Is this the Beginning of the End?

Marc Avery / AP

You also begin to breathe deeper and the feeling of impending doom begins to filter through your head. There is something coming, and you feel it in your bones, but you are unaware of the aspects of unadulterated shock and awe that bombards your senses in just a few moments. You are drawn like a moth to a flame to the horror and dismantling being played out in front of you. You longingly gander at the instance of tragedy and the impending agony beginning to settle in front of your eyes. In the back of your mind, you are grateful it did not get thrust upon you that day.

You begin to act nervous and uneasy in your chair, looking for a place to guide your eyes to take this image out of your mind, to replace the scene with familiar things, better things, things that do not denote the events unfolding on the field. And unfortunately, you get that personal, up-front view of the whole thing. The carnage in front of you doesn’t take a property toll or even a life, but the events still throw you through the total gambit of shock and awe, and you wish you were somewhere else.

Marc Avery / AP

You want to be somewhere else, you want to crawl anywhere, do anything, see something else in your mind’s eye for a moment to take you away from the sounds and the motions of this events unfolding in front of you. Through more and more violent motions until that third out was clutched by B J Upton. And you hoped that it is all over……. or is it?

And in that silent moment, you notice the Rays players as they jogged off the field with their heads down, just  barely glancing into the stands as they entered the Visitor’s dugout, stun and emotionally embarrassed of what had just unfolded in front of them. And the worst part was the fact they were all helpless  and could only contribute when the flight of the ball and the flow of the game let them help. For once this proud team was powerless to the fury that unfolded in front of them.

You had a bit of uneasy confidence in going into that bottom of the fifth inning with a slim 3-1 lead. You knew that offensive woes have been the devil to this squad all season on the road, but tonight you almost got the feeling it might be enough to bring it home. But there was no way to honestly foresee the coming carnage within the next 50+ pitches. Matt Garza, who had great control most of the evening was not a candidate for a free fall that would see this game turn so fast. You knew that Garza was beginning to elevate the baseball, but something demoralizing as the next inning never played out in your mind.

And it was a bit surreal that the site of such an implosion would be on the same mound, the same stadium that evoked another meltdown of Garza a year earlier. Garza had taken measures after that chaos to gain control of himself, and you had no idea that such a event was to again unfold on that very same mound. And in a blink of your eyes you saw that uncomfortable 3-1 lead melt away like the last snow of Winter.

The damage was not subtle, it was not drawn out, it was a violent explosion of power and ability that had laid under the surface of this Rangers team all night. You knew the potential for damage was high with this Rangers team, but so far in the contest Garza had tamed the beast within. In the next long hour you saw  a constant rush of a dozen or so emotions entangle your brain and pull on your heart strings. You felt for this Rays team, and empathized with their pain. You wanted to do anything in your power to stop the implosion, but it was too late.

And you did not want to see Garza, Jeff Bennett or Dale Thayer take any more of this constant barrage of the Rangers bats. You wanted it to all end, you yearned for a reprieve from the past hours events. In your mind you knew you just might have seen the candle flicker out on this team and that with that 11-run carnage, you might have witnessed their last stand. An event like this with less than 8 games left in the season could put up massive walls to just “mail in” the rest of the schedule.

Bill Koustroun / AP

And this is the type of game that you can not wash from your skin in a short time and again take the field with total confidence. This one lingers for a while and has a deadening effect on everyone in that clubhouse. No where to run and hide, this one smacks you hard and deep and leave more than a few welts on your mind and heart.

But still for that hour you watched in horror, but did not look away. You found yourself glued to the watch the entire event like you do when the local new reports a disaster or flood in the Third World country. But this time the pit of your stomach aches and you personally feel the  emotions and the gloom you encountered as the events unfolded.
This time you felt like you might have been collateral damage from the game. That this one also stole a bit of you last night.



Oh Cliff – as a Red Sox fan for as long as I have been? I know only too well the feelings that you are talking about. We fans stay to the bitter end of the season – it’s what we do, no matter how painful it is. I’m sorry – I know that so much more was expected from your guys this season. And it sounds so tired to say – but I am a firm believer in “there’s always next year”. Good luck to your guys.


It just a big old at times that when this team really needs to step it up, or might have to actually sweat a bit they have stumbled, tumbled or bumbled their way to a loss.
And when one of your better pitchers get his heart handed to him on a silver platter, it is almost too much to bear at times.
But, yeah, that old saying just keeps ringing in my ears too, but I kind of become deaf to it because even if it is true, I live for today…tomorrow is too darn far away for me.

Rays Renegade

The good thing is there is a ton of talent here. They have good management. It just wasn’t their year. No Worry. Reload, regroup.. Go for it next year. They know they can… they’ve already done it! And.. that, my friend is huge. The Orioles can’t say that (at least for the last decade or so) nor can the Jays. These kids can. They just need to start again.

Buz –

Some friends have told me to take solice in the fact that the upper echelon of the division had to spend millions before the season, and added to their payroll in the middle of the season to just contend against this squad.
I see that as a half truth in reality.
They did have to add massive amount of talent and dollars to their bottom line to stay with the team, but the team also took a stepbackwards and made it a bit easier for the front runners.
But I do agree on the talent statement, we have a second wave that could be here in the next year or two………and they might be better than this recent wave of pitching and outfield talent.

Rays Renegade

I was hoping for a Twins-Rays ALDS this year, but unfortunately it looks like it isn’t meant to be (maybe for both of us). And that’s precisely how I felt when the Twins blew a 10-run lead against Oakland. The A’s were one of the worst offensive teams in the league at the time, and in one inning they erased what should have been an insurmountable deficit. Making matters worse, the whole thing ended on a blown call at the plate. It was one of the worst losses in recent memory, and might end up costing the Twins the season.-Erin

This exactly the scenario that keeps me up at night. Seriously. This is why the Cardinals have to keep Tony LaRussa and this is why the young Rays stars need to start shining to their full potential.

Sometimes blow-outs can define a team by how the rebound in their next game.
The Twins still have a shot to finish out their run at the Metrodome with a playoff game.
It might be a hard road, but it is still within their grasp.
The Rays just have to play with pride and ability in the next 7 games and put a stamp of confidence on the end of the season.

Rays Renegade

Going into this week of games, the Cards might just rest a few guys on odd nights to gain some advantage going into the playoffs.
The NL is more of a multi-gun shootout than the AL right now, but it is the series I am planning on watching closely this postseason.
Whoever comes out of the NL will be the odds on favorite to maybe steal this thing from the Yankee/Red Sox bias presetned by ESPN and the other talking heads.

Rays Renegade

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