Category Archives: Tampa Bay Devil Rays

The Houston Astros – Hanging by a Thread – win a game by miraculous fashion


[Box Score]

This is one of those I am sad to say I didn’t see. The Astros tried to lose it; a game they desperately needed. Mike Mahtook for shits sake homered to give Tampa a 4-3 lead late. The Astros have lost this type of game all season.

Tampa closer Alex Colome has been so solid this season, but to lead off the ninth he drew a tough assignment in facing Carlos Correa. Correa didn’t have a hit on the night, but blasted his 19th home run of the season. This was a textbook Correa home run, and it tied the game for greater things to come:

The very next hitter? Evan Gattis. Grinding his hooves in the box and hands around the bat, just looking for something straight and he got it. The ballgame ended on this swing:

The Astros are nestled in the thick of the Wildcard race in the American League as we’ve been saying all season. We’re rooting hard for them to make it because of that nucleus of talent. They’re three games out with a lot of teams to leapfrog. But their roster kept them a little more alive last night.

Yulieski Gurriel also got his first hit in Houston in this game.

Corey Dickerson traded from Colorado to Tampa Bay


So I guess the rumors out there about Corey Dickerson being on the move weren’t just talk after all. The Colorado Rockies dealt Corey Dickerson to the Tampa Bay Rays – where he assuredly will become a less exciting offensive player – and the deal was centered around the return of LHP reliever Jake McGee.

Poor Rockies fans. I think it’s good for baseball when the Colorado Rockies are relevant. They interest and excite me more than a team like say; the Giants. They play in one of the best parks in all of baseball. They have some good young talent. We want them to be good again. They’re fresh.

This trade is a perfect example that they have no direction, and they’re wasting the primes of Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez and really any young player with a bright future on their roster.

And here’s why this deal made little sense:

At age 27 he’s still making the minimum salary and is under team control through 2019, although with a career OPS of 1.085 in Colorado compared to .695 on the road it’s unclear what type of hitter the Rays are actually getting. In his lone full, healthy season Dickerson hit .312 with 24 homers and a .931 OPS for the Rockies in 2014.

McGee has been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball since debuting in 2010, logging a total of 260 innings with a 2.77 ERA and 319 strikeouts. However, he’s starting to get expensive via the arbitration process with a $4.8 million salary for 2016 and McGee will be a free agent after the 2017 season.

McGee is a fantastic, high-impact reliever, but it’s unclear why the rebuilding Rockies of all teams need an expensive 29-year-old reliever two seasons from free agency or why they signed the 29-year-old Parra to get that ball rolling.

I really like Jake McGee, and maybe there are concerns on the inside of the organization about Dickerson staying healthy or something; or the Rockies feel that he was about to drop off in a big way. It just seems there could ave been better returns out there than a lefty reliever.

Now you have two once-intriguing fantasy baseball players who are slightly less valuable. At least our Rockies post quota is fulfilled early on in the year.

The boy returned to the original scene of the crime, Tampa


The first time we spotted Bryce Harper, the first time we even heard his name; he was hitting 500 foot shots with an aluminum bat at Tropicana Field. That was some six years ago, which is hard to believe.

Now, Bryce Harper is in the big leagues. Last night he hit his 22nd home run of the season off some poor dud named Niefenhauser in a 16-4 Nationals win.

A couple footnotes on this homer. It tied his career high of 22 in a season. It nearly landed in that pool out in right center at the ballpark in Tampa. And he gave Dick Vitale knuckles after rounding the bases.

He’s wearing us out with this homer stuff.

After a 3 for 3 game, his average is now up to .346 on the year.

Alex Rodriguez slugs two more homers; is two from Willie Mays 660


Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs last night in a 5-4 Yankees win in Tampa. He drove in four runs, and now has an improbable four home runs on the season and 658 for his career. He also had the most notable amount of white, chalky shit on his helmet that we’ve ever seen on a guy in a game. What the Hell is with that?

And these words never felt like they would be written here again. What a story this really is, what A-Rod is doing. He’s doing it right in the face of his team’s ownership and fans, and really the entire world has tried it’s best to forget about the guy.

The reality of it is, A-Rod looks to be in pretty good shape. His swing looks pretty good, as it has all spring. There’s no reason to think that he won’t pop 20 or 25 home runs this season cleanly for the Bronx Bombers. But to think that it’s this quiet when a guy is two home runs from Willie Mays is just crazy.

More Confirmation that Joe Maddon is a Fruitcake

We’ve talked about it before, but Rays manager Joe Maddon is an odd duck.

Yesterday, he built a lineup (presumably) based on the Tommy Tutone song, 867-5309 (Jenny).

It was in futility, because the Rays then went out and got thrashed by the Tigers 8-1.

While you were sleeping, Mike Trout heroics played out


You know that guy named Mike Trout that has been ‘slumping’ oh so badly? Well, last night he somehow managed to do a good thing. He plucked one directly from the loss column and put it in the Angels’ win column by doing this:

Yes, no sooner did the announcer finish saying that ‘the one thing Mike Trout has never done in his illustrious career is a walk off home run’ when Mr. Simon Says arrives on cue to do just that.

Angels win 6-5, drive home safely folks.

And because he’s Mike Trout and because we are all spoiled by his play each night – he also had a terrific diving catch in this game.

I have got to stop going to sleep before the final out is recorded in a Mike Trout game. The lesson here is that if there is still time left on the clock, there is still time for a Mike Trout moment. Do not go to sleep on him you lazy asses!

New Favorite Pitcher

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Yeah so; Yordano Ventura was as-advertised. I cannot state how much fun it is to watch this guy mix 101 MPH aspirin tablets with devastating offspeed stuff to middle of the order hitters like Wil Myers and Evan Longoria.

The Royals were futile enough that they couldn’t even get the kid a run so he could win his first big league start like he deserved, but that didn’t blemish the fact that we’ll always remember the first time we got to see Yordano take the pill and shut down the opposition for six strong.

David Price is an Ass Wipe

I have a good friend who heard David Price speak at a National College Coaching convention a few years back. Following the speech he heard at the Chicago convention something stuck in my mind about David Price.

This guy (a fellow former lefty pitcher) had major disdain for Price based upon what Price had to say. One thing that stuck out in his mind was that Price was asked ‘what is your goal for your career’. Price’s answer had nothing to do with a team accomplishment; namely winning a world title. Price went on to answer that he would like to pile up Cy Young Awards and eventually be named to the Hall of Fame.

And now, David Price going on a twitter rant and listing his many personal accomplishments like a thin-skinned athlete makes a lot more sense to me.

I was neutral on David Price. Now I don’t like David Price either. And I bet he did have nightmares about David Ortiz last night.

The Cleveland Indians have a Playoff Game Tonight


For the first time since the 2007 ALCS have the Cleveland Indians been involved in a postseason game. It was October 21st, 2007 and they lost game seven to the Boston Red Sox – who ironically awaits them if they get by the fully loaded Tampa Rays tonight.

My buddy Justin is in Cleveland for the game. He’s excited. And it’s hard to blame him. We had so many great nights watching the Tribe do battle in the playoffs in the mid to late 90’s. Maybe this is the team who brings Cleveland it’s first title in I don’t know how long. Maybe it comes in a completely unexpected form. There’s something a little bit exciting about the possibility of that for my home state.

It’s a great night for baseball. I think the Rays are good enough to go to the World Series. This is going to be another night of high drama. Full report of the Tribe/Justin later.

Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Player of the Week


Why is it the HHMWMPOTW always has to be on my opponents team in my one weekly fantasy league?

The Long Beach Dirtbag went batshit crazy in the batter’s box last week, hitting five home runs and driving in seven runs. His slugging percentage was 1.000 on the nose and he went 11 for 28 for a .393 batting average. You had to figure at some point he would grab this meaningless hardware and add his names to the greats who have taken home the weekly trophy.

He’s got seven home runs in August, many of came against me last week and did their job in dismantling my fantasy team. He’s OPS’ing at a 1.022 clip for the month.

Times are good for Longoria and the Rays, who are now just 1.5 games out of the AL East lead behind the Red Sox. Don’t lose track of them – they’re going to be spoken for when things shake out and the World Series is being played for in about a month.

Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week


Everyone has Wil Myers pegged as the next big thing. I don’t know, I’m lukewarm on the guy. He’s going to be a serviceable big league player who has a long and productive career. But I’m not sure he’s ticketed to be a star.

However, there was nothing lukewarm about his past week in the game.

Playing in games 29 through 33 in his big league career, Myers amassed a .455/.952/1.407 batting line which included three home runs, eight RBI, five runs, and a stolen base. It was a short week in that it only included five games for Myers, but he lit up Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium like a ten year veteran.

Myers is a major reason that the Rays should be taken seriously right now as a contender for the whole damn thing. They’re quietly dominating and atop many a power ranking around baseball.

Wil Myers, your Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Player of the Week. No batting gloves included.

Francisco Liriano IcyHot Award: David Price

Before we get started on Price, let me announce I’m back after a long journey the opposite side of the globe.  I was able to keep up on some baseball even though I took some bad losses in my fantasy league.  Baseball isn’t extremely popular over in India, but they have figured out that swinging a piece of wood at a ball can be fun.  I saw lots of this being played in the local Indian “sandlot”.

I was actually near this field. This enthusiastic young man wasn’t playing at the time though.

It was a great trip, but I was ready to get and just in time for the mid-summer classic.  I’m hoping to come back better than ever, just like our award winner this week.  David Price spent close to 2 months on the DL with a triceps injury, but came back with a bang this week.  In his first 2 starts back he went 2-0 , pitched 16 innings and only gave up 1 run while striking out 16.  Any worry than Price wouldn’t be quite right was quickly put to rest.  The Rays’ playoffs hopes are definitely given a huge boost by Rpice’s presence anchoring the rotation and probably eases the pressure a bit on youngster Matt Moore.

FL 7.8


Honorable Mentions:

Icy: Matt Cain, Jerome Williams

Hot:  Clayton Kershaw, Matt Moore



Rank Relief: The Rays finally score some runs and can’t hang on.

rank relief 5.6-1
Fernando Rodney gets a long look at JP Arencibia blast the game winner.

The Rays score 7 runs in the 3rd inning against the struggling Blue Jays and seemingly would have the game in hand if they could manage the next 6 innings.  Well beginning the very next inning, the Blue Jays begin to slowly claw their way back despite being a bad team despite acquiring many former All-Stars this off-season.  It got to 9th inning with the Rays clinging to a 1 run lead.  The usually recently reliable Fernando Rodney was in to close the game.  He emphatically did not.  See below:

rank relief 5.6-2

He almost made it through the inning, but the free swinging JP Arencibia ran into a fastball and deposited it somewhere in the outfield where presumably nobody was sitting in the Trop.  Rodney was always an adventure closing until last year.  We’ll see if this signals a move back to the median.

Rank relief: Alliteration edition…Wieters walksoff


The Rays haven’t been off to a hot start and they couldn’t right the ship vs. the Orioles tonight.  Jamey Wright worked a clean 9th inning and trotted out to hopefully do the same in the 10th.  But this time he had to face the top of the Orioles lineup.  After he gave up a single to the light hitting Nick Markakis, he was relieved by Brandon Gomes.  Manny Machado attempted to bunt Markakis over to second, and accidentally ended up on first base.  Adam Jones then seemingly hit a game winning doubel but Nick Markakis had a little base running trouble and couldn’t get home.  So bases loaded, Gomes hung a slider and Matt Wieters deposited it in the bleachers.  Details below:

rank relief4 4.18

A grand slam walk off is a fun affair for all involved (except Brandon Gomes) and its fun to watch grown men jumping around home plate (unless you’re Kendrys Morales).  Funny thing is Jamey Wright actually got the lost since he gave up the single to Markakis, who was technically the winning run.