Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Afternoon of: Game 28

Rays 4 (16-12), Orioles 2 (15-13)

As our loyal 12 readers would agree, "PA" has really been slacking on his duties lately so I'll take this one.

MVP: Carl Crawford

  • We got six tremendous innings from Matt Garza. He would have pitched a shutout except for the fact that I typed "Garza fastball working" in my notes box the pitch before Adam Jones went yard to left. My bad.
  • Carl Crawford continues to kill it as he went 2 for 3 with a walk, run, sacrifice, and the game winning RBI's in the 7th. Involved in 3 of the 4 runs.
  • The bullpen: 3 scoreless innings, Percival is now tied for 10th all time in saves. Al Reyes should stay where he is, maybe we shouldn't have picked him up from jail?
  • Our defense and pitching is letting us consistently win games without scoring 9 runs. If we keep this up, look out.

  • After getting in a verbal scuffle with Orioles' Dennis Sarfate yesterday about stepping out of the box and "fucking with him" (Sarfate's words not mine), Carlos Pena called time during his first at bat against Brian Buress then sacraficed a run for a 1-0 Rays lead in the first.
  • Hopefully this doesn't become the biggest story of the game: Upton had to leave the game during his 2nd at bat with what appeared to be another seperated shoulder. Let's hope for a speedy return.

  • Iwamura is still not hitting too well, I don't want my leadoff batter to have the worst average in the lineup (he did today). However, as long as he keeps flipping his bat against the Red Sox, I'm happy.


  • The Orioles' bullpen reminds me of ours from last year. Awful, just awful. Where's Chris Ray these days?
  • Aubrey "Huff mad dong" continues to be involved in scoring against us (R)

  • Brian Roberts really needs to work on his backhand. Unfortunately for him, "PA" was a much better defensive 2nd baseman.

  • Hinske is apparently leading the AL in slugging % (.639)

  • Today's attendence: 132 people (players not included)

  • I like looking at the Games Behind column in the standings right now. Our number isn't 31, feels good.

  • Some of the writers here have a friend from college who is an Orioles fan. He practices the "front tuck" exhibited below...

(this is not our friend, but he could be an O's fan)


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Four Players on the Orioles Who I hate.

It was easy to get fired up for the Red Sox series, because there is so much inherently hate-able about Boston. I'm finding it a little harder to get quite so fired up about playing the Orioles even though they are in first place. Thus, I present some players I hate on the Orioles. This should help get you into a good mood for tonight's first-place match-up.

4. Melvin Mora -- He hit .350 one year and now he thinks he is some kind of all-star. Also, he probably is at least 38 years old.

3. Kevin Millar -- I hated him when he was on the Red Sox and I hate hit now. Plus, his batting stance and bat waving are really, really annoying. Oh yeah, and he's fat.

2. Aubrey Huff -- He didn't even try to hit for the Rays in his final season in Tampa. Now, the only time he tries is against the Rays.

1. George Sherrill -- Have you ever been walking down the street and you see a guy and you hate him immediately? Yeah, that's how I feel about Mr. Sherrill. One look and you know he's a complete douchebag. Why don't you try bending the brim of your cap a little their skippy.


Monday, April 28, 2008

The Morning After: Game 25

Red Sox 0 (15-12), Rays 3 (14-11)

Sorry about the lack of a morning after for Saturday's 2-1 win. NFL Draft + Rays win with an Aki bat flip + 20 beers = No Morning After. Seriously that Aki bat flip was one of the funnest Rays related moments in a really long time. Of course, Aki gets the MVP.

MVP: James Shields

  • James Shields pitched the best game of his career and the best game by a Rays pitcher this season. The stage was big and he stepped his game up to a new level. Shields may be the best pitcher on the team even including Kazmir. His fastball was moving all over, his curve was biting, and his change was once again dominant. The quality of his performance can not be overstated. Absolutely awesome.
  • Bartlett was good with the glove again and scored the first Rays run. He was on first and Beckett tried to pick him off and the throw was bad. Bartlett took of and made it all the way around to home due to some shoddy throws from the Red Sox after recovering the errant pickoff throw.
  • Longoria continues to impress me and the contract he signed continued to looks smarter and smarter for the Rays. After Beckett dominated Longo in his first two at bats, Longo sat on a curve with a 2-2 count in his third at bat and crushed one into the left field seats. I no longer see a ceiling for his career. He has speed, he can field, and he may be the most impressive rookie hitter I have seen since Pujols.
  • Carl came through in the 8th with a RBI double that extended the lead to 3-0. It just gave Shields that little bit of extra cushion.

  • Beckett was brilliant. He struck out Ray after Ray. I can't really blame the Rays hitters, Beckett was just that good.

What a series! It is the most impressive series I can remember this ball club ever playing. The stage was big and the Rays stepped up. I am the only one who now really believes this team has a legit shot for the playoffs? It sure is nice to be able to watch meaningful, competitive games. In a matter of a couple weeks Kaz and Floyd should be back and there will be no reason this team can't go on a big time run. This team is for real and people all around baseball are starting to believe.

Sweet Caroline! Good times never seemed so good

In case you missed, the Rays played Sweet Caroline after the victory. This song is a staple of Fenway park played in the 8th inning of every game. It was a subtle mockery that did not go unnoticed by Sox fans and probably not by the players. The Rays, the whole organization from the players to the front office, have decided that they will no longer be pushed around. Whether it is a bat flip or a song these subtle gestures are beginning to create a sense of self-confidence and identity that makes me happy to be a Rays fan.



Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Morning After: Game 23

Red Sox 4 (16-10), Rays 5 (12-11)

What a great game and what a huge win. I can't remember the last time I was so nervous watching a Rays game. Biggest (and most impressive) win of the season.

MVP: Carl Crawford


  • The bullpen came through in a big, big way once again. Combined the relief corps pitched 6 innings and gave up only on run. Howell (2.69 ERA) did not have his best stuff out there but he dug deep and managed to go three innings. Glover (1.69 ERA), Dohman (2.49 ERA), and Wheeler (1.38 ERA) were fantastic. Dohman deserves special recognition. He came in with one out and runner on the corners and got Ortiz to hit into a double play. Just fantastic. Wheeler also had a great moment when he blew away Manny in in the 9th.
  • Garza was not great. His command was obviously off, as it has been through out his rehab starts. He got into a lot of trouble because of all the walks. However, his overall stuff seemed quite good. After that rough 2nd inning, he bore down and gave the Rays three very important innings.
  • The defense was spectacular. BJ and Carl both made diving catches in the outfield. Gabe Gross intimidated runners all night long with his run. In the infield, Hinske made a number of good plays with a difficult catch on a foulout in the first being the most impressive. Bartlett showed his impressive range and good hands many times through out the night. He is great at getting the DP started.
  • Carl Crawford had a great day at the plate. He had two triples. One that got a rally going and another that drove in a run. However, his most memorable at bat was probably in the 11th when he slapped a single the opposite way to get the rally started. He went on to steal second base and score on Nathan Haynes singles into right.
  • Speaking of Nathan "no hit" Haynes," all I can say is "wow." Way to step up.
  • Longoria had another good day at the plate. He has a great eye and just gets the job done at the plate. Not only that, but he can definitely run a little. He has showed some pretty decent speed with his triple the other night and his stolen base tonight.
  • Hinske and Gross may not show up in the stat line as having had great days at the plate, but each of them significantly contributed to the win. Both players showed the definition of professional at-bats. They fouled off pitches, hung in there, had good eyes. They made the Sox pitchers work.


  • Luckily Aki's boneheaded play did not come back to hurt the Rays. There was a grounder to second with a runner on first. Instead of tagging out the runner trying to make it to second or throwing it to second, he stood there and looked around for a few seconds. By the time he decided to throw to first the batter was already safe and, to make matters worse, the runner from first made it into second safely.
  • This game might not have been so close if the rays could have capitalized on scoring opportunities in the early going. Twice the Rays had a runner on third with one or no outs and failed to get that runner home. The hitting needs to be more timely for this streak to keep up.


This is a game the Rays would not have had a chance of wining last year. The bullpen has suddenly become a real asset instead of a huge dead weight. This is the first time all season I have really thought about the playoffs and been able to take myself seriously.

Who was at the game? It looked like there was a lot of Sox fans in the stands. It must have been nice to be able to talk a lot of crap after the game.

This makes for a four game winning streak for the Rays. That is their longest of the season. They need to keep this momentum going and win tomorrow night. The match-up is pretty decent for the Rays. The vastly overrated Buchholz faces off against E-Jack. Here is hoping that E-Jack will be brilliant and not mediocre. You never know what you will get out of E-Jack. This is a very winnable game. Let's get it done.

News and Notes

  • Kazmir will be back either May 3rd of 4th in a start against the Sox at Fenway.
  • Cliff Floyd is looking at returning May 9th, which will be after the Rays 9 game road trip which starts after this series against the Sox.
  • If you're interested in reading the texts of a drunken Rays fan please read previous post.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rays Rays Rays

Below is the transcription of a text message I received from "DN" at 11:36 pm Friday night.

"Taking shots of jamison irish whiskey. watching the rays win. Great mother fucking times"

I could not agree more. Make sure you take an extra shot for Nathan "no hit" Haynes.

Update: I received a second text from "DN" at 1:14 am Saturday morning.

It read "Mother ducking says"

My interpretation of that drunken text is "mother fucking rays."

Let's go.


Biggest Series in 10 Years

Well, we are about two and a half hours from kicking off what is arguably the biggest series in the brief history of the Rays franchise. I am pumped. I only wish I was at the game.

I will be over at Rays of Light in the chat room during the game if anyone wants to stop by.

Go Rays!


Notes From Yesterday's Cubs-Rockies Game

I was able to get out of the mountains yesterday and attend my first professional baseball game of the season, Cubs vs. Rockies in Denver. Here are some notes from the game, and how the overall experience compared to a Rays game.


-The first thing you notice when you enter Coors Field is the view out of left field. Rockies management did an excellent job using their mascot to adorn their stadium (Rocky Mountains). It appears that the Rays will finally capitalize on their mascot when the new stadium is outdoors (Sunshine Rays) and on the water (Devil Rays). Ahh Ambiguity.

-I was not too impressed with the Rockies Fans (except for their love of Tulowitzki). The stadium never really got too loud, and the Cubs fans could definitely be heard. Of course, there are Cubs fans everywhere because Chicago is a huge market and it's super trendy to root for them. Just ask "DN", he loves the Cubs.

-The surrounding area is sweet. Sports bars and clubs everywhere in Downtown Denver. Reminds me way too much of "Real World Denver" though.

-The parking situation was pretty terrible, not because I couldn't find a place, but because I couldn't find a place under $15. It's funny because as you get away from the stadium and closer to Downtown Denver, the price of parking goes UP.

-It was a day game, weather was nice. Nothing like a baseball day game OUTDOORS. Watching indoor baseball during the day should be outlawed.

-The Rockies "Around the League Update Board" is still calling the franchise from Tampa Bay the "Devil Rays." Unacceptable.

-When a Rockies pitcher gets a K the A/V people sound the "Law and Order" Gavel. I don't know if more parks are doing this or not this season but it's pretty sweet.

-The Rockies have a "Guest Service" hot line you can call during the game with questions about the team. If not already implemented in Tampa, it should be immediately. For example, you and your boy are watching the game in left field and get into an argument about how often Carlos Pena strikes out. You say that he strikes out atleast half the time he comes to the plate, your boy (who's wearing the #23 jersey with his own name on the back) disagrees. All you need to do is pick up the phone and you'd find out that in 74 at bats Pena has struck out 28 times.

to the game itself...

-I've been to only three non-Rays baseball games, Jason Marquis has started two of them.

-I never realized how many white guys play on the Rockies, the whole starting lineup is white. I heard alot of Nickelback and U2 when the players came to the plate. In Tampa, the sounds are much more eclectic.

-Tulowizki had an incredible at bat in the 8th and ended up reaching on error while hitting in the go ahead run. In Denver, they love a Tulowizki.

  • Cheer 1 (Clapping): Dah Dah Dahdahdah dahdahdahdah TULO!!

  • Cheer 2 (Charge): Instead of "Charge", insert "Tulo!!"

  • Cheer 3 (Standard): Tu-lo-witzki clap clap clap clap clap

Can't wait to get back to Tampa on Monday.


The Morning After: Game 22

Blue Jays 3 (10-13), Rays 5 (11-11)

Thank God we Extra Innings subscribers did not have to suffer through another broadcast by the Canadians. I have never been so happy to hear Dewayne Stats.

MVP: Andy Sonnanstine

  • Andy Sonnanstine was excellent. His line may not be that impressive but he pitched very well. He had good control and command all night long. Only one ball was hit hard against him all night. He was very unlucky giving up the first two runs. It was bloopers and infield hits all around. He is now the Rays leader in wins with three.
  • The bullpen came in and did their job once again. Who ever would have thought the bullpen would be the strength of this team? Glover pitched great and has been pitching great all season. He filled in admirably for Wheeler. Miller did his job as well. Things got a little dicey with Percival. The Jays were able to get the tying runs in scoring position, but Percival bore down and stuck out one batter then got a pop out from the next guy. This is his third save in as many days. Maddon said after the game that he will NOT be used tomorrow.
  • Longoria had another good game. He legged out a triple and also had a double, a sacrifice fly, and a walk. He is very rapidly becoming the Rays best hitter and he has only been in the league a couple weeks. Amazing.
  • Crawford had another three hits tonight. He is now officially back to his old self -- smacking the ball all over the field. The whole offense just seems to function better when he is on.
  • Navi had another nice day at the plate. He reached base three of his four times up and has an rbi single.
  • Hinske continued to deliver clutch hit after clutch hit. He had another crucial RBI single tonight.
  • When Pena is bad, he is really bad. My god. He stuck out twice and did not look good doing it. This reminds me of earlier in his career where he would go through tremendous, long slumps. I hope this one does is not prolonged, but I have a very bad feeling about it.
  • Navi's defense leaves a lot to be desired. He can't throw anyone out, he lets a lot of balls by that he should block, and he has forgot to cover home twice in the last three games! Not good at all. His miscues have directly cost the team three runs.
  • Gabe Gross did not impress me to much with his bat, but at least he sees a lot of pitches when he is up there. Also, he appears relatively competent in the field.

What a big time win for the Rays. This is their first three game winning streak of the season and gives them much needed confidence and momentum heading into their most important series of the season. In order to be in the playoff hunt, the Rays need to play well at home. This weekend, against the Red Sox, is their first chance to prove to themselves and to the rest of the league that they are a force to be reckoned with -- not in two years -- but right now. I am really excited to see if this ball club steps up to the challenge and wins the series. Plus, I hate the Red Sox.

Garza comes off the DL to face Wakefield. As we are all aware, Wakefield has owned the Rays over his career. Tomorrow is a good day to start showing that this team is different from all of the ones over the past ten seasons. Go Rays!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Morning After: Game 21

Blue Jays 3 (10-12), Rays 5 (10-11)

Another day at Disney, another win. The Rays are now 5-0 when playing in Orlando.

MVP: Carl Crawford


  • Hammell gave the Rays another solid performance. He is never spectacular, he is never dominating, but he always seems to give the team a chance to win. What more can you ask for from the fifth starter in your rotation? Tonight, he was probably better than usual. If it wasn't for Matt Stairs he would have had a really good night. Stairs is the definition of a professional hitter. I think that Hammell has proved that he deserves to be a major league starting pitcher.
  • Crawford is completely out of his early season slump. He got two hits (one a triple) and he scored two runs. As Carl goes so goes the offense. He seems to provide a spark that ignites the rest of the guys and leads to rallies.
  • Longoria had a huge hit to tie the game up in the bottom of the 6th. The bases were juiced and Carlos Pena had just struck out for the second out of the inning. Longoria stepped in there and delivered an opposite field single. Clutch. His fielding was also really good the whole game.
  • It is great to have Pena back at first base. He made a couple of picks that Hinske almost certainly would not have come up with.
  • Wheeler and Percy did it again. Wheeler have up only one hit in two innings of work and Percy continued his dominance with another perfect ninth inning. I am hoping that Wheeler has done enough to prove that he deserves the setup job after Reyes comes back from injury.
  • Hinske didn't have an amazing game, but he came through with another clutch hit. His RBI single in the 6th gave the Rays the lead and allowed Maddon to bring in the big guns (Wheeler and Percival) to close things down.
  • Pena just does not look good with the bat. He came up with one out and the bases juiced in the 6th. I was talking to my buddy on the phone and I told him that Pena was going to strike out. Pena proceeded to strike out, missing a 1-2 curve by about a foot. That is not a good feeling to have with your clean-up hitter.
  • The Rays had no answer to Matt Stairs all night long. He hit two home runs and damn near hit two more. His two outs were deep drives to the warning track that were luckily knocked down by the wind.

Another night, another big win for the Rays. This was not a game they were favored to win. It was the Rays number 5 starter against the Blue Jays number 1 starter. And that number one starter happens to be Roy Halladay. The Rays are now guaranteed to win the series. This should be a confidence boosting win. Tomorrow will be McGowan (he of the absurd mutton chops) against Sonny. This is definitely a winnable game and I think the Rays are going to come away with the sweep.

News and Notes
  • Extra Innings was only showing the Toronto broadcast of the game. The damn Canadians must of called BJ Upton "Justin" at least ten times.
  • Apparently, in Canada they like to stick commercials in between at-bats. No, I am not joking.
  • This is completely unrelated to baseball, but I am watching Inside the NBA on TNT and Kenny Smith just made a "Kobe Bryant" like video of himself jumping a car. Hilarious. If you haven't seen it, you need to YouTube in right now. Honestly, it is the the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. They showed it to Kobe when they were interviewing him. Just fantastic.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Morning After: Game 20

Blue Jays 4 (10-11), Rays 6 (9-11)

This was a very big win for the Rays. This series against the Blue Jays and the one this weekend against the Red Sox are the two most important to date.

MVP: Eric Hinske


  • Hinske had a big day. His first three at bats resulted in a double, a triple, and a homerun. He had one shot to get a single to complete the cycle, but he struck out on three pitches. He continues to be the most consistent hitter on the team.

  • Lonoria’s hit a long bomb to center to get the Rays on the board. I have been impressed with how well he works the count. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say he is already one of the Rays three best all around hitters.

  • Navi is a hit machine. He was tearing it up the minor leagues during his rehab stint and nothing changed during his first start for the Rays in nearly three weeks. He stroked three singles, two of which produced RBIs. He also managed to throw out a runner trying to steal second. So, yeah I guess he really is better than Riggans.

  • Shields did not have his best stuff, but he fought through it for his second win of the season. After Vernon Wells obliterated the ball to left field Shields really clamped down and worked efficiently.

  • Wheeler and Percival did their jobs. Combined they faced six hitters and all six of those Jays were retired. The bullpen has been shockingly good this season.


  • Hinske made another terrible defensive play. A grounder was hit to first and he bobbled it. Not only did he bobble the ball, but even after it was obvious that the runner was going to be safe he decided to make an awful toss to Shields which was uncatchable. This error led to two runs scoring. I can’t wait to get Pena's Gold Glove back out their at first.

  • The Rays tried a safety squeeze with Aki bunting and Haynes on third. It was a good idea but the execution was poor. Aki bunted the ball pretty much directly back to the pitcher who was able to throw out Haynes.


This was a big win for the Rays. The Rays are now 4-0 in Orlando. Maybe they should just play every game at Disney.

News and Notes

  • The Rays traded for CF Gabe Gross of the Brewers. They will likely send down Ruggiano to make room on the roster for Gross.

  • I’m not sure why everyone thinks this Blue Jays team is going to be so good. Their lineup imparts absolutely no fear in me.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quick Update

Sorry about the lack of posts this weekend. I was out of town and only got a chance to watch a couple of innings. The Morning After will start up again tomorrow.

We are working on redesigning the site to reflect our new name "Rays the Roof." If you have any suggestions please let us know. The URL of the site will be changing soon too. Don't worry we will let all 10 of you loyal readers know ahead of time so you can reset your bookmarks.



Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Morning After: Game 15

Rays 5 (6-9), Twins 6 (7-8)

I was too pissed Wednesday to bring myself to write a Morning After for Game 14. Edwin Jackson gets the LVP, although I did not think he pitched too terribly. He now has two MVPs and one LVP on the season. In general though the Rays bats really need to wake up or we are all in for a seriously long season once again. Overall, the pitching has been better than I expected. It's the hitting that is really bringing this team down. I really hate the Yankees and even if it is only a two game series, getting swept by them sucks.

Picking an LVP for last night's game is a challenging task. Really it comes down to Bartlett and Crawford. Do you go with the guy who made the physical error or the mental error. I am going to go with Bartlett in part because he hasn't hit for shit all season.

LVP: Jason Bartlett

  • Coffee Can Reyes got put on the DL with a shoulder problem and Birkins was activated from the DL. Knowing that Reyes won't be pitching in a game for two weeks is a highlight in and of itself. To top it off, Birkins came in and faced four batters and pitched very well. He and Miller make a very formidable one-two left handed punch in the bullpen.
  • Crawford is finally starting to hit like we all expected him to. He crushed a homer in the third to right field and legged out a double as well.
  • Hinske continued to mash, crushing a homer to right in the 5th. He has really surprised me with how good his bat has been. Of course, he looks like the slowest man on earth running after fly balls in right. Not to mention that he throws like a girl. Otherwise, he is great.
  • Upton came through with a couple hits and a RBI. I really have no idea what his numbers are going to look like this season. He seems completely unpredictable up at the plate. Some at bats he looks amazing and other at bats he looks awful. Strange hitter.
  • Riggans came through with a two run homer to left. I've heard a lot of people clamoring for Riggans to be sent down and Defilice to stay once Navarro is activated. I disagree. Riggans is not a kid anymore. He is a 27 year-old catcher. It's time for him to be in the majors even if it as a backup. He does not need anymore seasoning. Somewhat unrelated, I am the only one who thinks it is debate-able that Navarro is better than Riggans? Riggans is a hell of a defensive catcher and he hits about as well as Navarro does. Honestly, I couldn't care less when Navarro comes back. Riggans works for me.

  • The Rays squandered quite a few opportunities to score. For instance, they had two runners on in both the 1st and 2nd innings and came away with no runs. Awesome. Also, two of the three steal attempts by the Rays resulted in the runners (Gomes and Upton) being easily gunned out. Not good. The Rays have got to start capitalizing on their opportunities to score. They aren't going to win relying on home runs.
  • Bartlett continues to be unimpressive with the bat. That is ok, but now his fielding has gone to complete shit. He had a routine throw to first and bounced it about 4 feet short of Pena resulting in the ball scooting by and the Twins scoring two runs. This is the fifth bad throw he has had in as many days. Usually Pena bails him out with an amazing pick, but not this time. Is Bartlett an upgrade over Harris? Harris is clearly a better hitter than Bartlett. It was his fielding that was setting him apart and since that has evaporated, I would have to say Harris seems to be better. Hopefully, Bartlett can turn things around. I think he has the ability to be better than Harris he just has not demonstrated it yet.
  • Crawford made an absolutely boneheaded play in the bottom of the 8th. There was one out and runners on 1st and 3rd. A fly ball was hit deep into left field foul territory. Crawford went sprinting over there and made a nice diving catch. All the while Iwas screaming NO! NO! NO! at the top of my lungs. Crawford caught it and Young tagged at third and scored easily. That was the winning run. Is Crawford paying any attention to the game situation out there??? That is simply terrible and inexcusable. Get your head in the game Crawford.


Another very tough loss. This makes three in a row. The Rays desperately need to win tomorrow so they can have some momentum going into their home series against the White Sox over the weekend.

On an unrelated note, I really can't wait for Cliff Floyd to come back. He was hitting lasers left and right before he went on the DL. There has been a very noticeable decline in the offense since he went on the DL.

I really think this team would be better off with Ruggiano starting in right every night and Hisnke DHing against righties, while Gomes would DH against lefties. Ruggiano has showed that he belongs in the majors. I would also like Nathan Haynes to be cut immediately. He may be the worst player in the majors.

News and Notes
  • Dennard Span can't hit. Does this surprise anyone?


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our Favorite Rays Blogger

It appears that Outs per Swing has become the new Rays blog for MVN (some sports network).

Why, you ask, is this important? Well, the old rays blog at MVN (Rays Anatomy) featured our boy Eric SanIndiana as the main writer. In case you forgot, we had a couple of issues with him. Well, it would appear on first glance that he is no longer one of the Rays bloggers at MVN. Maybe a spot opened up with a Yankees blog? Or maybe he wrote too many articles on Barack Obama?
Either way...


Dear Eric SanAndreas,

If in fact you are really done as a Rays blogger you will be sorely missed by all. Perusing one of your extraordinarily verbose posts and then yucking it up to myself for a few moments was one of the highlights of my morning. Never again will I get the pleasure of reading a 2000 word post on a Rays blog that has absolutely nothing to do with baseball. Perhaps you should consider starting a new blog? You could entitle it "I like to hear myself type." I am certain it would be wildly popular.

It was a good run while it lasted,


Update: It is sad, but true. Eric SanTorrento is done at Rays Anatomy. True to form, his final post was immensely long yet said almost nothing. I know few writers with such talent. But fret not Rays faithful, you can get your fix of Eric at his new blog which is certain to be a rousing success. He is now free to make as many posts as he wants about anything he wants. Skiing trips and Barack Obama are no longer off limits! Hot Damn!

Also, the title of his post is "New Name, Different Writers, Same Results." I can only hope this is far, far from the truth.

The Morning After: Game 13

Yankees 8 (7-7) , Rays 7 (6-7)

First, I will start with an update on MVPs and LVPs from the weekend since we did not get a chance to post. Friday’s MVP was Carlos Pena (hit two homeruns) and Saturday’s LVP was Dan Wheeler (threw a meatball to the O’s terrible catcher).

Last night’s game was a tough loss. Longoria hitting that homerun to tie it at 7 was definitely the most excited I have been this season and one of the most euphoric moments for me as a Rays fan over the past ten seasons. I was running around my apartment screaming like a fool. Of course, Reyes came in and blew the game as he is prone to do. Accordingly, he is rewarded the LVP (his second of the season). In all honesty, this award could go to Sonny, but I really hate the way Reyes has pitched this season. Fat piece of crap.

LVP: Al "coffee can" Reyes


  • CC is finally starting to get hot. After his two RBI performance yesterday he came through with a big two run homer to get the comeback started. Douche bag Yankees fans were chanting “overrated” during his at-bats. The Yankees are slowly becoming more hate-able then the Red Sox. Maybe that’s just because the Rays have not played the Red Sox yet this season.

  • Upton absolutely destroyed a ball to center. The funny thing is he was very late on the first three pitches of the at-bat. It was a silky smooth, effortless swing that resulted in a 420 foot bomb to center. The brought the Rays within 1 at 7-6

  • Longoria came through in a big way. He hit a nice double to the right center gap that looked like it was going to be an easy catch when it was hit. He obviously has a lot of pop and very quick wrists. Longoria went on to smack a ball into the left field stands to tie the game at 7-7. It was an excellent at bat and the crowd was going nuts after he hit it.

  • While Sonnanstine was completely ineffective in every possible way, Dohmann came in and pitched superbly. He went 3 and 2/3rds and gave up no runs. He got into a couple jams but was able to make pitches when he needed to. Excellent job – he was really starting to creep into the doghouse, but this performance kept him safe for at least a few games. He was throwing fairly fast, usually in the low 90s. But I am sure it looked like it was coming at about 110 after facing Sonny’s garbage balls.


  • Bartlett continues to struggle in the field. He made a bad play that allowed Jeter to reach on a grounder and he almost threw a ball away on another grounder. Luckily, Carlos “Gold Glove” Pena came through with an amazing pick.

  • Longoria also made an error. It was a pretty sharp hit ball to his left that he bobbled. Aybar definitely would have made the play. Of course, Aybar’s hitting is far inferior to Evan’s bat.

  • Sonny absolutely stunk. It was a like a home run derby in the first two innings. Even Morgan Ensberg hit a home run. Really? Morgan Ensberg? Awful. It didn’t stop there; after pitching a relatively uneventful third the Yankees started smacking him around again in the 4th. He was throwing absolute meatballs up there. I am relatively sure I could have hit a home run off some of those pitches.

  • Dear Al Reyes,

Fuck You, you fat turd. I wish you would have gotten tased three times.



  • Does anyone have Al’s address? I would like to send him this note. The note will come in a brown package which also contains a coffee can. Said coffee can will contain not coffee, but feces. Reyes will open it and be disgusted. Would this be illegal? Probably not worth finding out. Seriously though, Cano absolutely obliterated that ball. It was just crushed. You have to give Cano some credit. I mean that was a seriously tricky 75mph change up right in the wheelhouse. Stop using Reyes in key situations. He has lost it!!!!! In other news, my new nickname for Reyes will be coffee can.

  • Upton got thrown out stealing third with no outs and the Rays down 7-2. Unbelievable. Why? It just made no sense. It ended up costing the Rays at least one run. A run that would have tied the game. I think it is safe to say that Upton is one of the least skilled base runners in the majors. Rarely does a night go by where he doesn’t have a gaffe on the base paths.


This is the kind of game this Rays team will have a chance of winning this season. They have an explosive offense (even if has been relatively silent so far this season). At any time they are ready to explode with 5+ runs an inning. Rallies like this are what make the team so exciting to watch. While very disappointing, this game offered a glimpse into how exciting the Rays will be over the next few years. Now all they need is a decent bullpen.

News and Notes

  • The Indians had a four to three lead going into the ninth against the Red Sox. Borowski proceeded to come in and let the game tying run score and then let Manny drill one into the left field seats. Super.

  • If you did not see Dennard’s play in right field against the Tigers you need to check it out. He was going back on a deep fly and leapt at the wall. The ball was in his glove and then popped out and went over the fence for a home run. It would have hit off the wall if he hadn’t of gotten in the way. No wonder he hasn’t earned a starting spot even though he was drafted six years ago.
  • Rays the Roof now has three official nicknames for players: 1) Nathan "no hit" Haynes based on his inability to get a base hit 2) Al "coffee can" Reyes based on our desire to send him a coffee can with turds in it, and 3) Carlos "gold glove" Pena based on our feeling that he should win the gold glove.


Monday, April 14, 2008

April 13th: Rays vs. Orioles

Score: Rays 6 - Orioles 2
Reported attendance: 16,748
Actual attendance: Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000
Number of those people who write for Rays the Roof: 1
Number of Rays the Roof writers who don't live in Tampa and attended the game: 1
Number of Rays the Roof writers who live in Tampa and attended the game: 0

Random thoughts:
  • Disappointing crowd for a sunday afternoon game against the current AL East division leader (admittedly, not even Orioles fans expect that to be the case for much longer).
  • It's clear that the Rays' ticket office uses the same formula for reported attendance as every other professional and college team: Season ticket sales + Sales for just that game + Player's and coach's guests + a random number that the supervisor throws in just for shits and giggles = Reported attendance. No, I'm not kidding.
  • A number of Rays fans left right after the 6-run 5th inning. That's after the Rays scored 6 runs, not the O's. Did they not watch a single game last season? Were they not aware of how bad our bullpen is capable of being? I don't even have a term for these people, fair weather only works when your team is losing the game.
  • Parking is no longer free, unless you have 4 or more in your vehicle. Luckily, we were rolling 5 deep in the Durango. Cha-Ching.
  • A significant number of fans still rocked the devil ray green, including myself, but the vast majority has gone out and purchased the new gear. Very impressive. My guess is that the $2 million price tag of the name/logo/color change has been more than made up by the spike in apparel sales.
  • The "Value Meal" at the concession stands advertises that you can get a hot dog, a drink, and a "snack" for $6. Right below you see the list for "snacks," which include soft pretzel, nachos, roasted peanuts, etc... Do not be fooled by any of this, the value meal "snack" = cracker jacks. I can think of one Rays the Roof writer who was none too pleased with this turn of events, maybe I should have sprung for the $10 cheesesteak sandwich. Maybe, except for the fact that my value meal came with....
  • .... a healthy amount of delicious karma. Let me set the scene for you: one of my friends at the game is an orioles fan, we went to get food at the same time, I was in front of him in line, he witnessed my cracker jack-related debacle, he says out loud "That doesn't look so good anymore, I think I'll just get the heater hot dog (a footlong chili cheese dog)", to which I respond "Don't you make me the f-ing guinea pig, you better order the f-ing value meal and be as miserable as me", he doesn't listen and orders the heater, we get back to our seats just in time to watch the Rays drop 6 on the O's. Justice is apparently a dish best served with cracker jacks and a normal-sized hot dog.
  • Number of times I yelled "That's karma, bitch" and "How's that heater taste now?" at my buddy: Incalculable.
  • I hadn't had cracker jacks in years, and they were actually really good.

Alright, on to the game:

MVP: Jeff Neimann
  • Neimann was just tremendous. He worked himself out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the 1st inning unscathed, scattered 6 hits over 6 innings, gave up only one run, and earned a win in his first major league start. Bravo you enormous hoss, bravo.

  • When a 6'9" pitcher throws a breaking ball that ends up as a called strike, I stand up and take notice. The downward break on that pitch is just plain silly.

  • J.P Howell, yeesh. He started the 7th inning and proceeded to load the bases without recording a single out. Super.

  • Dan Wheeler and Trever Miller, this tandem was worthy of game MVP considerations. Wheeler relieved Howell and wound up only letting one of the runs score, while recording 2 outs. Miller then came in and shut the door.
  • Bossman Junior jacked what looked like a pitch from batting practice into the left field stands and turned a nice 3-run inning into a 6-run pounding.

  • Crawford stealing a base never gets old. Crawford stealing 3rd base is especially fun.

  • Bossman Junior needs to learn to call his teammates off. I know the coaches have told him to go and get any ball he thinks he can get to, but he almost collided with Crawford and Bartlett during this game. His confidence and athleticism are impressive, but these near-injury causing plays have got to stop. We've got enough guys on the DL already.

Final Thoughts:

Any day the Rays spend .500 or above is a good day. The win got them their first home series (actually any series) win of the season, which is especially important. If we truly have dreams of rooting for a .500 or better team this year, they need to protect the Trop. Good win, fellas, can't wait to come back.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Al Reyes' Arrest: A "Sports Indeed" Exclusive

As you've probably heard by now, Al Reyes was arrested early this morning at a currently undisclosed Hyde Park bar/night club after a scuffle with another patron while celebrating his birthday. If you want to know what the cops are reporting, go here. If you want to know the real story, keep reading.

What really happened:

Al Reyes was trying to enjoy his night at trendy South Tampa nightclub "McDinton's" alongside 4,042 douchebag Plant High School Alumni. Although there were a few attractive women, the girl-guy ratio remained 56.7:1. To his left was a recent FSU graduate wearing a black muscle shirt who looked strikingly like Chris Rix, on his right was "Chad" who won't stop talking about his Dad's company while spitting terrible game at the blonde female next to him. While ordering a $6.50 Bud Light, he feels a push and then lands on a ceramic pot adorned with an out of place "Adobe Theme." The rest of the police report is accurate...
“I just want to apologize again to my teammates, the whole organization … for what happened last night.”
Don't apologize, anytime I roll into a South Tampa nightclub, I want to spit some blood too.

So after being arrested and spending a night in jail what does he do? Retires Jay Payton and Ramon Hernandez in the 8th with a busted face and gets the win.

¡Viva Al Reyes!


The Morning After: Game 9

Mariners 0 (4-6), Rays 7 (4-5)

MVP: Edwin Jackson


  • E-Jack looked absolutely awesome. His slider was on and he was overpowering hitters with his fastball. Even with four walks he managed to throw less than 100 pitches in 8 innings -- efficient and impressive. He gave the bullpen some much needed rest. Perhaps the most impressive part of his outing was how well he pitched when runners were on base. Every time a runner was in scoring position he stepped his game up to another level. Finally, we saw the culmination of so much raw talent. Here’s hoping that he keeps it up. It would honestly not surprise me if he did.
  • After looking fairly horrible in left all season, CC made a great run-saving catch when he dove to scoop up a liner with two outs and a runner on third in the 4th.
  • Hinske continues to mash (solo homer to right to give the Rays a 1-0 lead) and he even made a couple of decent looking plays at third base.
  • Aki was a great lead-off hitter yesterday. He got on his first four at bats. He had two walks and hit two line drive singles very sharply. He even stole a base. I never thought Aki was a classic lead-off hitter, but he really seems to be adapting and excelling in the role.
  • Defilice has three RBIs. Admittedly, both of the hits where he drove in runs were little bloops on which he broke his bat. None the less, any offense is a good thing when you are talking about Defilice. Speaking of which, does he really have to play once every three games? I wish Maddon would run Riggans out there a little more often.
  • The Gomer had a good game at the plate. He got on base all four times he was up. He had two walks, a single, and a well hit double to the gap in left-center. Gomes has been hitting pretty well this season. If only he could field.


  • Haynes continues to look absolutely awful with the stick. It is like a lesser of two evils. Would you rather watch Haynes bat or Hinske/Gomes play right? Shit.


The Rays needed this win and they got it. Avoiding a long losing streak early in the season is critical for the success of this ballclub. Hopefully, they picked up a little momentum and the hot bats will carry into the weekend series with the Orioles. Speaking of the Orioles, they dropped both games of a double-header to Texas. Maybe they are coming back down to Earth; just in time for the Rays to capitalize with a homes series sweep.

Tomorrow will be an opening day rematch on the pitching front with Shields facing off against Guthrie. Hopefully, the results will be similar.

Jackson is the only Ray to have received two Sports Indeed MVP awards this season.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Morning After: Game 8

Mariners 7 (4-5), Rays 1 (3-5)

CC did not do anything particularly bad. This LVP somewhat reflects his body of work so far this season.

LVP: Carl Crawford


  • Sonnanstine allowed two runs in the third. That is not the highlight. The highlight is the fact that he had a runner on third with one out and that runner ended up being stranded. First he struck out Beltre then he made a great defensive play going to his left on Ibanez. One thing that has always impressed me about Sonnanstine is his resilience. He takes a lick and keeps on ticking. A very similar thing happened in the 6th after he gave up a couple runs; he had no outs and runners on 1st and 3rd. He ended up getting the first out on a pop-up and then got the next hitter to ground into a double play.

  • Aybar had a good game at the plate and in the field. He was three for four with a couple doubles. In the field, he made at least four very good plays that I saw. His defense continues impressing me game after game.


  • Ruggiano did not look too good in the outfield. He made a crappy throw home on a sacrifice fly in the third. Then in the fourth he let a fairly routine liner go over his head in right for a double. It looked as if he may have lost the ball in the lights.

  • Howell did not pitch too well. He was alright except for the one long-ball he gave up, but his final line did not look too good.

  • Overall, Sonny’s outing was nothing to write home about. He went six and gave up four. A lot of guys hit the ball hard off of him. He looked like he had decent control and movement. On a lot of other days he might have been in the mix for the win, but the way the Rays have been hitting lately giving up any runs is going to result in a loss.

  • The bats were silent yet again. CC isn’t hitting, Pena didn’t hit, Bartlett and Aki continue to struggle. If you can’t get more than ten hits in a game you are rarely going to be competitive. Maybe Batista will wake the bats up tomorrow.


This is now four losses in a row and I am starting to get a little worried. It’s especially bad for such a young team to have a losing streak this long early in the season. I think tomorrow is a big game. I am really hoping that everyone will start hitting and that E-Jack will get his second victory of the year. That would prevent the Rays from being swept in their home opener and it would give them a little momentum going into the next series.

News and Notes from the Game

  • Sonny went to Kent State of all places.

  • I thought it was interesting that Cliff Floyd really when out of his way to complement Maddon on how well he is managing this season. Floyd was interviewed by the announcers during the 5th. It really sounds like the players respect Maddon.

  • The attendance looked pretty sparse on TV.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fuck and No.

Marc Lancaster is reporting that an MRI revealed that Cliff Floyd has a torn medial meniscus. He will need to have surgery and has been put on the 15 day DL. Ruggiano has been called up from AAA to take his spot on the roster.

This is just fantastic. The best pure hitter on the team is already out. I knew he was injury prone but I didn't expect it to happen this quickly. Looks like we will be seeing a lot of Gomes and Hinske in the DH spot. Hopefully, they don't let those guys play RF anymore. I would rather have non-hitting bats such as Haynes, Johnson, or Ruggiano in the line-up than have to watch another games with Gomes or Hinske in the outfield.

Also, according to Lancaster, Howell still is in the running to get Garza's next start - Niemann is apparently not a lock to be called up.

Rays Report


Garza Update

Garza has been placed an the 15 day-DL. Apparently, this nerve has been bothering him for quite some time.

As for Garza, he was upset, frustrated, you name it. This is something he has dealt with in the past, including this spring, but has always been able to suck it up. Not this time.

“I’ve usually been able to get through it, just kind of pitch through it and wear the pain and get it right after the game and get my work in,” said Garza. “This time it was just real bad – I knew something was up.”

Awesome! It's unknown how long he is going to be out, but I am going to guess that it will be longer than 15 days. If you put a guy on the DL that quickly then you know he is definitely injured for a bit of time. Don't be surprised if this injury lasts two months.

The Rays have called up Ryu to fill in the bullpen for the next 4 days or so. It then looks like they will send him or someone else down and call up Niemann to take Garza's spot in the rotation. I am not particularly excited about Ryu, but I am quite excited to see Niemann take the hill.

Apparently, they are not considering giving Howell some starts until Kaz comes back. I am not sure why?

Rays Report


The Morning After: Game 7

Mariners 6(3-5), Rays 5(3-4)

LVP: Matt Garza


  • Riggans hit his first homerun of his career. It just made it over the left field wall. It couldn’t have cleared it by more than 5 feet.
  • Riggans made great stop after great stop in key situations. I think Garza must have thrown ten balls in the dirt when a runner was on third and Riggans just kept digging or blocking them. Very impressive.
  • Pena clobbered a ball into the right field bleachers in the third. It was such a high fly that I thought it might graze the top of the Trop. It is very nice to see Pena get off to such a good start this season.
  • Bartlett was exceptional in the field. He made two great plays in the hole. He and Aki also turned a nice double play. In general the infield defense has been superb this season. As crappy as Aybar has looked on the basepaths and at the plate this season, no one can deny that he has been exceptional with the glove. If Pena keeps his play at first base up he deserves a Gold Glove.
  • Both Wheeler and Percival pitched very well. Reyes also didn’t allow any runs in an inning of work but he didn’t look that great. I would say he looked adequate.


  • Nothing annoys me more than having a runner on third with no outs or one out and not getting that runner home. In the first, the Rays had runners on second and third with no outs and Upton is at the plate. He proceeds to strike out on three pitches. Then with two outs, Gomes grounds out weakly and the Rays end up with no runs.
  • Garza looked pretty bad for the 2+ innings before he left with the injury. Some, if not most, of his struggles may be attributable to the nerve injury. Everyone seemed to be making solid contact against him and he couldn’t find the plate in the third to save his life. That is two straight starts where I have been unimpressed by his performance.
  • In the 5th inning with one out Aybar steps to the plate -- runners on first and third. He proceeds to sky a pop out to second base. Absolutely brutal. Is it really that hard to just get the damn runner home? Luckily, the Rays pulled off a double steal (Gomes stole second and Upton stole home) and were able to get a couple runs out of the inning. None the less, Aybar has to get that runner home.
  • Elliot Johnson looked terrible at the plate. I would say he even looked worse than Nathan Haynes. And that’s saying a lot
  • Glover didn’t pitch all that poorly. A lot of the hits off of him were bloop jobs. Why didn’t Maddon bring in Howell in this situation?
  • Just an extremely odd play on the Upton double down the line to right. He lost his shoe immediately as he got out of the box. He looked like he was going maybe three quarters speed until he got to second and then he turned it on. He was called out sliding into third. He got very upset and argued and then Maddon came out and argued and got the boot. He was definitely safe, but it was a close bang- bang play. Beltre should have got a chunk of his leg taken out then way he was blocking the bag. That was the end of the line for the Rays. They did not get another hit the rest of the game. Infuriating. It seems to me like this is the second time Upton has lost a shoe this season. What’s the story? Double-knot that bitch Bossman Junior.
  • Why is Pena batting 3rd and not 4th. This makes no sense to me. Upton is a classic number three hitter and Pena is a classic clean-up hitter. In the ninth, we had the top of the order up and it was three lefties in a row. They were promptly sat down 1,2,3. Do you think maybe it would be a good idea to have Upton in their at 3rd to break up that lefty, lefty, lefty?
  • What's with the intentional walking of Ibanez. It's Raul Ibanez, not Ken Griffey Jr. Seriously, this may have been a little bit of over-mamanging by Ibanez. I'm not in favor of intentionally walking guys when my pitcher can't throw a strike to save his life, but maybe Maddon feels otherwise. Thank God he got run in the 8th or he may have called for some more intentional walks.


This was a tough loss to take. The Rays had opportunities to win this game and they just did not get the job done. The crowd was fired up and everyone was cheering for them. Hopefully, there will be another big crowd tomorrow and the Rays can break this three game losing streak. At this point I am not too worried about the three losses in a row, but I am worried about this streak getting extended. That would not be good. The team may slip back into that familiar losing way from the past ten seasons. Nobody wants that. Let’s hope that Sonnanstine can pull the Rays out of their rut. I have a lot of confidence in him for some odd reason.

This loss of Garza could be quite bad if it is for an extended amount of time. This would mean that Hammell would have to stay in the rotation even longer (ugh) and Neimann may need to be called up from triple A to make some spot starts. Or perhaps they will just let Howell fill in as the fifth starter until Kazmir comes back. This is all assuming that Garza will be out more than a month, but I have no idea if that is the case. For the sake of the team let’s all hope not. Seeing Hammell start every five days is not going to be fun.