Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back where we were a week ago

The Rays have done it again.  They teased us with a 4-game win streak... climbed above .500... and even had a chance to gain some ground in the AL East. Instead, here we sit, 3 games later, disappointed and back where we started. 29-31, two games below .500 and 6 games behind 1st place.  All year we've been saying it's too early.  But, is too early turning to too late? To reach last year's 97 wins the Rays would have to 66-36 over the rest of the season.  That's a big hill to climb. Of course, there's always the wild card.  But, the Rays are going to have to consistently beat the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays to accomplish that... a feat they couldn't accomplish this weekend.

Am I going to give up on the team? No.  The baseball season is too long and so many variables are in play to write the team completely off. Am I concerned that the Rays may get shut out of the postseason? Absolutely.  This team is seemingly too talented to miss opportunities.

Here are some things I noticed:

James Shields = No run support.  I'm not sure what it is about "Big Game" James Shields that shuts down the Rays offense. But, right now, he's getting 4.2 runs per game.  That's just ahead of Matt Garza, who's getting 4.1 runs per game.  Both of these guys have 8 quality starts and only 9 wins between the 2 of them.  

Ben Zobrist is a man among boys.  Where did this guy come from? Just when I think he's getting ready to slide back, Zorilla knocks another one out of the park.  He's quickly becoming a fan favorite and there are even campaigns to give him write-in votes for the All Star game.  Who can complain about a guy who can play all the positions he can, switch hits, and kills the ball?

No More Chad Orvella.  I just threw this one in there because I saw a blogger earlier in the year asking if the Rays should consider Orvella for a big league call up.  As far as I'm concerned, that guy never needs to be in a Rays uniform again.  I don't care which crappy pitcher we signed to replace him... as long as he's gone.

LeVon Washingtion to shore up the Gator fanbase?  I'll admit, I'm not much of a baseball draft guy. If the Rays are picking first, I'll check it out.  But, I don't get into the baseball (or football) drafts the way other people do.  I do, however, want to offer my quick, uneducated thoughts on LeVon Washingion.  As soon as I read his bio, it sounded like the Rays were reaching out to Gator fan and Gainesville in a big way.  It's almost as if they're taking a page out of the Buccaneers late-nineties playbook.  We all know that football is king in Gainesville, but what if the Rays could get some people watching their games.  Maybe they start by watching a local boy, and it turns into a new fanbase.  That's a great untapped market.


CocoFabulous said...

"I'm not sure what it is about "Big Game" James Shields that shuts down the Rays offense."
-I'm totally disappointed that they don't show up for our good pitchers. They leave them in the cold and it is unacceptable. If I were James and Matty I'd challenge them on it every start until they started producing.

"shore up the Gator fanbase?"
-I hope that is not the case. As a fan I want to see them win games not create fan bases. Winning alone does that.

Michael_Rays Rev said...

Friedman did say his roots had something to do with the pick. The Bucs in the late 90's started looking at UM/FSU/UF guys to help get some carryover from college fans.

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