Jul 4, 2012

81 down, 81 to go in 2012

by Aaron Giddens

Happy Independence Day, Rays fans. On our nations 236th birthday, we get ready to start the second half of the 2012 season. How has the season gone so far. We have had highs and lows. Though the lows, by far, out numbered the highs in the second quarter of the season.

The Rays hitting has been the talk of the town the past few weeks and not for positive reasons. I maintain the personal opinion that Derek Shelton needs to go. The data does not speak positive of him as hitting coach for the Rays who were recently swept by the Royals of all teams. Now don't get me wrong, the Rays have had a few games where the offense looks really good but they're not happen often enough to remain competitive in the tough American League East.

It's a cause for concern that can't be ignored. I think getting a replacement for Shelton would be the solution. Others don't want to put the blame on Shelton. They have the right to that opinion as I have to mine. However, I disagree.

The pitching has looked well. Fernando and David are 2012 all-stars. While we have not seen the same James Shields thus far this season (he had 6 CGs at this point last season, none yet this year.) The bullpen has looked great after getting off to a rough start in April.

So what has to be done for the Rays to make the playoffs in the second half of the season? Simple: Hitting. If the offense can start producing consistently then this team will be playoffbound. But if there's no hitting, there will be no play offs. That's it. No tricks. No miracles. Hitting will get this team in the playoffs.

So here we go, 2nd half of the season. Ding ding! The fight for the playoffs gets tough, now. Go Rays!

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