Results tagged ‘ Geremi Gonzalez ’

Rangers Beat Rays by a Touchdown

Rangers 12, Rays 6


I know the Rangers did not score a TD, please do not write me and tell me I mixed sports metaphors. I know what I did, it was to attract you to the blog only. I played football, I know the difference Yankee dude.

I want to tell you, watching the Rangers take BP today was a wild experience. I saw Josh Hamilton hit a ball so high and far it went BEHIND the towering video screen in rightfield. 

I have seen the NY Met’s old catcher, Mike Piazza put two straight shots into the Beach area. I have seen Barry Bonds hit the back wall, and Jorge Posada lodge a ball in the building’s seam, but that shot mesmerized me for a brief moment.  Damn what we would be with him in our lineup………sends chills down my spine.


Trivia Fact of the Night:

Of Babe Ruth’s 714 homers, 10 were inside-the-park shots. 16 were hit in extra innings, and 1 was as a pinch hitter.


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                                        The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly




                                                 The Good

Cliff Floyd has been hitting the ball better in the last few at-bats. Tonight he hit a clutch 2-run homer in the 2nd inning to begin the scoring for the Rays.

Cliff went 2-2 tonight with 2 RBI’s, and scored 3 runs. Floyd also had 2 walks tonight for the team. Floyd is currently hitting .281 for the Rays. Floyd has a .386 lifetime average at the Trop., the 4th best average lifetime at the stadium (min 75 at bats).

Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:

*** Dioner Navarro continues to carry a hot bat, going 2-4 tonight and upping his average to .374 for the year. Dioner is the best hitting switch hitter in the MLB this season. Dioner has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, with 8 multi-hit games.

** Evan Longoria went 1-3 tonight and upped his average to .243 for the year. Evan leads the club with 7 homers since his arrival, and is tied with Carl Crawford with 29 RBI’s. Longoria also is ranked 2nd behind Chicago White Sox’s Joe Crede for the AL best thrid baseman. He currently has a slugging percentage of .466 for the Rays.

* Eric Hinske went diving for a dying ball tonight in rightfield and just missed it by inches. This determination and drive is why he is my top star tonight. Eric also hit a 2-run homer to right in the 4th inning to close the gap to 7-4 at the moment. 

Hinske has now hit 10 homers on the year. Thi is the earliest in his career that he has hit that plateau. He currently leads the club with 20 extra base hits, and is 6th in the AL with a .529 Slugging Percentage.




                                             The Bad

Andy Sonnanstine has had two bad outings in a row now. His last start in Oakland was a 9-1 Rays loss on the last game of the road trip. Tonight, Andy lasted 5 innings, gave up 10 hits and 7 runs before shutting down the Rangers for 3 innings.

Rays manager Joe Maddon admitted in his post game interview that the righty was having a control situation and was not “hitting the glove” like he did in his past victories. Sonnanstine did get 7 strikeouts on the night. 

I know some fans are ready to throw Andy under the bus and take this loss in the wrong ways. This was one of those games that can define a team. You know you can not win every night, but the team did not give up and it played aggressive baseball up until the last out in the 9th inning. that is a character ball club. And one you can be proud of for it efforts.


Just remember, Andy Sonnanstine was pitching in Double-A only two years ago. And this season, he matched a record set by Rolando Arroyo and Scott Kazmir of reaching 6 victories by May 16th.  The guy has the talent, sometime you just have a bad game…..period.


                                           The Ugly

Tonight, Josh Hamilton’s Grand Slam was the most ugly thing I have seen this season at the Trop. I am not blaming J P Howell for the pitch.

It was right where the glove was placed, Hamilton did a great job turning on the pitch and sending it into the lower half of the Bigscreen Scoreboard in rightfield.

You heard me, he put it into the scoreboard.  It was a major blast for his team, and a ultimate signal to the Rays that they still had work to do that night.


But what was even more ugly was the Rangers’ starter Vicent Padilla’s personal interpretation of the new “12 second rule.”

MLB insituted a 12 second rule for the pitchers to speed up the game. I asked a memeber of the Rays staff what constitutes a beginning of this timed period. He stated that it was, “when the pitcher touches the rubber with his foot.”

Not when you are in the set position to throw, but when you first rest your foot on the rubber. Padilla was using every second, and borrowing a half dozen on most of his pitches tonight.

Tim Welke, the homeplate umpire did not seem to warn or even go out and discuss this with the pitcher. He let the game drag on and on by the pitcher’s disregard for the rule, and the Rays players also used that to their advantage. If Padilla used up an abnormal bit of time, the Rays used their discretion and moved out of the batter’s box. Hence making the pitcher again setup for the pitch and  beginnig the process all over again. 

The Rays’ tried to use this as a distraction on Padilla’s rhythm and get him in an uncomfortable state. This only seemed to upset the crowd and the batters more than Padilla.

I hope there is a better example of this ruling somewhere online. I am going to look for it and see if I can make any sense of it for everyone.



Rays’ Players Rememberances of Geremi Gonzalez



 A moment of silence was observed in memory of former Rays pitcher Geremi Gonzalez prior to Tuesday night’s Rays-Rangers game at Tropicana Field.

Rays players and staff paid tribute to Gonzalez, who died on Sunday at the age of 33 after being struck by lightning.

Crawford smiled when asked to describe Gonzalez.

“Yeah, he was fun,” Crawford said. “Loud, always excited, he just had a lot of energy. He was a character, man.” 


Rocco Baldelli called Gonzalez a “Fun-loving guy, and a lot of people here are going to miss him.”

Baldelli remembered how entertaining Gonzalez could be, particularly on a trip back from Japan after the Rays opened their season in Japan in 2004.

“We played cards on the way back from Japan the entire flight,” Baldelli said. “I mean this guy kept me awake for 18 hours or whatever. This guy would do some off-the-wall stuff that kept everybody loose all the time. He’s a guy who makes an impression. When you meet him, you remembered meeting Geremi Gonzalez.”



Kazmir Strikes a Blow to the Rangers

Rays 7, Rangers 3



I got to the ballpark a little early today and was sitting at a small bench near the Team store when I had a upsetting story hit my screen.

Former Rays pitcher, Geremi Gonzalez had died from a lightning strike at the beach in his native Venezuela on Sunday. Gonzalez had only pitched for the Rays from 2003-2004, but had struck out 121 batters in that span and had a Rays record of 6-16 while appearing in 36 games. Mostly a starter for the team, he was in the bullpen  in late 2004.

I want to send along my prayers to his family and friends in MLB. Geremi was a bit of a prankster on the team, but was well liked and respected by fans and players alike in the league.  He will be truly missed by all.



Trivia Fact of the Night:

Of the 84 teams leading their divisions at Memorial Day, 46 went on to capture their division pennants at the end of the season. (The Rays are leading their division on this date).



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                        The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly  





                                                  The Good

There are a lot of great stories to be told tonight, but the best is the stellar pitching performance put in by number 19, Scott Kazmir( 4-1). Since he came off the DL, Scott has been a force to be reckoned with in the league.  Tonight he pitched goose eggs until the top of the 5th inning.

How good was Kazmir tonight, he retired his first 7 of 9 batters with strikeouts, and finished with 10 strikeouts for the night. Scott pitched  7 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball, and lowered his ERA to 1.50.


Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:


***  Rays catcher Dioner Navarro would be leading the AL in average if he had more at bats this season. Navarro is currently hitting .369. The current AL leader is Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer with a .338. Because his time on the DL cost him valuable at bats, Dioner might be the best hitter in the league by numbers, but not in the offical tallys.

Dioner hit a RBI double to deep center tonight to score Evan Longoria in the bottom of the 6th inning. Navarro legged it out to third on a throwing error.


** Carlos Pena is continuing to show that he is about to breakout again this season. In the bottom of the 3rd inning Carlos hit a long and high shot that lodged itself in the “B” ring over the turf. Such a shoit is proof that Pena is seeing the ball well and is warming up this year. He is currently hitting .238 after going 3-4 tonight and had another walk.


*  As with the trend the last few nights, this would be the top guy, if the pitcher of record had not been amazing.

Eric Hinske knows that a decision is lurking on who might be going to make room for infielder Wily Aybar who is currently on the DL. Aybar is scheduled to come off the DL any day now, and a decison must be made on a roster cut.  Hinske might have made Rays’ manager Joe Maddon’s mind a bit harder tonight with a 3-run shoit that sealed the vicotry for the Rays.

The homer was Hinske’s 9th of the season, and in limited play, he now has 25 RBI’s for the season. Hinske also went into the wall in the rightfield foulpole area hard tonight going after a foul ball.


                                              The Bad

I am beginning to sound like a broken record on this, but I know it will spring back and bite this team soon. We left 29 guys on base tonight. Before the Rays broke this game open in the 5th inning, it was still either teams ballgame. Rangers’ starter Sidney Ponson was not great, but he kept the score close until Eric Hinske hit his 3-run shot to right.

This team plays very aggressive baseball, which I do not have a single problem with, but this LOB situation will come back to haunt us on a night when we are in a pitcher’s duel.

8 of those men were left in scoring position, a cardinal baseball sin.


                                               The Ugly

I am a huge pro-Josh Hamilton fan. I am not going to hide it, and I am not going to sit there and hear boos’ for a guy who did nothing wrong in this franchise’s history.

He did not mouth off badly about the Rays, like a certain Baltimore guy. He did not leave alot of baggage at the clubhouse and front office doors like a guy in Washington. (By the way, the guy in Wash. is doing great iand is a model player right now).

Josh was a guy who made a mistake off the field. He did  cost himnself a chance to be in this outfield years ago, but I respect the journey it took to get him back on the field. I also commend and think he is a prime example that even at the bottom of the well, you can see the light.

I read in a recent article that his Grandmother was the reckoning force to get him to the right path. Good for you Granny!  At the time his grandmother saw him, Josh was a reported 185 pounds.

Now, if you look at him, you will know that he would have been mostly skin and bones at that weight. To get back to a normal life is amazing, to get back on the field and start for a team is inspiring and, to me, a godsend to sports fans everywhere.  We might be seeing another true hero in the sports coming up later, better than never.

Do not “boo” this guy. He should be the guy you point to and tell your kids to remember his name. I was there the day he stepped back onto the Rays fields at the Minor League complex. I saw him in the locker room talking to Tim M., and I saw the look in his eyes that told me he was there for real this time.

I stood up and applauded when he first came to bat, and I was not the only one in the stadium to do that. I will do it again tommorrow, becuase I think he needs to see that we have not forgotten him, or want to forget what he could have been for the Rays.