Rays Diary 8/14/15     Noone Up the Middle


     “Deja Vous all over again.”  How many times do metric morons in the Rays organiation have to ask the wrong questions to their innocent PC’s?  How many times do they have to be told that against 95-100 mile per hour pitchers you ask: “Where does almost everybody hit the ball?  It’s not “where does the individual batter usually hit the ball?”  Because they have no hitters in the Rays business administration, they don’t realize that the only place a decent hitter tries to hit the ball against a “fireballer” like McGee is... you guessed it... up the middle! That’s how San Francisco beat Kansas City’s Herrera twice in the World Series, with cheap hits up the middle and how the Rays lost lots of games last year and tonight.


Rays Diary 8/17/15


     Rays hitters again completely reversing the amateur “corporate” hitting philosophy shared for the last six or seven years, have actually been allowed to continue swinging at fast balls over the middle of the plate.  In a new trend, heretofore unknown to Little Leaguers in the Rays business organization, batters were given temporary permission to work the count, not for a useless walk, not to set up the routine double play, not to force the Astros to substitute an even better reliever for their starter, but to actually get a better pitch to hit!  The big question everyone is asking: why did it take so long for corporate goofs and the so called Rays “batting coach” to wake up to the fact this is how baseball is supposed to be played, not with a ouija board?


Rays Diary 8/18/15 


     Old ghosts back to haunt the Rays.  In case noone noticed, Houston executed all of their bunts and then some while the Rays didn’t even try to put the ball on the ground with no outs and possibly the fastest runner in the Majors on third base.  Rays only scored a run by accident on an Astros miscue.  Put two dribblers down the first baseline and you have two scratch runs... No, First rule of Rays offensive philosophy (very offensive, in fact) is basically that if we can’t score four runs with two men on base with one swing of the bat then why bother with small ball? 

     Oh, and then there is rule number two, the one that forbids the absent minded coaches to remind their batters that the new relief pitcher throws mostly slow breaking balls and maybe it would be a good idea this time to sit on one of those instead of the fast ball.  I wonder if any players might still be in the dugout waiting for those fastballs their batting coaches told them were coming?

     Then there’s the pesky problem of the amateur metrics guys again not putting anyone “up the middle” with poor tired Jake McGee on the mound.  Altuve hit the ball hard, but just like the 8/14 game, far more times than not, it’ll help the fastball pitcher out if you keep at least one infielder right in back of the pitcher- check your computers amateur metric guys!


Rays Diary 8/19/15


     The game’s still going on in the tenth inning, a well pitched effort by both clubs, but the usual badly coached offensive fiasco by the Rays.  Hit away boys with men on first and second and no outs.  What is a run or two in the first inning when you can go for a half dozen at one time?  Even if the six run inning fails again for the hundredth time, there’s always next time.  Small ball is strictly for dough and strikeouts and double plays for show, right?  It’s so exciting to see Evan start in his totally non athletic off- balance stance, take a huge step, moving his weight onto his front foot and almost fall down even when he makes contact with the ball!  Of course that’s  the main reason he has lost his homerun power, but his hitting guru will attribute it to not using his hands early enough. I’d love to see Orestes Destrade “break down” Evan’s already broken down swing without being fired by the Rays publicity department.

     Gee, it works both ways- nobody up the middle for the Astros.  All of a sudden in the eighth inning there are Rays on first and second again with no outs.  “Next time” has come sooner than expected.  Another try for six runs at one time.  No attempt to advance the runners in the ninth inning.  The lucky dribbler by Longoria fails to score the runner from third because there is no runner at third.  “Someone” forgot to tell poor Jennings (and poor Forsythe) to bunt or hit behind the runners or do something to advance them from first and second.  It’s not the Rays style to eke out runs.  It’s our style to fuel the computers with testosterone, but not the bats! 

      Uh oh, the tying run by the Astros is in with a hit “up the middle.”  May as well do everything wrong all at once.  And, by the way, the only way to hit Gregerson in the tenth inning is to move up in the batter’s box, something only James Loney seems to have the guts to do.  Back to the game...

    Oh well, the 13th inning and the Astros finally execute small ball to perfection, hitting behind runners, hitting the ball the “the other way’ where it is pitched... A valiant effort by Rays pitching in a game that was lost in the first inning and the loss cemented in the eighth inning by an amateur offensive Rays regime.  Mickey Mouse is real.  The only question is: does he wear a Rays uniform and cap or a business suit?


Al Finkelstein, 8/19/15