Ten Questions for The Rays           

4/15/13                                 (originally written 10/30/12)

In light of the fact that a team built very much like The Rays managed to win the World series with only 103 home runs all season, an ERA 50 points lower than The Rays and about the same number of RBI’s, leads me to believe that Rays management is lacking in fundamental skills of some sort.  Never forgetting the fifteen or twenty games lost this past season due to the stubborn refusal of Rays management to even attempt to bunt or advance runners in an attempt to scratch out runs, I found the following questions almost impossible not to ask!

(1) Does Joe Maddon need to attend a few remedial baseball managerial clinics to elevate his baseball IO to the much higher level of his actual IQ?

(2) Has the time come to dismiss Rays failed batting coach Peter Principle and replace him with a professional batting coach?

(3) After firing professional hitting coach Steve Henderson, how long did it take Mr. Maddon to find someone who seems to know even less about hitting than Joe?  Bonus question: Should Joe get extra credit for succeeding at this mammoth task?

(4) Do The Rays have special prayers for home runs that they repeat over and over in practice instead of drills for bunting and advancing runners?

(5) Seriously, just how difficult is it to hit a ground ball to the right side of the diamond in a tie game with no outs and runners at second and third?  Easier than hitting a home run???

(7) “We prayed as hard as we could, sir, in Latin, English, and even Hebrew, for a home run in every at bat, just like you said to.  Know any other prayers?”

(8) After hitting 2 home runs in each of the last 12 victories, does Rays management have it all figured out for next year?

(9) To win 94 games, do we have to hit at least 188 home runs, at least 2 per game?  To do this, will it be necessary to add prayers in Arabic, Navaho and Aramaic?

(10) Would advanced human scouting help The Rays?  If not, would it help magement to pay attention to the games that are actually being played instead of the computer games that they seem to be watching?  Perhaps it would not hurt to put better information into Rays computers, starting with Baseball Fundamentals 101?  Remember the old accounting adage, “garbage in, garbage out?”

Al Finkelstein,  4/15/13