Rays Diary 5/13-14/2014

As usual, Manager Joe Madden did his best, last night, to outwit himself.  With an 0-2 count on James Jones, “Heck-With-It” Molina calls for a perfect pitch low on the very outside corner of the plate where Jones can only hit the ball toward third base on the ground!  Joe, apparently confusing Jones with one of his own uncoached players who usually pull the pitch, leaves the left side of the infield basically uncovered.  Unlike Rays hitters, Jones has been taught to “hit the ball where it is pitched,” that is, down the left field line for a double.  He ends up scoring when power hitter Cano purposely hits a soft grounder toward the right side of the infield for what was almost the wining run.  TheRays bailed out Joe in the ninth inning, after he stubbornly refused to try to scratch out single runs in any of the previous eight innings.

The usually glib and logical Rays announcers Staatz and Anderson, often flustered by Joe’s mysterious field managing blunders, accidentally find themselves trying to defend the manager’s seemingly abysmal ignorance of hitting.  Joyce, who clearly hits well over .300 whenever he “hits the ball where it is pitched,” just as clearly hits well under .200 when he tries to pull outside pitches, obviously needs to hit the ball where it is pitched!”.  Poor Joyce has the “good fortune” to have Manager Joe who is quite satisfied with underachieving mediocrity, but who will forever retard his progress toward the excellent hitter that he could have been. 

Ditto for Longoria, Myers, and especially for poor Ben Zobrist.  All of these players end up in slumps by trying to hit the ball with their hands and wrists instead of their legs, bodies and arms.  The premature release of the wrists and hands seems to be Peter Principle Shelton’s M.O.  These players are especially suckers for the late breaking pitch as is every batter who stands too far back in the batter’s box with two strikes, waiting for the pitch to make its greatest possible break before they finally swing at it.  To make matters even worse they are told to swing for the fences, like complete idiots on the first two strikes, before they are to swing like intelligent baseball players on the last strike.

In other words, my congratulations to Andrew Friedman and Joe Madden for bringing Tony Dungee and his offense back to Tampa Bay!




Last night’s offense, being absent as it usually is, Joe Madden used his secret weapon, “prayer” to secure a victory for the [Devil?] Rays.  Unable to bunt, hit and run, or hit behind the runners, the Rays hung in and avoided striking out too many times for a change.  Now that Joe has had good pitching for two days in a row, I expect to see more prayer and even less intelligent offense, or maybe my prayers will be answered and Joe and Derek Shelton will actually start coaching!

Al Finkelstein (O’finky)  5/15/2014