Sorry the Morning After had to get changed to the Afternoon After. The internet at my apartment crapped out last night and I had to find time to make this post at work. By now it is pretty tough to find anything original to say about the brawl and Shelley "the douche" Duncan. It got the Rays some good national exposure and it seems to be uniting the team and it is definitely uniting the fan base. Regardless of the merits of Duncan and Gomes' actions the attention and excitement it has brought are certainly good.
I would also like to point out that this "feels" different from all the fights the Rays used to get into (remember Joey Gathright)? Those guys just seemed like they wanted to get into a fight just to get into a fight. The team was embarrassing. Probably because this team seems more talented the fans have reacted in a positive and supportive way. Some have argued that the difference in fan reaction has to do with race (Gomes and Elliot being white). I don't think this is true. If had been Upton instead of Elliot running into the catcher and CC instead of Gomes, I believe the reaction from the fans would have been the been just as supportive.
- We won. Now 9-3 on the season and leading the Grapefruit league standings.
- The team had a slew of hits (14), 5 of which were doubles.
- Sonny made the most of his first and shut down a respectable Yankees lineup. It was very encouraging and cements his status as front runner for a spot in the rotation.
- Percival pitched another hitless inning, his third of the spring.
- Glover closed the game out in the ninth with a one run lead. Repaying the confidence that Maddon has expressed in him this spring.
- Longoria had an error and so did Josh Paul. Although this was his first official error of the season, it has been noted that there were other times he could have been charged.
- Anderson got shelled in less than an inning of work and may have re-injured is TJ elbow. Not good times.
- Although he got the win, Wheeler did not look sharp. He got hit around a little. In his case, his track record is good enough to make spring training woes only a very small concern.
Overshadowed by all the fighting was the fact that the Rays won a close, competitive game against the Yankees. The Rays lineup looked a lot like it likely will on opening day, except for the fact that Difelice (not Navarro) started at catcher. I know it is still spring training, but the winning attitude is being instilled and I could not be happier with the results.