How ironic and funny is it that a region like Tampa Bay that boasts one of the largest community of off season home of carnival and circus operators in the country (Gibsonton, Florida) almost missed the entire reverse zabi-da with a side twist fiasco repatriated by those dastardly Angels? Maybe the rest of Major League Baseball truly see us all within the Rays Republic as the perfect rubes or Jabroni’s as we ventured again to believe what is in front of our eyes as 100 percent accurate instead of questioning sideways motives, or poking our noses deeper into situations to gather the honest truth.
I am beginning to think the Rays Republic (myself included) possibly could truly be so innocent and virginal to the perpetual dark-sided dealing that live within the M L B code that we all completely missed the indicators or slight-of-hand trickery that should have directed our diverted attentions to the real reason for the dinner date between Los Angels Angels of Anaheim owner Arturo Moreno and Rays VP of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. WE truly missed the real ballyhoo objective, and could have potentially lost a great asset to the Rays past success
We somehow became more mesmerized by the thought of Friedman departing than to see the behind the scenes workings of another plot of deceptive move to take a important cog of the Rays winning machine. I can admit freely I never even imagined questioning that dinner date as more than a friendly gesture of Moreno wanting to see if Friedman would/could entertain a move to join his little band of West Coast gypsy’s and run his Halo’s operation.
What we all missed was the precision puppet string work being done with pure finesse and accuracy as the Angels used Friedman’s dinner as a deceptive tool while the Angels went after their original target with vigor and vitality. Who could have rightfully imagined that the California dining adventure between Friedman and Moreno was actually the ending movement of an apparent smokescreen by the Angels after they were turned away after seeking permission to talk to current Rays Manager Joe Maddon for their GM vacancy.
Sure the Angels did it the right way in contacting Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg and “asking” in advance for permission to speak with Merlot Joe, but the Angels were informed the Rays skipper was happy and content in his present role. Still the Rays usual Def con 6 level of media black-outs left all of us in the dark until some of the whole enchilada began to unfold outside the Rays grip on the situation.
All the while we in the Rays Republic were anxious about a possible Friedman escape and we entirely missed all the signals and signs that the Angel coveted Maddon. Even though Maddon still has a year on his Rays current contract, the team would have been compensated for their cerebral conductor of the Rays Way possibly with players, prospects and maybe even a future MLB draft selection, but that is all moot now as Merlot Joe is still part of the Tampa Bay franchise.
There was even a highly placed rumor of a nice salary bump, possibly a doubling of his current Rays salary if Maddon had entertained the Angels advances , but Joe instead biked away from the chance proving once again he truly does bleed Rays blue now.
The artful dodger gamesmanship by the Angels just goes to show even in the deceptive world of baseball, the intended target is not always the wanted one on the radar. Somewhere Rays supporter Brian Knobs and John Ceno could be sitting around today talking Carny about how the Angels almost “froze the tip”, had the Rays Republic paying close and continued attention while a different pitch was being presented just out of their eyesight…
Guess from now on I am going to think about some of the chatter and talking coming out of MLB with two trains of thought…the truth and the swerving end-around angle that would benefit those just out of our sight lines. So maybe the off season workings of baseball have “heels”, “workers” and produce a ballyhoo of hidden expectations and side moves. Maybe I am not a well versed smark, but who knew that baseball had so much Carny motives running around within it?