Baseball, Bud Selig, MLB, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Stuart Sternberg & Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays Are For Real But Who Knows That They’re There ?

The Rays Are For Real But Who Knows That They’re There ?

Did I miss something but since when did having a farm system that’s the envy of team owners and general managers was a guarantee of success ? I don’t care how good the talent may well be , what indicates how good the players or player might be comes about in the astuteness of the manager , his coaching staff are and whether or not they’re able to communicate with the players under their command.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Slide show for your perusal .

We’ve a litany of teams within baseball at present trying to justify and resurrect their legacies and show that they’re now competent to compete with the best of the best within the game. When abject mediocrity becomes the norm and the so called purists merely accept it as being the norm to my mind speaks of utter stupidity more than anything else ! Over the past few seasons I’ve seen the highs and lows within the Tampa Bay Rays’ and the fact that GM <a href="””&gt; Andrew Friedman has done his very best to make this team and organization competitive . The Rays this season thus far have been simply exceptional away from home posting the best away record within the league . And with a bevy of young and exciting prospects over the past few years this is an organization that is not only looking to the future but also the immediacy of the here and now . Team manager Joe Maddon and his coaching staff certainly has this team playing at a high level with there being a distinct possibility that they could in fact be challenging for a wildcard berth at least should things fall their way. But in the game of baseball you simply don’t rely on luck but you make your own by playing and beating the teams on your schedule . And over the coming months the Rays will be severely tested by those teams not only within AL East but also across the whole baseball landscape.

Team owner Stuart Sternberg has had his litany of problems not only with the hierarchy of baseball but also with the Pinellas County Commission as well as the city of St Petersburg and the evolving issue of Tropicana Stadium and its immediate future and that of the team being domiciled there. Now while fans are petitioning for the team to remain within the local area I’ve heard little about how the governmental agencies will actually pay for the financing of a new venue for the team . Especially when one considers that both Hillsborough County and Pinellas County face budget deficits and the same can be said of the state government . Governor Rick Scott has yet to fully come out and commit to the financing of a new venue for the Tampa Bay Rays , albeit , that we do know that the state legislature had agreed that the financing for a new venue for the Florida Marlins would take place and that the new venue would be built on the site of the Orange Bowl in downtown Miami.

The Rays have been playing so well that it’s now resonating not just amongst their own fans but it appears that the rest of MLB is actually sitting up and taking note of this team. In spite of their missteps in the postseason last year and in 2008 the organization and team in large part has continued to make strides even if there have been a few missteps along the way.

The team now embarks on a three game series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan . And against a Tigers’ team that hasn’t seemed to have found a consistency to its game that I think that we could quite possibly see the Rays take two of three in the series . And on the mound the Rays will have their young phenom Jeremy Hellickson pitching against Phil Coke in what is liable to be a thoroughly entertaining game between two teams with postseason ambitions of their very own. It will be very interesting to see whether or not Evan Longoria can get out of his present slump and add some vital pop to the Rays’ offense . Within the league overall the Rays are a disappointing 23rd batting a .241 average but within the AL they are eleventh amongst the fourteen teams there. The AL leaders in terms team batting average are the Cleveland Indians batting at .25 points higher with a .266 average .

If anything what we do know about the Rays as a team is that Maddon and his staff impresses upon his players to be versatile in every aspect of their game . And from a defensive standpoint the Rays are sound and competent as ever . They rank second only behind the Atlanta Braves in fielding percentage and that if anyting gives you something of a true indication as to how competent in the field the Tampa Bay Rays are. That may well be the one asset that their front line pitchers can rely upon when the game is on the line and there isn’t that many runs on the board in support of their cause.

As a fan of the game and seeing the disdain shown to the organization by Bud Selig in particular , as there’s nothing more I’d like to see than the Rays actually making it to the World Series , winning the whole damn ‘shebang’ and then telling Selig to …… ” go f_ck himself and the horse he rode in on ” ! As the game’s highest ranking official the audacity and mendacity he’s shown in telling the ownership group of the Rays led by Stuart Sternberg that they are simply not fit enough to host an All Star Game because their stadium issue has yet to be resolved . But rather than acting as a conduit that could seemingly assist the Rays in their endeavors in dealing with both the city of St Petersburg , Pinellas County and Hillsborough County the commissioner has simply acted like the class bully belittling the efforts of the Rays , castigating and chiding the the municipal and country governments involved in the issue. And we wonder why the game is actually bereft of any common sense when it comes to there being any intelligence being shown by the game’s hierarchy ? So much so , that St Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster has stated that he found dealing with Selig more of a pain than actually dealing with a political foe or ally for that matter . I’ve never had that much implicit faith in anything that Selig has done with regard to the game , the blow-back from many of his decisions , has made him the laughing stock of the sports world .

As to what the season now holds for the Tampa Bay Rays we can only observe from afar make our own prognostications , simply watch as the whole spectacle of the season simply plays itself out . It could be well be a great deal of fun watching things unfold for the team and the game as a whole . And what’s not to like about that at this juncture ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece and MLB as a whole ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………….

Picture and slide show details below


(1) Tampa Bay Rays’ Sean Rodriguez, right, steals second as Florida Marlins’ Omar Infante, left, waits on the throw during the eighth inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Sunday, May 22, 2011. AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan …..

(2) Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher James Shields, left, is greeted by catcher Kelly Shoppach after pitching a 4-0 shutout against the Florida Marlins during the ninth inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Sunday, May 22, 2011. AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(3) Tampa Bay Rays’ Casey Kotchman slides safely into third base after hitting an RBI triple, as Florida Marlins third baseman Gregg Dobbs (29) awaits the throw during the third inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium, Sunday, May 22, 2011, in Miami. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(4) Florida Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez left, makes the tag as Tampa Bay Rays’ Elliot Johnson right, attempts to steal second base during the second inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium, Sunday, May 22, 2011, in Miami. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(5) Tampa Bay Rays’ James Shields pitches against the Florida Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game at Sun Life Stadium, Sunday, May 22, 2011, in Miami. AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(6) Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria draws a walk to load the bases in the eighth inning during an interleague baseball game in Miami, Saturday, May 21, 2011. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …..


MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Scores & results 22nd May 2011

Tampa Bays Rays’ team stats

Tampa Bay Bay active roster

Tampa Bay Rays history

Rays coaching staff

Tampa Bay Rays front office

Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 prospects 2011

Tampa Bay Rays Daft history

Rays minor league affiliates & information

Rays’ alltime leaders

Rays’ single game records

Rays’ single season records

Tropicana Field

MLB Draft 2011

2011 MLB Draft order

9 thoughts on “The Rays Are For Real But Who Knows That They’re There ?

  1. Tampa Bay has had a real good run. They have a good mix of older and younger players. The Rays fsrm systyem is probidng the big club with talent. How about the Lightening in the NHL. Bud Selig is a horses ass. Screw him big time.

  2. Like to see the Rays have a good season…then of course the Pirates too……or am I dreaming??

    1. al clements

      The Rays are having a very good season within the AL East and the division it looks as if it will end up being an absolute knock down drag out dog fight leaving the last man standing winning it all. I mean at the start of the season after their bad start everyone but Christ Almighty may well have counted out the Red Sox . Now they’re a mere 1/2 game out of first place and the Yankees as we know beyond Sabathia and Rivera has no real pitching . So it remains to be seen how they’ll fare over the course of the season .

      Bud Selig has had his own version of ‘The Rapture’ it’s actually called shit for brains !

      tophatal ……….

  3. Bobby Gee

    It’s good to see the run that they’re on and the fact that Maddon consistently proves himself year in year out shows you how good a manager he really is . I personally would like to see him win the Manager of the Year Award this season should they actually win out and make the playoffs . Simply look at the losses he’s faced on the roster from last year to this and he still has the team contending .

    As for Bud Selig I’ve said enough about that asshole and I could write enough about the guy considering how inept he has been over the course of his tenure . About the only worthwhile thing he’s instigated has been the wildcard playoff system but beyond that he’s simply been a joke ! I mean look at the idiocy of what took place prior to and in the aftermath of the Mitchell Report ? If that hasn’t shown how dumb both he the league hierarchy and the union have been then that’s simply all you need to know . Anyone looking to defend Selig might be better off taking up representing the ‘Unabomber’ for his his actions .

    The Lightning have been doing great this season but I think that now being down 3-2 in this series they may well bitten off more than they can chew . The face an uphill battle now erasing this deficit and beating the Bruins outright .

    tophatal ……….

  4. I think the Rays making it to the World Series is still a stretch, Al. We both knew their starting pitching would be solid but there were question marks surrounding their lineup and bullpen.

    I knew this team’s core was solid enough to keep them competitive this year, even with the drastic cuts in payroll, but can they weather the eventual Sox and Yankees storm of wins we know is about to come?

    We still have well over 100 games to play so, come September, we’ll see how it all pans out.

    1. Chris Humpherys

      It’s going to take a minimum of 90-95 wins to even guarantee a playoff berth much less win the division . Do I think the Rays are capable of doing that ? Perhaps not but I’d certainly like to see them try !

      It’s the middle relief and the back end of the pitching that’s a real problem as there’s no consistency there as of yet. Hopefully through confidence they can find that much needed rhythm .

      It’s no longer useful to beat a dead horse in terms of payroll (2011) as we all knew that the revenues within the locality simply wasn’t there to assist the organization and that’s even with the advent of the league’s idiotic tax sharing revenue scheme . Does anyone simply know the damn criteria it’s actually worked out under ? I do but it takes too much damn time to explain as it’s simply nonsense !

      Ewa Sonnet

      tophatal ………………..

  5. Where the hell did Matt Joyce come from?!? Dude is having a ridiculous year! I hope the Rays can hang in there, but it’s going to be tough!

    1. chappy

      Matt Joyce when he applies himself is amongst the better hitters within the AL ! The talent was always there and now we’re seeing it all come to fruition . For the Rays their problems still hinge on their pitching with regard to their middle relief and back end of the pitching rotation has to become more reliable and consistent throughout the remainder of the year. The team ERA needs to be well under 3.00 in low 2.8’s and lower if they’re to fare well . They’re now fourth in the AL with an ERA of 3.46 . Your A’s lead the AL with a team ERA of 2.84 and their pitching this season has been exemplary !

      I think that they win the AL West if they can keep up that momentum !

      tophatal …………..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s