Ray’s Subs Help Secure Series over Mariners



Rays 11, Mariners 3





Starting today, you will see a different type of blog written by me online. I am about to undertake a few changes to my blog that will throw more opinion and information on the events. I have come to the conclusion from a few people that the paragraphs in the newspapers online, and the ESPN summaries give then the simple stats needed to know what happened on the turf.

I am going to try and dig a bit and offer some opinions and hopefully valuable insight into the game with more personalized writing. I hope you enjoy it more, and let me know how you feel about the renwed look.

I have made a few huge changes this year with the blog with the deletion of my “Good,theBad, and the Ugly” sets, and the Trivia Fact of the Day. I hope it has become a more informative and interesting reasdfor you everyday.  Thanks to all my current readers’ and welcome to the ones who ramble by the page

Rays Renegade




Today is the last game this season against the Mariners, but this series will have consequences all the way to October 1st for the Rays. Not that the lost first game on Thursday will matter hugely in the standings, but that their young Rookie went down with a pitch to the wrist.

Evan Longoria is thought to be out a minimum of 15 days with a wrist injury. Now is this 15 days retro to Thursday, or starting on Sunday?

This is huge question because of the series lurking in the future for the Rays. If it is retro to Thursday, then Longoria could be back during the L A Angels series at the Trop next week.  If not, he wil miss that important series, plus maybe a few in Chicago White Sox series. This is a bad time to have somethingf happen to our offense.

I am not looking past the A’s or the Rangers’, but we are suppose to be able to hold our own with those two teams. It is the two division leaders that we have to defeat and set a tone for a possible October rematch. We have to set a pressure-filled sneario that they do not want to come to the Trop., or even play this team when they are heating up for the playoff run.

 I know the media and the fans have already called for re-enforcements to be acquired or traded for to bolster the offense. But didn’t the guys who are our “super subs” do a great job in the 3 games in Seattle? Didn’t Willy Aybar hit the ball  out of the field a few times? Didn’t Ben Zobrist look comfortable at both the plate and in the field?  And didn’t seeing Rocco in right just make you think about 2006 and what he could do for this team?

The answer to all three questions is yes. The Rays will be fine. Several time this year we have struggled to get going after an injury. But Sunday, didn’t we just look like we just reloaded and went hunting for big black bear?




Edwin Jackson, I know you read my blog, you have commented to me before about them and I just want to say to you right now. Just keep doing what you are doing dude.  You have come a milliom miles in just a short time and you just have to remember that you will always get better.


With that in mind, will the Jackson-haters please admit that he is beginning to look like the pitcher we have been wanting for our 5 spot all year long. He is getting mucho run support now, and with that support comes the confidience and the ease to pitch his own game without worrying about men on base or getting into a huge jam.


Ask Scott Kazmir or Matt Garza how pitching with a lead can make you put yourself into a different mindset on the mound. How when you have a lead even the walks and swibble hits do not seem to bother you. That when your defense makes incredible plays, you just relax more and trust your pitches.


Edwin went into the game  strating his 23rd game of the season for the Rays.  He has already now won 9 games, a career high compared to his 5-15 record in 2007. 


In his last 9 starts, he is 5-1, and has allowed 3 Earned Runs or less in 8 of those games. He is also 4-0 in last 4 starts. His 3.70 Road ERA is the best on the Rays staff this year. By the way, last year at this time he was 2-11, with a 6.35 ERA.


I would say he has shown the Rays’ and their fans’ that he is for real, and ready to go for more this year.  And you all are calling for him to go to the Bullpen. Come on now, you never take a guy out who is on a roll in baseball.  The Rays should stay with the hand they dealt after Spring Training. Jackson lately has been all aces.



In the 6th inning, Carlos Pena hit a shot that will be a postive viewpoint for instant replays concerning Home Run calls and disputed outfield calls. With the Rays up 8-1 at the time, the call would not effect the game, but would have made a point to the MLB brass that this upcoming replay idea might have some firm ground.


In the inning, Pena took a 2-2 count from knuckleballer R A Dickey and deposited it onto the top of the right centerfield wall for a triple. The problem is that the wall has a bold yellow line on it that designates that it is a home run if it hits bavoe that line in the outfield.


To make matters worse, the ball bounced a few times on the said line and then plopped onto the field. A fan looked like he was about to grab the ball, but he did not touch it, so they did not call a ground rule double, but let Pena sit at third base with a triple. The call was blown by the umpiring crew and was a great example of the kind of call that will be made by the review process.


Pena is fighting to regain his power numbers from last season, and that homer would have boosted him into a tie with Longoria for the team lead. Baseball is all about stats, and to have something like that homer taken away from you can be a trying experience. Good thing that homer did not become a game deciding play. It would have been a huge crome for that play to be magnified on ESPN as a game breaker for the Rays.


Instant replay might not be the savior of the sport, but at times it can redeem a team and it’s players by it’s simple result.



Rocco Baldelli, how we all missed you since we last saw you play on May 9,2007. That was the last time we saw Rocco hit a ball in a major league game before going on the DL with a plethra of injuires and watching your facial hair expand. Rocco, we never knew how much we missed you until you got up to the plate on Sunday, all clean shaven and stroked that single into left center in the 3rd inning.


How it must have felt like a ton of bricks off your chest to be back in the box again in a major league game and hit that ball for not only your first hit of 2008, but a first RBI in a long time by driving in B J Upton. You looked perfectly calm and at ease in the box Rocco, and we need that from you for the rest of this year. We need to see how much you missed this, and how much you are going to struggle, but succedd this year both at the plate and in the field.  


 I was there during your Press Conference at Progress Energy and saw the look on your face that you might never set foot on a major league diamond again. I saw the hidden pain and suffering that you want to believe, but that this ailment was winning over you at the moment. I also know and saw the tone of your voice that you wanted to come back, defeat this inner deamon and help this team reach a new high.


Well Rocco, you were on the field when they won their 71st contest, the best in team history. You were also on the field when they won their 70th a few years back and knew the road was only up for this team.


We need you Rocco. We need you to be the smiling guy who came in and stole that certain single from Bryan LaHair in the5th inning to show you still had the wheels and the heart to want to be out there.


But most of all, we want to thank you for becoming the centerpiece of a remarkable story that kids can look up to for years. That while the Rays were sorting out their problems in the infield, and you wanted to play, you were silient and going about your business, not causing stress or friction in the clubhouse or with the team.


We want to thank you for being the model guy who will alsways have a play on this team.



Andrew Friedman, let me tell you something fella, you have a wild knack for finding talent where most do not even think it exsists anymore. We got “super subs”, Willy Aybar and Eric Hinske for a pretty penny. We did not trade alot to get Aybar, but he has turned into a clutch performer for this ballclub.

Eric Hinske has always had a bat, but he also has a renewed vigor that on a daily basis he can help this squad reach new heights. With the addition of the inspirational play of Zobrist, and the inhuman work of Shawn Riggans, the bottom of the Rays lineup were superior in this contest.

Not only did the number 7-8-9 guys go 6-14 in this game, with 4 extra base hits,but tney also made key defensive play that help the Rays win this contest. Aybar and Riggans both hit monster shoits to leftfield for homers in this game, but the play of Riggans behind the plate, and Aybar filling in at third made Rays Manager Joe Maddon secure in knowing the Rays will be in great hands during the injury situations. 

Hinske will probably get more at bats in left and right during the Carl Crawford injury, and that might actually be a good thing for the Rays. they will be substituting power for speed in this move, but Hinske also has not been slow on the basepaths. We might be scarificing a bit on defense, but with a projected power increase, the Rays should not have any problems in the rst of this roadtrip.





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