Kurt Vonnegut Could have been a Rays Fan


Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press

There is something about the Tampa Bay Rays that sometimes boggles my twisted, but usually sane mind. The Rays have one of the best collective hitting line-ups in all of the Major League in regards to being patient and getting walked by their opposition. But they can also just as easy twist 180 degrees and also possess one of the worst overall team batting average in that same sentence.

The Rays have somehow now been involved directly with 5 no-hitters or one-hitters in the last 12 months of baseball, and yet the Rays win-loss record is still somehow among the elite in the Major Leagues. They are definite pupils and teachers in retrospect of the liquidity of the basic yin and yang theory.

Let’s see if I can for one day immerse myself within the dusty trails modern literature and see if I can find a vantage point of clarity for our Rays through the quotations of Kurt Vonnegut. Maybe a cerebral focal process from which to fully understand the way this pendulum of production seems to find itself rocking to and fro to outlandish point of god awful performances, back by pronounced hitting and progressive defensive maneuvers. How quickly these 25 Rays seem to possess the innate power to go from the dangerously dismal to the climatic explosion of power in a mire pitch or timely swing of the maple bat .

Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press

I could throw the usual baseball clichés on this page right now and write to the heavens above that the Rays are just another reincarnation of that devilish team that wouldn’t die, but we still have 56 some odd games for that to materialize fully. Instead let me find verse, quotations and maybe a few home spun yarns as to the resilience, perseverance and down right uncanny ability this team has uncovered to keep itself in the hot spot for so long, while also venturing into the bowels of normalcy by always poking the sleeping dragon with a stick. These former (Devil) Rays might have a death wish cast upon them from beyond, or might be luckier than a litter of kitten with all their lives intact.
“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you can see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”   

How provocative these mortal words have rung true this past weekend as the Rays seemed to again and again defy the logic of gravity and physics by going outward from the center of their comfort zone to immerse themselves in the chaotic and random actions of lunatics. How bizarre that these Rays on Saturday afternoon saw one of their more prolific throwers convert himself into a human B P machine and surrender 6 Home Runs to his opposition. How during that debacle, there must have been chatter amongst the players in their mind that it could not get worse, then with the crack of the bat…It materialized and optimized that this Rays team can not conjure up luck on the fly.

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion…I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterwards.”  

Over the last four contests, the Rays Republic has not had much to take in as positives or any affirmative points of reference. The true fact that a evolving ball of internal frustration has built its way larger and larger into the subconscious of this Rays team to a point of epic proportions with key previously productive teammates possibly suffering injuries and unexplained bouts of fatigue is mesmerizing at a time when each Rays teammate needs to gather and assemble their collective positive chemistry and provide a sense of release from this bubble of frustration, and exhaust the bad karma within themselves.

“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody want to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

Seriously here. This is so within the Rays character right now. It is not about “lollygagging” or even settling for less. It is about pushing beyond the levels of yourself and accepting more from yourself at a time that the team needs that spark of motivation. Right now the innate positive going through so many minds within that Rays Clubhouse is they took 4 out of 4 from this same Tigers team last week at home. It is a starting point, a jumping off point to further the range of what can be achieved for these 25 guys.

Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press

Now is the time to promote the civility of winning again into this Rays culture before the nagging bits of negativity again reign supreme upon the rotting corpses of “what if’s”. Time is of the essence to take back the winning characteristics that drove this Rays team to such heights on the road in the beginning of 2010. Time for a rebirth of reality, and of the expectations of “What is Important Now”.

“People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything meaningful to say”.

This last quote is all for me. Seriously, how frustrating it was during the hours following yesterday’s defeat to see people ring in the “possible No-No” card, but forget the game could have eventually turned on that same first hit. How the general public wanted to tunnel-vision the situation and forget Longoria was the tying run of that contest. They wanted to proclaim the Rays a pathetic team, but totally cloak the fact their team has a worse record than these same Rays. What was so profound to me that I can understand and empathize with Blue Jays fans on this feat, but other team’s supporters suddenly clicked on the MLB.TV link to see history get flushed in an instance.

Lost in that moment of Jays euphoria was the aspect of Rays long reliever Andy Sonnastine coming off the Disabled List prior to that contest to make a spot starter for the ailing Jeff Niemann and no one gave a single prop to Sonnanstine. Everything centered on Brandon Morrow, and nothing, even on MLB Network spoke to the courage and strong performance of Sonny. But that is the sad end of that No-Hit coin. The opposition can hold the other team to only 5 total hits and a single run, but the hero is the guy who missed out on destiny. Just ask Matt Garza, if destiny wanted you to have that No-No, it was within your grasp. Fate and destiny do not know how to throw a fastball.

Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press

Hope you enjoyed me standing out on the ledge for a bit here today. For some reason I needed to do a bit of clarity cleansing myself after this weekend. I saw so many episodes that pushed pre-2007 moments into my mind this weekend that I needed to proclaim a different mindset today and evoke another during of rare karma amongst my Rays. Who knows, maybe they can get a recharge of mojo in the Motor City. I guess I should leave all of this with at least one more muse of Vonnegut.

“History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again”.

Spoken like a great Rays fan.



What is it with the Ray’s penchant for getting mixed up in no-hitters? That’s some strange stuff. And now…Uh Oh! Ray’s suddenly have a gaping hole in the line-up. Injury bug reared it’s ugly head again. What a bad time for that.

Not really a huge hole in the line-up. The Rays brought up the top Home Run hitter in tne minors to play while Carlos Pena heals.That is called depth.
They the put their Tall Texan on the DL and bring up Hellboy….Give him a little more taste of 2011.
Rays will be fine as long as they remember they are playing a children’s game and not get too adult about it all.

Rays Renegade


Como esta my amigo Cliff ? . I’ve been in the DL for a few days but i’m getting better. Have you picked up Hellickson again .I heard he’s pitching tomorrow.


Sorry to hear you got a short visit to the DL yourself.
Especially with all the great baseball being played right now.
I have Jeremy Hellickson on all 6 of my Fantasy teams for his start tomorrow.
I gotta believe in my Rays future guys….That is why Dan Johnson is also on my roster.

Rays Renegade


I like the saying for keeping your voice boxes in working order, must be a priority for women….

Phillies Outside

I agree with you there, but there are at least a few in the Tampa Bay Sports Radio community that I wish would lose their voices permanently.
I am sorry, but table the football talk for your second hour as the Rays are pushingtowards greatness one more time, and all some of these fools want to speak about isd the lowly Bucs, who also can not sell out their stadium.
I guess they should move to St. Pete. Just kidding, we do not want them.
Just getting concerned that some within this community are already bored with baseball and are pushing them out of their minds when they should be asserting some pride and enthusiasim towards the game.

Rays Renegade


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