Now that the Rays have clinched the a spot in the playoffs, who isn’t hoping that Rays start off with the White Sox in the ALDS? Personally, I’d like to delay a matchup against the Red Sox or Angels until the ALCS.
And, this gives us an opportunity to remind Toby Hall of some of the things he said about the Rays after his departure. Dusting off on old Marc Topkin article from the St. Petersburg Times, I was reminded of these memorable quotes.
“You’re striving to get where we are at here, but there is no shot at it – ever. What’s so tough is that you’re going day in and day out and you’re dealing with, ‘You’re not going to win, you’re not going to win the division, you’re not going to do any of that.’…”
But, good ‘ol Toby wasn’t done yet. He went on to say…
“I’ve been there so long, I live there, you try to root for them. You try to root for a turnaround. You root for the fans, you root for the people that live there, so they can at least like baseball there. But it’s sad to see that it’s the same, if not getting worse.”
This was from an article dated October 6, 2006. Less than two years ago. http://www.sptimes.com/2006/10/05/Rays/Ex_Rays_revel_in_winn.shtml
What Toby Hall was having a tough time coming to grips with was the fact that he should have been a career backup catcher, at best. The Rays gave him the opportunity to be a starter. After his trade to the Dodgers, he quickly learned his place in the big leagues. And, he again started whining about playing time. He didn’t want to stick with the Dodgers if he couldn’t be the starter. So, he went on to the White Sox…where he’s played 80 games in the past two years. Nice job, Toby. Hopefully we’ll see you next week. Only if we look inside the dugout, of course.
On the day after the Rays clinched a spot in the playoffs, it’s easy to gloat. And, with Google being what it is, it’s fun to see what others have written about the Rays over the past few years. In doing this, I found this blog entry from some place called “The Big Picture”.
The entry I found was posted immediately after Aubrey Huff was traded. Two years later, it’s funny how this person’s attempt at humor is so dripping with irony.
Sure, it’s easy to pick this apart two years later. Hindsight is almost always nearly perfect. But, the Huff for Benzo and Mitch Talbot trade is hardly insignificant. Zobrist is no star. But, he plays a key part in this year’s success. Nobody knows what the future holds for Talbot. But, he’s done a decent job so far. As for Huff…if you ask the Astros management today, do you think they would say it was a good trade? I didn’t think so.
For all those Yankees and Red Sox fans who thought their teams were so good, LOOK UP.
For all those players who trash talked our team (see Aubrey Huff, Toby Hall, and Delmon Young), LOOK UP.
For all those sports writers who had written us off for yet another year, LOOK UP.
It is finally time, that after 11 LOOOONG years, THE TAMPA BAY RAYS ARE ON TOP OF THE AL EAST, and have clinched the first postseason birth. THE NEW BEASTS OF THE EAST.
Carlos “GQ Man” Pena and Maddon hugging it out. YOU DESERVE IT.
The biggest part of this season’s success: The FANS. We have won 21 straight games with crowds of 30,000+.
Tom Foley and Cliff Floyd
Michel Hernandez (pouring) and Willy Aybar (getting drenched)
Notice the vinyl locker covering, the Rays needed to pour champagne in style.
BJ and Kaz, two of the biggest roles in this year’s success
It feels SO GOOD.
Now, let’s get the DIVISION.
Photos from ESPN.com (AP Photos/ Steve Nesius)
James Borchuck/ St. Petersburg Times
There were two incidents in the crowd. One, pictured above, a guy (who happens to be a Red Sox Fan) tried to jump over the Rays dugout and onto the field. He failed, and was detained by police (green) and security (blue). Later in the game, this guy’s friend (also a Sux fan) started a fight with some Rays fans. Did they notice they were on the wrong side of the field? I guess that is what you get when you have a sellout crowd and some drunk Red Sox fans. There were no incidents with Rays fans, that I know of.
Final regular season home series of 2008 begins
FOR YOUR HOME TEAM:
Shields has been outstanding from home this year. If the Rays win tonight, they can clinch for the first time in team history tomorrow.
POWER OF THE MOHAWK!!!
He pitched very, very well against the DEVIL Rays. Not the same now. The Rays have faced him twice this year, under the StarBurst Regime. The Rays have won both games and Wakefield has gone 0-1. We have FINALLY figured him out after years of suffering. The uncommon denominator: Doug Marribelli. Does he make that much of a difference? I don’t know. You decide. Wakefield gives up a ton of passed balls now, and gives away bases.
FOR YOUR HOME TEAM, THE:
Other than his last start, he had been lights out. We will see if he can get back on track tonight and beat up on those Sox.
From: Da TROP
For those interested:
BJ will not be back today, still day to day.
TV: FSN FL, MLB.TV
Radio: 1250 WHNZ AM, 680 WGES AM (Spanish)
The Rays have decided to be unique. and get mowhawks. So far, Evan Longoria, BJ Upton, Fernando Perez, and Joe Maddon have all gotten in on the act. I think it is a great sign of togetherness. This idea may be following Matt Grothe and the “GroHawk”:
that he modeled last year.
I think Kaz would be a great closer. We are stacked at starting pitcher and it wouldn’t hurt converting one into a closer. I think Kaz is perfect for that job. He throw a ton of pitchers as a starter and can’t go deep into games. As a closer, he would be perfect. He is dominant, fools hitters, and strikes out a lot of people. The perfect makeup of a closer. We will see what the Rays do. If none are made into a closer, here is our starting rotation in a couple years.
The list goes on.
Rays Pull it Out
In a nail bitter, the Rays pulled it out again, 2-1. In walk off fashion, we picked up the W. Sonny out dueled Josh Beckett once again. It was a great game and the Rays are playing great baseball once again.
Going to games in the past year, I have realized a few things. Like our motto, we TRULY are ONE TEAM. Everyone on the Rays plays together. We have gotten rid of disturbances, (Eilijah Dukes, and Delmon Young) and picked up inspirations (Troy Percival and Cliff Floyd) for the younger players. I have noticed also that all players enjoy themselves in the dugout. This is a reason we are in the position. Go out and support your Rays in the last series and let’s make it a fun homestand. GO RAYS.
Series of EPIC Preportions Rolls on
Last night, was, I hate to say it, a little embarassing. I expect to see something like this:
before this series closes. Due to Jerry Meals’ call for warnings early last night, we didn’t see much. I look for the Rays to look for revenge heading into tonights game. If we don’t already we will have a rivalry by the time Boston boards their flight at St. Pete-Clearwater Int’l Airport.
A Closer Look
The last time Sonny faced Beckett, we pulled out with a win. I look for a close game. Hope that we can get to the bullpens early.
Today’s funny Photo:
Rays Rookie Hazings
Scranton has officially won the IL playoffs. I think this is a good thing for us. As of right now, David Price, Jeff Niemann, Mitch Talbot, and Jonny Gomes are all scheduled to join the Rays before the doubleheader against the Yanks. This is great news for the Rays because we will have three great pitchers in the bullpen and a power bat in the lineup. One of the pitchers, preferably Price, should go into the rotation and replace E-Jax. I know E-Jax has done well this year, but we need to see who would be best to pitch in the playoffs.
I have been calling for the Price move since August. It is better late than never that the Rays call him up. I am glad the others get a chance. Niemann pitched well when he started earlier in the season, and Talbot did not get to pitch when he was up for one day. Jonny Gomes is Jonny Gomes. He strikes out a lot, but picks up a few homers. We shall see how this goes.
Longo to Start Game 1 of Double Header
This is great. We need the force of hs bat back in the lineup. He will be a great help in the tough week we have ahead of us. We have the Yanks at Stankees Stadium, and the Bo Sux and Twins at home. Now if we can get BJ back we will be fine.
Why in the world when we have pitchers like JP Howell, Dan Wheeler, and Grant Balfour, is Troy Percival our closer? He can’t perform in the clutch, he can’t get an out, and most importantly HE CAN’T GET A SAVE.
Is he blackmailing Joe? Can Joe not bring himself to pull his friend out of the closer role? Is Joe drunk when he brings him in?
Sure, he’s your friend, but when there is a penant race at stake, we can’t afford to lose games on 13th inning grand slams! In during a baseball game, there are no friends. Do what is best for the team, not your personal life.
I would love to see Grant Balfour in the closers role. I want to see what he does. He is electric and great to watch. He has the perfect makeup to be an elite closer. In my mind there are three, maybe four better closers on the Rays roster right now. It may be time to makeup another Troy Percival injury.
(AP Photo/ Steve Nesius)
The Rays have racked up their 84th victory against their division rival Baltimore Orioles. Not only did they sweep but the numbers are amazing.
Runs Allowed: 17
To score 34 runs in three games against a team, Major League or Little League, shows the opposing team CANNOT PITCH. The Orioles should be embarassed. They are pitiful.This is the team that gave up 30 runs in a single game last year. I think it is time for the Orioles to look at their pitching. Enough about the Orioles, the Rays bats really showed up this weekend. The pitching was good enough. Hopefully we can show this type of onslaught against the Yankees. On another note the attendance was great this weekend for us facing a last place team. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees draw this week since they are weekdays,