Monday, April 20, 2009

Rays Round-up: Wheels coming off bandwagon

With no frame of reference for Rays fans, some are already beginning to question whether this team will make it out of the cellar this year.  It's tough to watch a team with so much magic last year, look so awful to begin this year. But, as Maddon and others will point out, a 162-game baseball season is not a sprint, it's a marathon.  The creme will usually rise to the top. You just hope the top doesn't get too far away from you.  

The Rays have the day off today before playing a late night game tomorrow night in Seattle. Here's today's Rays Round-up. As always, my comments in italics.

-Times columnist John Romano says it's not time to panic, yet.  He works to calm down a frustrated fan base after a frustrating home stand.  Romano make some good points about the Rays home stand. He breaks down both the good and the bad without being a complete cheerleader for the team.

-TBO says it's the perfect time for the Rays to get out of town.  They're leaving behind all of the pomp and circumstance from championship week for a west coast trip.  Maybe this week will humble the team into a good road trip. If Maddon is correct and the batters are "trying too hard" then this trip may be just what the doctor ordered.  We'll see quickly.  

-After a red hot start, the Seattle Mariners are cooling down a bit. Like the Rays, they've lost 3 of their last 4 at home.  This team does already own a 6 game win streak. The Rays will have their work cut out for them.  

-The Chicago Tribune give a good account of how the Sox dominated the Rays this series.  They did a good job of pointing out just how huge Brent Lillbridge, Chris Getz, and Brian Anderson were.  The Yankees and the White Sox both had no-name role players come up big against Rays pitching. I'm not sure what it means, but it's definitely a trend I don't want to see. Successful pitching keeps those three off base all weekend.

-Rays manager Joe Maddon made an interesting observation after yesterday's game:
 "When you don't get off to a good start, you don't get off to a good start," Maddon said. "If it happens in the middle of the season, you're in a slump. And if you do it at the end of the year, you're choking. It just happens to be happening at the beginning, which makes it even more glaring." That's why I love Joe Maddon.  No matter how bad it looks, he can always look at the glass half-full.

-For entertainment value only, a feud is brewing between Ozzie Guillen and Nick Swisher. I can't get enough Ozzie entertainment.  Go get 'em!

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