Rays Diary 8/31/12


The last two games were really hard to watch., but the narrow losses were not nearly as sickening as the moaning and groaning of thick headed apologists all around complaining about losing a game because two runners were brilliantly thrown out at home plate.  Joyce was thrown out because the misguided Scott was not asked by his incompetent manager to advance the runners on base.  Otherwise two runs score easily and the Rays are in charge of the game with their brilliant pitching.  Even worse was the usually diplomatic Joe Maddon blaming his hitter for making the decision the manager should have made.  Keppinger’s bunt was, of course, the right thing to do, but Scott’s not attempting to put the ball on the ground with the infielders conceding the run is inexcusable... just as it was a game or two before when Pena struck out with men on second and third also with the other team conceding the run!  Both bush league decisions were those of an incompetent field manager. 

Joe is an intelligent and compassionate guy.  Why he refuses to manage like a major leaguer is truly a mystery to me.  The fact that newspaper and other independent media sources continue to pander to his irrational baseball decisions is a disservice to the Rays, their fans and the community.  The guy’s not stupid although some in the organization apparently are!  It should surprise noone that Buck Showalter wins 70-80% of his one-run games and Maddon loses that percentage.  Needing only two or three runs to win games, why the heck does he keep trying to score five runs every inning?  With all of its best hitters, the Rays are still a team designed by Andrew Friedman to manufacture runs.  Despite foolishly sacrificing dependable base hits for three or four hundred strikeouts and a few dozen homeruns, the team still has more talent, thanks to pitching and speed, than any other team in the league!  Why don’t they use their talent instead of lazing around and praying for bumbling strikeout artists to miraculously pick up the rare base hit with men in scoring position?  After 130 games, suddenly expecting different results from the same people in the same circumstances is completely irrational!  The usual treatment is counseling and medication.


Rays Diary 9/4/12


It’s nice to score some runs for a change, especially since it takes most of the decision making out of the game.  Yesterday, I can imagine what the Rays dugout sounded like in the second inning.  With no outs and men on first and second, Roberts thinks about bunting, but instead strikes out.  Disappointed, he returns to the dugout.  “Don’t take it too hard, son,”  Joe Maddon comforts him.  “At least you didn’t advance the runners like that naughty Keppinger did the other day!”  And, by the way, Joe, if he had bunted, the timely base hit by Giminez would have scored two runs instead of one, but why take the last minute excitement out of the game?

Today’s game, with all those home runs and the struggles of the Yankees may be bringing us closer and closer to a showdown with the Orioles and their consummately professional manager Buck Showalter.  Despite the Orioles superior firepower, they are not afraid to give up an out for a base, to bunt or even squeeze bunt to manufacture a run.  It may come down to a duel of managers.  With our outstanding pitching, of course I think the Rays have more talent.  As for team spirit, the fact that the Rays are only a few games out of first with their field manager and batting coach in absentia for most of the season is a testament to their tenacity.  It may be too late for Derek Shelton to wake up, Joe, but it’s not too late to start managing!

Go Rays!

Al Finkelstein,  Never Say Die Rays Fan!