Rays Diary 5/16/13

Watched an exciting pitcher’s duel for nine innings, then Rodney lost the strike zone, threw a changeup instead of a fastball resulting in a three run double.  I was disappointed over poor Rodney, blowing his save, over the Rays trying so hard to win a close game, but I know in my heart that it’s all part of the game we love.  Win or lose, it’s the drama that makes the game worth watching. 

What’s not worth watching, is a 95-100 mile an hour Rays pitcher on the mound with the batter trying desperately, game after game, to hit the ball up the middle against him and the Rays manager failing to play the hitter up the middle.  Yes, the three run double should have been a one run single.  Then, in the bottom of the ninth inning, fans were treated to more “stupid ball” instead of baseball, as manager Maddon, for the hundredth time in his inscrutable career failed to bunt the leadoff hitter to second with no outs.  Thus, after a worthless out, the ensuing basehit by Scott failed to score Fuld, who should have been on second, from first base.

The same scenario, just as stupidly repeated again and again last year, cost the Rays a shot at a pennant and a World Series.  All those players that most of the cowardly press corps denigrated for the whole summer “busted their asses,” almost making up for the host of injuries suffered by the team’s “first line.”  Noone gave up except Joe Maddon!  Despite the best pitching seen in baseball since the 1960’s, Joe refused to bunt, refused to advance runners, instead sulking and praying for homeruns.  Meanwhile, the National League Giants hit fifty or sixty fewer homeruns, had a much higher ERA, but won the whole shebang by- you guessed it- bunting, hitting the ball to the right side and generally playing small ball while Joe was busy coaching “stupid ball.”

It’s time that the “cowardly lions” of the news media grew some “new ones” and confronted Joe and Rays management.  Enough “stupid ball.”  It’s clearly time to start playing “baseball” again!

Al Finkelstein  5/16/13