Rays take “Celebration” to New Highs



Rays 4, Astros 3


Kool and the Gang is alive and well during 80’s Night at the Trop. The Band went wild and did their Caribbean Strut last night and reminded all of us why we loved the 80’s.

The hits came again, and again, and the dancing went on almost 7 rows behind me. The crowd was so into this band that if you were not there, you first missed a great ballgame, and you missed Kool and the Gang. I was a College lad in the early 80’s and I danced many a night to these songs in the low lite bars of Gainesville and the Tampa area hideaways.

It made me remember what I love about my early life. Clean, simple music with a message and a meaning.  Do not foget, on July 5th, the band Loverboy will be at the Trop trying to get everyone ready for the weekend, and I will be loving every minute of it ( sorry for the word puns).


Triva Fact of the Night:

On October,9,1951, Gil McDougald became the first rookie to hit a grand slam in a Wrold Series game.



During the game Saturday night, the Astros’ Carlos Lee came into Akinora Iwamura with a intended slide to disrupt his throw to first.

As you can see in the picture above, the umpires got it wrong when they decided the baserunner did not intentionally try and take out Aki outside the  2nd basepath area. The photo clearly shows Lee trying to do everything but take Aki down for a 3-point wrestling take-down.

Such a move is commendable if it is on-line with the base, and in the course of a game, used to disrupt, not hurt another player.

Lee might not intended for the play to go as violent as it did, but the end result was only a single out on the play instead of a sure double play.

If Lee had done the professional thing, and slide into the bag high and not outward toward the throw to take out the baseman outside the basepath. 

 Bush league in all the wrong ways here, in my opinion.




Rays starter Edwin Jackson pitched 6.1 innings and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs to the Astros. Jackson seemed to be in better control of his fastball tonight and used his off speed stuff to compliment the fasrball. Edwin is showing improvement everytime he steps on the mound for the Rays. Consider again, he was 0-8 last year at this time and had a ERA hovering above 6.0.



Cliff Floyd started the Rays 9th with a nice single to center to put hope into the Rays’ hopeful in the 9th inning.

Rays’ manager Joe Maddon has a way with his pinch-hitting results this season. More than once this season, the Rays savante’ has garnished fantastic results with his computer aided guidiance.

Saturday night might just be his best “braintrust” decision of his career with the Rays.  In the bottom of the 9th inning against Astros’ big time closer Doug Brocail, Maddon sent not one but 3 straight pinchhitters to the plate. What he got might make Casey Stengel proud.

Eric Hinske came up and batted for Justin Ruggiano in the 9th. Hinske responded with a single to left.

Maddon then sent up Dioner Navarro for Shawn Riggans. Navarro is hit by a pitch and threw a bit of dramatic overkill to the event.



Dioner took the hit-by-pitch ball like a  .38 slug to the shoulder area. Twisting and turning from the umpires view.  Oscar for Navvy next year. 

With 2 Rays on first and second, Joe Maddon again rolls the dice and send up Gabe Gross to hit for Jason Bartlett. 

Gross takes the first pitch and drills a  2-run double down the left field line that settles near the Visitor’s Bullpen mound in Left. Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske score and the Rays agaib pull off a cardiac win over the Astros.  Maddon’s pinchhitters went 3-3, with 2 RBIs on the night.




And Gross, for the third time this season, is the guy in the middle of the pile. Tell me that the Rays did not have a crystal ball when they asked about aquiring Gross from the Brewers’ earlier this season.


Lost in all this excitement was Justin Ruggiano’s 2-3 night with an RBI. Ruggiano picked up first homer with a shot to left in the 5th inning. He also got a nice single to right in the 7th, but was stranded on third for the Rays.


Carl Crawford also got his 5th triple of the year putting him in a tie with Baltimore’s Brian Roberts for the AL lead.  Willy Aybar scored on Crawford’s triple to give Carl his 38th RBI of the year.




The Rays 7 Walk-off wins are tied with the Reds for the most in the majors this year. Gabe Gross has tied a club single season record with his 3rd Walk-off hit of the year. He is tied with Fred McGriff (2000), and Travis Lee ( 2003).

The Cardinals Skip Schumaker also has three Walk-off  hits this season, and has the same sequence of hits as Gross. A single, double and a home run. 


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