I hate to admit this, but last night's Rays game was a bit overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson. It was a sad day for those of us who grew up in the eighties... the MTV age.
Now, on to business. The Rays were able to overcome a rocky start from Andy Sonnanstine to seemingly avenge themselves on the Philadelphia Phillies for last year's World Series defeat. The Rays chalked up another important series win and actually gained a game on the Blue Jays and Red Sox who both lost. If they can keep taking 2 of 3, the playoffs become more of a possibility.
In honor of Micheal Jackson, here are some of the things I noticed:
- Man in the Mirror. I will give Andy Sonnanstine credit. He was able to overcome a disastrous 1st inning, settle down and pitch a great game. However, I think his 1st inning was the most telling. With his spot in the rotation on the line, he laid an egg and gave up a quick 4 runs. Fortunately for him, his offense bailed him out. I really thought he had the opportunity to come out strong and make it real hard for the Rays to drop him from the rotation. I think he missed it and he's headed to the bullpen to make room for Scott Kazmir.
- The Way You Make Me Feel. Nothing like a love story with a baseball backdrop. Ben Zobrist's wife Julianna sings the National Anthem and Zobrist shows his love with a homer in the 1st inning... his 16th of the year. Zorilla is really becoming the story of the year for the Rays.
- Wanna be startin' something. Zorilla may be the breakout player of the year for the Rays, but Jason Bartlett is showing signs of becoming a superstar. Bartlett extended his hit streak to 19 games passing Quenten McCracken (remember him?) on the Rays list. What's amazing is that the streak continued through an injury and Bartlett didn't seem to miss a beat. Jeter, you hear those footsteps behind you? It's the new premier shortstop in the AL East.
- Beat it. The Rays considering Hillsborough County for a new stadium? Not quite. But, it looks like the St. Pete Times got some of the spots under consideration by the ABC group. Three of the 5 potential spots are in Hillsborough: Westshore district, downtown Tampa, and the fairgrounds. Interesting. The Rays didn't comment and it seems like there are still plenty of political hoops to jump through before the Rays could make a move across the bay. But, like I said, the stadium battle has escalated.
Here are some Rays players and the Michael Jackson song that goes with them:
Carl Crawford - Smooth Criminal
Pat Burrell - Remember the Time
Evan Longoria - Thriller
Scott Kazmir - Dangerous
Grant Balfour - Off the Wall
David Price - We're Almost There
B.J. Upton - Bad
Matt Garza - Happy
If you have any other Michael Jackson songs that go with Rays players, let me know.