Rays Diary   9/13/12

 Despite a tough loss, it’s good to see that when he tries, Joe Maddon can manage with the best of them.  Today, he pulled every intelligent trick that he could out of his bag!  If not for a lucky Orioles hit in the fourteenth inning, the two teams might still be playing.  Even more exciting was the gutsy job of relief pitching by the young Chris Archer.  Despite a few mistakes, he played as if he had “ice water in his veins.”

 As has been the case so often this season, even when they try to do the appropriate plays on offense, the Rays can’t seem to execute them properly.  Thanks to Joe’s best managerial quality however, the players never seem to “get down on themselves” for long.  Hopefully, they can bounce back against the Yankees.  One thing for sure however, the Rays will not catch the Orioles, the Yankees, or the Athletics without “scratching out” a few extra runs.

 Al Finkelstein,  Rays Fan


Rays Diary 9/14/12

 As has been the case all year, good pitching, a few timely hits and the Rays can overcome bad execution of basic baseball offense.  For a team that has not depended on bunting, hit and run or putting the ball on the ground for most of the season, the Rays look like a team with limited offensive skills that strikes out more than other teams replete with the requisite number of home run hitters.

 Congratulations are in order for the Rays and Mr. Maddon for not letting a heartbreaking loss affect play in the next game.  That is the team’s forte thanks to Joe and his wonderful disposition.  Unfortunately, the fourteenth inning loss was due to lack of execution of simple bunts and an inability to hit a simple ground ball when necessary (as many as ten times in a single game this year!).

 It seems that the Rays relatively inexperienced general manager, despite his many  truly brilliant trades and acquisitions, cannot overcome his biggest weakness, the amateurish quest for the magic home run hitter who can relieve him of all of his managerial and coaching flaws.  In short, despite three years of constructive criticism, the disconnect between the reality of the Rays situation, their futile attempts to sign forty home run hitters to one year contracts for pennies on the dollar, has not struck them.  Casey Kotchman is a more valuable player than Carlos Pena or Luke Scott.  John Jaso showed that he can hit .280 to .300 with a change in his batting stance that my deceased grandmother could have implemented.  Just substituting fifty groundball outs for fifty of the hundreds and hundreds of our strikeouts could have won another dozen games!  Heaven forbid, Andrew and Joe, that you review that statistic that shows in the “films,” but will “somehow” never show up in your often useless computer data!

 A team with the quality of pitching possessed by the Rays is not dependent on the home run.  Besides, players that can hit and run, field and bunt, but do not have big time home run power are affordable and can be signed to long term contracts.  The 2008 team would have been a perfect example.  Management got a little too greedy after that season.

 By the way, Mr. Shelton, it’s not too late to get the hapless and stubborn Carlos Pena to drop his left elbow before he swings.  A Good finish to the season might save the career of a true gentleman.  It wouldn’t hurt to move half of our strikeout experts up a little in the batters box with two strikes so they can hit that often mediocre slider before it drifts completely out of their reach.  Try it, it works!

 Al Finkelstein 9/14/12


Rays Diary  9/15/12

 Game effort, but not enough fire power today.


Rays Diary  9/16/12

  Not enough pitching or fire power.   To add insult to injury, the hard hitting Yankees beat us with “small ball” today...

 Al Finkelstein 9/16/12