rangers. After the miracles of Wednesday night, can the Rays pull off another. Let's find out, it's time to rumble.

Johnny Damon got the Rays offense started in the second with a two run bomb for the Rays first hit. Few batters later, Joyce drove in Shoppach from second with a slow roller to right field. Next inning, Shoppach hits a three run bomb. In the fifth, Shoppach did it again, this time a two run bomb. Matt Moore went 7 innings giving up 2 hits, 0 runs and just 2 walks while striking out 6. In the 9th, Damon grounded out scoring Upton.

Bad? I can't think of anything.

This is just what the Rays needed, to get off to a strong start. They also got a solid start from Matt Moore. Now don't read too much in to this as it's just game 1. Also remember last year that the road team won every game, which this year is in our favor. Overall, good game. Let's get game two.

Players of the game: Matt Moore (defensively), Kelly Shoppach (offensively)

Sep 29, 2011

Some Boston media reaction

by Aaron Giddens

Here's just some of the reaction to the Red Sox season ending.

Red Sox lose to Orioles 4-3: MyFoxBOSTON.com





more coming as it's found, keep checking back...

RAYS WIN!! PLAYOFF BOUND!!

by Aaron Giddens

It's time to celebrate in Tampa Bay! The Rays are the 2011 American League Wild Card Champions!

Sep 22, 2011

GAME REVIEW: Yankees screw Boston

by Aaron Giddens



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Click here for expanded Box Score.


Good evening, Rays fans. Things are tight in the American League wild card race. The Rays sit 2.5 games back from the Sox entering tonight, but so are the Angels. This series so far has been disappointing to say the least. This is the beginning of October baseball for the Rays. Do or die. Which will they do tonight? Let's find out.

Rays came out strong scoring three in the first inning, two of those coming on a bases loaded, no outs single by Matty Joyce. Bottom half, Matt More struck out two and went 1-2-3, nice start to this kid's career. Rays offense would continue in the second as Bossman would drive in Jennings on a RBI Triple, Longo on the next pitch would drive in Upton on a RBI Double. In the third. Zorilla hits a two run bomb to right. In the fourth, Upton hit a two run bomb of his own. Couple of batters later, Damon hit a two run shot of his own. Reid, yes Briggy, drove in another run in the fourth. Zorilla drove in Upton on a Sac Fly in the fifth. If you couldn't keep count, they scored in each of the first five innings. Matt Moore was impressive, five innings, 11 strikes outs on four hits and one walk. Hat tip to the Yankees for screwing the Sox. The Rays did not get set down in order tonight, having baserunners every inning.

On the bad side tonight, Jaso still sucks behind the plate as a defensive catcher. This bullpen is in shambles right now, they gave up 8 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings work.

This game was nice to see. While it got hairy in the second half of the game it was still a nice game to have. Most importantly it was a win and gets us back to two behind Boston with the Sox heading in to NYC. Hopefully the Yankees don't blow it like thye did against us tonight. Matt Moore was impressive in his starting debut. Here's hoping we get more of the same in the future. So, well played game. Let's sweep the Jays and I will feel better.

It should be noted that the Angels lost and they fall to three behind the Red Sox and one behind the Rays.

I want what Stuart Sternberg paid for!!

by Aaron Giddens

Today has been a hell of a day on a personal level, the details of which I'd rather keep private. But now we add to it that there are reports that Manny Ramirez wants reinstatement and will serve the 100-game suspension.

I don't think I'm alone in saying "Bleep YOU, MANNY!" This guy, a little over four and a half months ago retired to avoid the suspension and now when the Rays could really be using his bat he wants reinstatement.

If he had just served the suspension we'd probably be beating Boston by now and they'd be chasing us. Who knows? All I know is as a Rays fan, his timing is horrible and is only surpassed by his selfishness.

What do you think, chime in below.

Sep 21, 2011

Thoughts following today's double header.

by Aaron Giddens

Well that was disappointing. The Rays dropped two games today they both had won in the 8th inning. The good news is that they only lost a half game. Bad news is, one, we're now closer to the end of the season, seven games left to be exact. And two, the Angels have caught the Rays.

For the remainder of the season it pretty much win or go home.

A scenario that can now play out is if the Rays win tomorrow we can get the deficit back to two. And then we need to sweep the Jays and the Yankees need to sweep the Red Sox. If that happens we can end the weekend with the lead. However, now that the Yankees have the AL East title they will probably rest regulars in preparation for the postseason.

So the Wild Card spot is still any three of ours, but the Rays need to find their bats and their pitching if they're to overcome the Sox. Time is running out. Each mutual loss just shortens the time you have to overcome the Sox. And now with the Angels well within the sights Rays need to play perfect ball.

This is all common sense stuff. But it's also fact. Hop to guys. Tick tock, tick tock.

Sep 15, 2011

GAME REVIEW: One stormy night in Boston, the Rays own...

by Aaron Giddens



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Welcome to another game review at BRaysball Talk. The Rays hit Fenway for the first of a crucial four game series against the Red Sox. They must take at least three of four to stay alive. preferably a sweep though. How did it go tonight? Let's jump in.

For the good side, BJ drove in the first run on a broken bat single where the bat screwed with the shortstop Scutaro. One batter later, Longo drove in 3 more on a 3-run shot in to the Red Sox bullpen. In the sixth, Kotch tee'd off and hit it in the Red Sox bullpen scoring him and Damon. Hellboy went 5.2 strong innings, giving up one run on 3 hits. Next inning, Bossman tee'd off with a two run shot of his own. This one went over the monster. Kotch would drive in another run a few batters later on a single to center.

Bad, let see. Oh, "Balkin' Bob" Davidson was calling balls and strikes. That's an automatic bad. In the fifth the Rays tried to pull off the Suicide Squeeze they're known for. Problem is, Red Sox had it scouted and it failed. In the sixth inning, Zobrist was picked off and Damon was HBP. Jaso blew 3 blocks behind the plate tonight. Jaso's overall defense was crappy tonight. A lot of broken bats tonight. Be careful.

With this win tonight, the Rays are 3 games back of the Sux for the Wild Card. Good game. Let's do it again tomorrow. Let's beat up Beckett.

Sep 14, 2011

GAME REVIEW: Lost chance

by Aaron Giddens



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Here we are again. We enter the night 3.5 GB of the Red Sox. With the Red Sox loss we have a chance to gain a game. Let's go.

Lets see, what good do we have? With two outs in the fourth Joyce doubled to the wall in right center to score Upton and Zobrist. That's it.

Wade Davis went back to his horrible self. He gave up 4 runs, 7 hits and two HRs in 6.1 IP. This team I swear can't stand to keep their good bats for longer than 5 games, they were silenced tonight.

A note: Matt More made his MLB debut tonight. His first pitch was a 96 MPH fastball that was just so smooth on delivery. Welcome to the bigs, Matt.

We failed to capitalize on the Red Sox loss today. As a result, we remain 4 games back. A sweep is again required of Boston, or game over. 14 games left. What can you do?

Sep 12, 2011

Rays of Hope, ESPN Chimes in

by Aaron Giddens

If you follow me on twitter you know how much I despise ESPN for their Yankees and Red Sox bias and anti-Rays stance when they talk baseball. I'm always on the look out on TV and their website. In fact I'm the one who found the anti-Rays fans article about attendance where they used a photo out of context and took screen shots that were eventually used by Cork Gains of Rays Index in an article. The point of this is that I can't stand ESPN's biased baseball coverage. But in the interest of fairness, I must point out when they actually talk good about the Rays.

So as they do every Sunday they posted the latest "Sweet Spot" article, and this one focused on the Rays surging comeback. Look at the screen cap:

Rays-ing Hope


Oh but wait it gets better on the right side they show the latest headline and 9 times out of 10, good things for the Rays are towards the bottom if they're there at all, especially when they happen at the Yankees or Red Sox expense. So I look this time and was amazed to find the Rays sweep of the Red Sox the second story in the headlines. Look:

ESPN MLB headlines as of 3am on 9.12.11


Good grief I'm gonna faint. The ESPN are ignoring their pocketbook and acknowledging the Rays. At this point I'm floating on air and decided to write this and tell you about it. But I first had to read the article that went with it so I could tell you what they said and break it down the best I could. And that's where the party ended. This is where ESPN showed it's colors. Saying in the intro that...

... with just over two weeks left in the season, and the Rays -- remarkably, defiantly -- have clawed to 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox for the AL wild card. Tampa swept Boston at home over the weekend, kicking the Red Sox around like an annoying little brother. The Red Sox, the team with the MVP candidates and megabucks superstars and fervent fan base, had a chance to put away the Rays but folded like a bunch of nervous eighth-graders being called to the principal’s office. The Rays, the team with second-lowest payroll in baseball and a stadium that is only rarely half-full, played like the team on a mission.


Well I don't think that any of us expected them to avoid it completely. But as a whole the article is a good, fair minded, non-biased piece about the Rays sudden "Rays of Hope". So lets break the article down now.

To go with the good stuff above, this guy has called it. He believes the Rays will overcome the Red Sox for the American League Wild Card spot. Which, if you were reading this site last week when we lost to the Orioles, you know I would have last to him last week as I declared the Rays season dead. Well now I say I was premature, I no longer think so. I think the Rays have given themselves a golden opportunity to get a playoff spot when everyone, including Matt Sinn and Michael Weber of WTSP and RaysRev.com, had written them off. There may be October baseball in the Tampa Bay area after all. And here's why the ESPN writer thinks so.

His first reason is Starting Pitching. In more detail he said...

James Shields just missed his 12th complete game of the season on Sunday, pitching into the ninth inning. He has allowed three runs his past four starts. Rookie Jeremy Hellickson remains solid and has allowed more than runs in a game just once all year. David Price has a 2.44 ERA over his past eight starts. Davis is coming off his best start of 2011 and Jeff Niemann has been solid.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, are a mess. Josh Beckett will throw off a Monday to test his sprained ankle and could return for the series against Tampa. Lester’s outing Sunday was maybe an aberration, but he’s also had trouble pitching deep into games lately as he’s run into some high pitch counts. Besides Sunday’s 111-pitch disaster, he also threw 114 pitches in just five innings against the Yankees on Sept. 1. While Tampa’s aces are pitching complete games, Lester has gone into the eighth inning just once since June 18. John Lackey’s 12-12 record masks his terrible season. He leads the league in earned runs and hit batters and his 6.30 ranks last among major league pitchers with at least 100 innings. The only reason he’s still in the rotation is that three other spots are currently held down by Tim Wakefield, Andrew Miller and rookie Kyle Weiland. Obviously, $160 million doesn’t buy what it used to.


To which I agree. The Rays starting pitching has the been the corner stone of the team all year, while the Red Sox starting pitching has been mediocre at best if you discount Lester and Beckett. Heck, it's been mediocre if you include those two. Bottom line is that Red Sox starting pitching has been less than stellar overall, way less.

His second point was we have Longo, saying that he's heating up just when the Rays needed him most. I agree, the Rays line-up is built to win with very little and to bolster Longo. Nice to see he's busting out of his season long slump.

His third point was Red Sox bullpen troubles that the Rays don't have. This is the one point I have a hard time agreeing with I mean, I admit I haven't payed much attention to the Red Sox bullpen outside when we're there but it can't be that bad can it? It's the moneybag Red Sox after all. Also, has this guy been paying attention the past couple of weeks? Where the Rays bullpen has struggled? Especially the back of the 'pen. Although I will give it to him that overall the Rays bullpen has gotten the job done although they haven't been dominate.

His fourth and final point is the pressure on Boston may be too much to handle. I can see this. I mean, like he said, the team is expected to win the pennant and nothing less with the money spent on talent this past off season. That's a lot of pressure and everyone, including professionals, have breaking points. The Rays on the other hand were expected to suck this year so the fact we're still fighting at this point in the season is surprising everyone all over again like it 2008. We're the underdogs beating the heavily picked team. It happens.

The ESPN writer made a point to point out at the end that this is not set in stone and is just a prediction. The Rays have a tough road ahead. And again I very much agree. The Rays need to keep the pedal to the metal. They can do it, they're gonna need help but it's possible and with every game shaved off that deficit, it becomes more likely. Can they do it? I think they can if they keep the momentum of the past weekend going. They can not let the deficit grow again. They don't have to go 17-0 for the remainder of the season, but they can't let the deficit grow.

So ready or not, here come the Rays. Red Sox fans slammin' the panic button is cool, but the Rays need to keep the momentum going if they have a hope of overcoming the Sox. Play ball!

Sep 9, 2011

GAME REVIEW: Chip, chip, chip away

by Aaron Giddens



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Good evening, Rays fans. Welcome to the Friday night game review. Tonight we review the Rays vs. Red Sox game. Rays need a sweep and nothing less to stay in the wild card hunt. Let's get to it.

In the top of the second the Rays pulled off a "strike 'em out, throw 'em out" of Big Papi and Pedroia respectively. In the bottom half of the same inning, Jaso went long giving the Rays a, at the time, 3 run lead. In the bottom of the third, Damon hit a roller up the first base line and Johnny beat it out scoring Longo from second, they added another run one batter later with Joyce's single to center. In the process making short 3 inning work of a Lackey. In the bottom of the sixth, Jaso hit a two bagger on the first pitch of the inning, the very next pitch was scorched to center by Brignac, yes Briggy, for a RBI double. A couple of batter later, Longo hit a ground rule double to get the two runs lost in the top half of the inning. Davis had one bad inning tonight, more on that in the section below, but all in all Davis was what we needed: Dominate. He went the distance for the Complete Game. That makes five against the Red Sox.

The home plate ump makes another appearance. His strike zone was crappy again, horribly inconsistent for both teams. So as a plus it wasn't like he was biased. In the top of the six, Davis lost himself a little bit, giving up two runs to the Red Sox. He would bounce back in the 7th.

A little note, with two outs in the bottom 8th and a 2-1 count to BJ Upton, the home plate ump, Paul Nauert, took a foul ball to the family jewels, OUCHIE! Hope he doesn't feel that in the morning.

These are the types of games I love, great pitching, great offense from the Rays and silence from the opposing team. Doesn't hurt that this opposing team was the Red Sox. This is what the Rays need to stay in the hunt. One down, two to get to complete the sweep. Great job, boys. Do it again tomorrow.

Sep 6, 2011

GAME REVIEW: Put them out of their misery

by Aaron Giddens



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Well that was excruciating, let's get to it.

Good? What good?

Jeff Neiman struggled again against the Rangers tonight. He went 5.2 IP giving up 7 runs on 9 hits. Not what we needed. Once again the Rays left too many on base when C.J. Wilson gave them runners. The bad in this game comes to this, bad pitching and silent bats equals huge loss.

This game felt like it took forever. It was long, boring and painful to watch the Rays offense failed again. Take the day off tomorrow, boys. In fact take the fall and winter too.

Sep 5, 2011

You're not representing yourself very well, St. Pete!

by Aaron Giddens

St. Pete Pier
Courtesy: Flickr
I still see St. Pete residents not wanting to pay the money to build the Rays a new stadium. This is understandable but what does this solve? Nothing. This still leaves the region in danger of losing a regional asset. Which, on accident or not, Mayor Foster referred to the Rays as a couple of weeks ago.

The most common thing I see from Rays fans in St. Pete are that they, the team and front office, make enough money that they should be able to pay for a stadium their selves. Which, in this economy, is not a bad thing, but it's not necessarily a good thing either and here's why:

A lot of people have referred to the team as what I did earlier, a regional asset. This regional asset, when working right, brings out of town visitors, business for the small businesses, business for the larger area businesses, in short it brings revenue from the visiting fans. How can you expect to recieve this additional revenue and not want to give back to the team? They bring you business but when they need you, the response is essentially "PAY FOR IT YOUR OWN DANG SELF!!"

I've also heard that major leaguers are nothing but spoiled rich kids. Most are, you're right, but how can you call yourself a fan then immediately turn on them when they ask for something from you.

Quite frankly it's nauseating the way St. Pete treats the Rays. Holding them hostage without providing options. This leads to teams leaving for greener grass elsewhere. In my opinion, St. Pete residents come off as the spoiled brats, more than the Rays. You guys are the home to one of the best teams in baseball but the Stadium sits two thirds empty on most nights and you tell them to pay for their own stadium. Is this how you repay the team that brought you an American League Championship and almost a World Championship just a few years ago?

What kind of message does this send about your area? "We'd love to have you 'til you ask for something in return then we'd rather you pay for it yourself or just go away."

I very much get the situation the area is in when it comes to money. In fact, I myself am feeling the harsh effects of this economy. But this is your team, you fought for them, you're fighting to keep them, you cheer them on a nightly basis. But yet you are not willing to take a cent of raised taxes to help them. Again I know they're rich and could probably pay for it themselves and just because you take a rise in taxes doesn't mean you should pay for it all. I very well think the team and the community should team up to pay for this new stadium, where ever it is built. You cannot expect to reap the benefits of this team without putting money in to it can you? CAN YOU?!

Look my point is simple, if you expect to reap the benefits of having a major league franchise, you best be willing to put money in to it. I defend the Rays being here day in and day out, but crap like this makes it hard to justify it. So again, the solution is simple.

If you want to keep the team you fought so hard to get and reap the benefits of it, you best be willing to put money INTO the team. And I don't just mean ticket sales. Though that would be a very good start.

Premilinary 2011 playoff predictions

by Aaron Giddens

With the Rays all but officially eliminated from play off contention this year. I would like to present my preliminary predictions to this years playoffs. Below the image I will explain them.

  Table of Contents  
AL | ALDS | ALCS | NL | NLDS | NLCS | WS


Click for a larger version.


American League


The American League teams I have making the playoffs are the Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers. Here's what I predict for each round.

American League Division Series


For the ALDS round, I think the BoSox will be pitted against the Rangers and the Yankees will face the Tigers. Boston has a potent lineup, but so does the Rangers so I think this match-up will come down to pitching, and as such I predict that Boston will take the series 3 games to 2. As for the Yankees/Tigers match up. Yankees are getting old but are still quite good, the Tigers are younger but not as good. The Central division has been limping this year. So I think the potent Yankees will sweep their opening round.

American League Championship Series


For the ALCS, I have the Red Sox verses the Yankees. Baseball's most well known rivalry, I wouldn't call it heated anymore. Anyway, as I said the Red Sox have a potent line up and so do the Yankees. Both teams have good bullpens, but as for starting pitching, this is where Boston has the edge. Yankees starting pitching has been spotty all year. I have no reason to think this will change in the postseason. With pitchers like A.J. Burnett struggling, I predict the Red Sox to will the 2011 American League Championship in 5 games.

National League


The National League teams I have making the postseason are the D-Backs, Braves, Brewers and Phillies. Here's my breakdown of this leagues playoffs.

National League Division Series


For the first NLDS game, I have the Phillies facing the Brewers. The Brew Crew have been potent at home but the fighting Phills have been downright dominate all year. As such I think the Phillies will take this one is 4 games. On the other hand, I have the Braves and D-Backs. With powerful lineups on both sides and pretty good pitching on both sides as well this one is hard for me to predict. But I will take the Braves in 5.

National League Championship Series


For the NLCS, I have the Phillies and Braves. As you now see I think the postseason will again be eastern division dominated in both leagues. As for this match up, as I said the Phills are D-O-M-I-N-A-T-E. But make no mistake the Braves have been able to hang in there, this is sure to be a money series. Entertaining and breath taking. I will take the Phillies in 6 but not without a fight from the Braves.

World Series


Finally, we have the World Series predictions. As you now know, I think it will be the AL Champion Red Sox versus the NL Champion Phillies. This is the match-up that was predicted during Spring Training in April, and it seems to be falling in to place. The Red Sox had a rough start while the Phillies sprinted out of the gates and haven't looked back. Both teams have incredible pitching (save for Lackey). Both teams also have line-ups that can get the job D-O-N-E. The more I think about, the more entertaining I think this match-up can be. Again, the north east dominates though and it's getting old, but nonetheless, I think this particular year has a chance to be fun to watch. I will take the Phillies in 6. Say hello the World Champion Phillies. Just please give us a fresh World Series match-up next year.

In short, I think the playoffs this year will be entertaining and fun to watch. I wish I was able to cheer the Rays on but July and that bipolar offense killed them. Remember these are preliminary predictions. If anything changes I will post a new one at the end of the season, but I don't think it will. I think the postseason is all but set it stone. Thanks for reading. Now what do you think? Do you agree? Tell me below.

Sep 3, 2011

State of BRaysball Talk for 9/3/11

by Aaron Giddens

So as I said in "R.I.P. 2011 Tampa Bay Rays", I will be up-grading the blog/site to make it more interactive. This process has started.

I have changed out the comment system provided by Blogger for Intense Debate which should make things more interactive. You will now be able to use smilies, share your pics related to the Rays and the post, post related youtube videos and more. You can also reply directly to commenters. You will also be able to make comments anonymously, sign your name one time or make comments with your facebook, twitter, wordpress or intense debates account. Hopefully this will up the commenting on this website.

I'm also looking to get a custom domain for this website, hopefully I can afford shortly to register BRaysballTalk.com but we'll see.

I've also added a poll on the right side of the page. This will be updated every week.

A few cosmetic changes. In case you haven't noticed, or are Blind (wink, wink @ Raynaadi), I've changed the background image of the site from the BRayser pattern to a background I made in Photoshop. I've also added another ESPN widget containing the AL East standings to the right side.

Hopefully this is the first of many additions to make the site more opinion orientated, and not just my own. Stay tuned cause I will post updates every two weeks to let you know what's happening with the site's upgrades. Take care.

Sep 2, 2011

R.I.P. 2011 Tampa Bay Rays

by Aaron Giddens

That's it, I'm calling it. Time of Death 9:46pm ET. The 2011 season is dead, the rest of this is just for fun. The Rays lost tonight to the lowly Orioles after blowing a lead. Playoff teams don't blow leads.

So what does the mean? Well, like I said this essentially means we'll play the remaining schedule without a hope for a playoff spot in my opinion. Starting pitching is falling apart here in the last week and the bullpen is just not good enough to make a good run in or for October. The offense hasn't helped. They have their hot exciting games then the very next day it's like "Ooh, a glacier."

So next year, God willing, we will hit our playoff stride once again, with another chance to outdo our 2008 season in outcome. But as for now we must just play spoiler as I would LOVE to spoil the Yankees play off hopes.

So, now I will go prep myself for a LONG off season. We need to keep a few guys that are upcoming free agents. I will outline those in a forthcoming post here on BRaysball Talk. A season recap post is due within a week of the Rays last game. BRaysball Talk will remain active during the offseason still giving opinions on Rays happenings, and I'm hoping to debut Game Reviews 2.0 in April. Have details to work out on the formula and we will try to expand to be a little more interactive over this fall and winter. So see you Tuesday for a Game review (would do one tomorrow but no TV means I can't see it) and see you in April for another run at October. GO RAYS!!

Aug 31, 2011

GAME REVIEW: James is hot in hot Arlington

by Aaron Giddens



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Very nice game, I wish it could have gone a little better, but no real bad complaints. Here's more detailed thoughts.

In the second inning, the Rays loaded the bases and Jaso drove in one on a RBI single and Jennings walked forcing in the Rays second run. The good hitting continued in the third as the Rays would get the first two runners on on two singles and Matt Joyce would drive one of them in. Longo and Kotchman had a combo defensive gem in the 5th. In the 7th inning Damon homered to right for the first hit off the Rangers bullpen. James Shields, he reached 1,000 career K's in the bottom of the 7th and pitched 8 IP, not a CG but very solid and I think he would have gotten the CG if it hadn't been for the first inning. Poor Brian Anderson got owned by the production truck repeatedly over a couple of innings by posting candid pictures of him, here's one such picture.

Candid BA


I was able to take me a refreshing nap between Tateyama's pitches who came in after 2.2 IP by the Rangers' starter. I felt refreshed. In the bottom of the 8th Jaso dropped the would-be 2nd out, he took a well deserved error, Shields picked him out and struck out the batter on the next pitch. Kyle just wasn't himself in the 9th as he gave up a couple of hits and a run and on the last batter he found himself. Too close for comfort and Shields' shutout was lost.

Like I said, well played game, wish Shields could have gotten the CG but the first inning killed him and wins are very important to keep the very little hope we have of a playoff spot alive. I don't blame Joe. So, all-in-all, shaky ninth but great game nonetheless.

Aug 24, 2011

Dwindling hope

by Aaron Giddens

Here we are gang, the final 5 weeks of the season and the Rays sit 81/2 back of a playoff spot and we're chasing two of the biggest money bags in baseball. The Rays have work to do, but them doing their job won't be all that's needed for the Rays to have their miracle playoff spot. They also need the Yankees or Red Sox to have a collapse, and I think we all know how likely that is. Not very.

The good news is that the Rays are by large playing their best baseball possible. Evan Longoria has emerged from his 2 year slump. He's red hot and is back to being the third baseman we fell in love with in the 2008 ride to the World Series. The player that won the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year award. Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman have been godsends. When Pena was lost to free agency this past offseason I was sure that our replacement would never live up to the glove that Carlos took to the north side of Chicago. I was wrong. I'm happy I was wrong. Our defense has benefited from the gold glove caliber emergence of Reid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez and Sam Fuld.

Other good news include the recent permanent call up of Desmond Jennings has been spectacular to witness. Is his short time up he's batted .330 and belted 5 home runs. He's also stolen 13 bases. And man this boy has speed.

On the other hand, we have to beat the Yankees or the Red Sox to have a playoff spot. We all know a collapse by one of these two, while not impossible, is not likely. Still don't count us out. These Rays know no quit. And until the Yankees or Red Sox both secure playoff spots the Rays will fight. But my hope for a playoff spot is dwindling and it doesn't help that we got beat by the Tigers last night with a two run 7th.

All in all, hope is dwindling but it's not gone yet. The Rays still have a shot at the play offs. We just need to pray and let the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees take care of the rest. CHARGE!!!

GAME REVIEW: GTMI Fail

by Aaron Giddens




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So here we are again another game review and tonight we debut our new score box above, tell us what you think in the comment section below. As for the game, a cold offense against a horrible opposing pitcher was the story again. Here's the details.

In the Bottom of the 3rd Zobrist hit his 42nd double to drive in the Rays first run. Reid Brignac got a hit to lead off the Bottom of the 3rd and did it again in the 5th, celebrate the smaller victories. Reid in the Top of the 6th started a Double Play with a glove toss that you can, in the words of Dwayne Staats, stamp it with a star. With runners on the corners for the Tigers and no outs in the 7th, Martinez hit a hard ball to third and Longo proceeded to pick it up and throw the tying run out at the plate to preserve the Rays lead for the time being, stamp that play with a star too.

Rays had the leadoff man on in 4 of the first 5 innings and were only able to score the man in one of those. Thus missed opportunities. And it would continue again in the 7th when they would strand the bases loaded. Rays left 12 on base. Once again the Rays made a bad pitcher look really good, in 6.1 innings of work, Brad Penny only gave up a run. In the same 7th inning of Longo's heads up play, Price gave up 2 runs and 3 hits to ruin an otherwise wonderful start.

Is there some sort of curse I don't know about, the Rays can't beat the Tigers to save their season. It's pathetic. And it wasn't anyone's fault but the Rays. Shape up or just go home. We can't keep leaving people on base if you expect to cash in on the dwindling hope for a playoff spot. Do or die. Your choice, guys.

Aug 21, 2011

Looking to hire writers on volunteer basis

by Aaron Giddens

Great news!! I, as owner/creator of this opinion blog, have decided to hire VOLUNTEERS (meaning no pay) to write weekly opinion editorials on the Rays. For more information DM our Twitter account or email me. I'm only hiring two at most so get in touch fast.

Aug 20, 2011

GAME REVIEW: The 6th straight home win

by Aaron Giddens



123456789
RHE
SEA
000
0
0
0
0
0
0

07
0
TB
20
3
0
0
0
0
3
x

8
13
0

Click here for expanded Box Score.

This was a good game, nice to see the offense breaking out.

In the first inning at bat for the Rays Johnny Damon tripled to right-center, Longo then homered to left 4 pitches later to put the Rays up 2-0. Zobrist had a another double in the 3rd inning extending his lead to 41 doubles this year. The bases got loaded in the 3rd and managed to cash in then then reloaded the bases and left them loaded. Hellboy got the job DONE tonight not counting the 8th inning. Shame he couldn't finish it.

After Furbush was relieved the Rays bats went cold. We just couldn't get to the Seattle Bullpen. BJ Upton was probably the one dark spot in tonight's lineup. Again. Seagers 9th inning AB for the final out got on my nerves. 11 pitches at least. That's about it for bad.

This was a good game. Hard fought win. Happy to see Helly get the W. Good work all around.