September 20, 2010

Rays Diary:

It’s deja vu all over again.  Throwing fast ball after fast ball to hitters everyone knows can hit only fast balls.  Rays pitchers gave up home runs, in the past two days, to two young hitters who are totally unable to hit breaking balls in the major leagues.  One batting under .200 received a cookie fast ball over the middle of the plate and promptly deposited a home run in the deepest part of center field.  Yesterday, pitcher Jeff Nieman threw a dozen fast balls in a row to a young hitter batting under .100.  The word on the young hitter: “He can’t hit a major league breaking pitch.”  Needless to say, last night, not to be outdone, the Rays threw two fastball cookies for home runs to the mediocre hitting Granderson, ensuring a Yankee victory.


September 21,2010

Rays Diary:

Today, James Shields broke out of his funk in which he pitched well in two outings.  With the help of the slumbering Jim Hickey, Shields reverted back to throwing fast ball cookies to first pitch fast ball hitting Yankee sluggers.  It seems the Rays, with unlimited talent, do not want to embarrass the rest of the American League by hiring too many competent coaches.  No, for every Davy Martinez or George Hendrick, the Rays must balance them with lighter weights such as Derek Shelton and Jim Hickey.

While Rays pitchers continue to give up cheap home runs , often late in games and often ruining a good outing, apparently they are instructed to “just throw it over the plate.”  Hitters are  apparently told to “just hit the ball.”  While Yankees, Red Sox, Jays and now Oriole hitters come to the plate “looking for the hole” and so often hitting it there, Rays usually try for home runs, their favorite pastime trying to pull outside fast balls into meaningless grounders and double plays.  What’s more, they are experts at reaching the warning track.  Manager Maddon has his catcher leading off and continues to keep the light hitting Carlos Pena in his lineup.  He also is enamoured with left handed batters who pull the ball, not for home runs, but for hard foul balls.

So, for the Rays there is no veteran catcher to teach young pitchers and catchers how to call a game.  The pitching coach, hitting coach and manager, all asleep in the dugout are of no help at all.  So who are the loose screws in this organization?  Pitchers?, catchers?, coaches? manager?  I think what we need is a box of screwdrivers.


Allen Finkelstein, D.O.