(X’s and O’s)

Rays vs. Royals

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Right handed Shawn Riggins is catching for the switch hitting All-Star Dioner Navarro, by far the team’s best hitter. As is his custom, “Manager” Joe Maddon is using .227 hitting Willie Aybar as the team’s designated hitter today instead of the “resting” Navarro.

In the sixth inning, with the score 3-1 Royals, with no outs and men on second and third, the Royals bring in left hander Ron Mayhan to face lefty Carlos Pena who is hitting .205 against left handers. With the infield and outfield in a “shift,” “manager” Joe Maddon disdains the bunt (squeeze or hesitation). Pena, as expected, strikes out (the first two strikes, admittedly, questionable). Maddon’s ineffectual designated hitter, Aybar, pops out and the .195 hitting Johnnie Gomes pulls a long fly ball to left field to end the inning, leaving runners at 2nd and 3rd, as expected.

Perhaps, just for fun, we should make a trade between the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Tampa Bay Rays: The Bucs give up their imaginary offensive coordinator for the Rays’ imaginary “manager.” The result: still no offensive coordinator on the Bucs and still no “manager” on the Rays. Like they say: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.