Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's wrong with the Rays?

With the losses piling up, I've been running out of honest post-game discussion about the Rays. Since September 1st, I basically could've written one article and just published it over and over again. I just would have to change the name of the teams. This is the worst we've seen the Rays since 2007. It's obvious something is fundamentally wrong with them right now. Some are blaming the manager, others are blaming the front office (that's me on the Kazmir trade), others are blaming pitching coach Jim Hickey.  Meanwhile, columnists at the Times and Tribune are already looking toward next year and what the roster is going to look like.

No many (myself included) would've guessed this is how the season would be unwinding. Since the final out of the World Series, I expected the Rays to battle night in and night out toward a repeat permance. I at least expected them to compete in meaningful games in September. However, it looks as though the "wall" many people predicted for the Rays going back to last season has finally happened.

To get a better pulse on what Rays fans think of this "wall" I posted this question on Twitter this morning: What do you think the problem with the #Rays is right now? Why do they look so bad?

Jennay1821 : it seems like they lose or gain their motivation too early in the game. If ONE thing goes wrong too soon, they almost give up :(

pdriscoll81 : Pen collapse & Los injury have taken little life that was left out of us. Don't think they've "packed it in", just not playing well

JohnMAbbott : I just think they gave up. Losing Kazmir (and now Pena!) was just too much of an emotional blow.

mgrad92 : Same here. Maybe a long season of bailing out starters burned out the 'pen?

deedee70 :I think there are several things causing them problems. 1) There only seems to be a few players who have been able to hit. 2) They just lost Pena their big hitter. 3) The bullpen does look good at all. They are lacking some talent there. and finally, 4) They have had some questionable calls against them by the Umps.

Pixie1212 : broken spirit- they were showing lack of hustle before the Kaz trade and Los injury- those two things have only made it worse.

Jstein2469 : a team that just went to the series a year ago, has had the pen break their hearts numerously, and watching the really looks like a young team that knows there's no post season and doesn't know how to finish the season professionally.

NTFHoops : Starting pitching actually good (sans Sonny). Hitting and fielding poor due to lack of focus. Relief poor due to 0 confidence. None of the negatives are Mgr's fault. He's not walking guys, giving up HR's, striking out, or hitting into dp's. Guys nd to stepup

ramedy : I think they're just physically/mentally taxed from frustration. I don't think Kaz trade mattered after game or two. Also, Maddon's dye job and Fernando Perez' mustache

mattsinn : Bullpen, bullpen, and the bullpen. It's atrocious. #Rays

JudgeWhopper : losing recent games in the 8th & 9th innings, need to look at all these reliever changes in a new light.

PatrickinNC : What do you think the problem with the #Rays is right now? Why do they look so bad? >>> They've given up.

This season has become disappointing all around. Last year, it seemed Rays fans had some ammunition to fight back against Yankee fans and Red Sox nation. This year, they can rightfully say they put us back in our place. This Rays team is only a shell of the magic we saw last year.  Now, we begin the speculation on whether the Rays can regain some of that magic in 2010.


CocoFabulous said...

The Rays were losing games they should have won WAY before they lost Kaz or Pena. We are witnessing an implosion due to their realization of wasted potential. Plenty of blame to go around not centered on one thing it just wasn't their year.

I'm more excited about the 2010 Rays than the 2009 Bucs.

CharlieRay said...

You can't be a winner without a closer. Closer by committee can tire a bullpen physically and mentally. A closer is a special breed and mind set. We have not had a closer all year and that has mentally destroyed the bullpen. They still have their stuff, just don't have the mind set.

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