"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Tampa Bay Rays II: Do You Believe In Magic?

The Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in baseball and a three-game lead on the second-best Yankees in the American League East. At 28-11, the Rays are on a 116-win pace, and their run differential suggest they’ve been even better than that.

This trick is that, though the Rays have indeed been scoring a lot of runs, they’ve not been hitting much. Tampa Bay is second in the AL and third in the majors (behind the two defending pennant winners) in runs scored per game with 5.31, but they rank 17th in slugging, 18th in on-base percentage, 20th in batting average, and 19th in VORP. According to Baseball Prospectus’s Third-Order Winning Percentage, which figures a team’s expected record from run differential but takes the extra step of figuring their runs from their component parts (hits, walks, outs, etc.), the Rays should be “just” 23-16. That .590 winning percentage still puts them on a 96-win pace, but flips the standings with the Yankees three-games ahead at 26-13, a game better than the Bombers actual record and on a 108-win pace. That’s something to chew on the next two nights as the Yankees, even with a two-game sweep can’t catch the Rays in this series.

Looking at the roster, the only Rays who are hitting are Evan Longoria (raking at .318/.386/.596) and Carl Crawford (putting up a solid walk year at .313/.372/.510 with ten steals, though he’s been caught four times). Many expected a strong walk-year performance from Carlos Peña, but the man the Yankees let go has turned back into a pumpkin, hitting a mere .191/.310/.344. Ben Zobrist and Jason Bartlett are proving their 2009 power surges to be flukes. After combining for 41 homers a year ago, the don’t have a single long ball between them and are hitting a combined .257/.327/.346 on the season. Similarly, bounce-back candidates B.J. Upton and Pat Burrell haven’t bounced back. Upton is doing a fair job of replicating his miserable 2009 performance minus about 20 points of batting average, and the fork sticking out of Burrell’s back was causing so many issues with airport metal detectors that the Rays just up and released him last week, replacing him with former Ranger Hank Blalock. Job shares at second base and catcher haven’t produced much either (.243/.310/.400 and .231/.336/.300, respectively).

Despite all that, the Rays have scored nearly 20 percent more runs than they should have thanks to some team speed and clutch hitting (.301/.378/.485 as a team with runners in scoring position compared to .221/.302/.351 with the bases empty). Don’t expect that to continue (in fact, it has already begun to tail off a bit as the Rays were leading the majors in runs scored not that long ago). That puts the onus on the pitching and defense.

Despite all that, the Rays are on a record win pace. Why? Pitching and defense, of course. Buoyed by the most efficient defense in the American League (in turning balls in play into outs, that is), the Rays have allowed a major league low 2.97 runs per game. To put that in perspective, no team in either league has allowed fewer than three runs per game over an entire season since 1972, when the Orioles and A’s both did it the year before the implementation of the designated hitter. Last year, the Dodgers and Giants were the stingiest teams in baseball in 2009 and both allowed 3.77 runs per game, as did the Blue Jays, who were the stingiest in 2008.

Rookie Wade Davis, who faces A.J. Burnett tonight, has the highest ERA of any of the Rays five starters. That inflated number is 3.38. As a group, the Rays’s starters, and they’ve only used five of them, have gone 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA while averaging nearly 6 2/3 innings per start. Three of those losses have been charged to Davis, and the Rays scored a total of five runs in those three loses. The Rays’ bullpen, meanwhile, has been merely the fifth best in baseball (by both ERA and WXRL).

The Rays can’t keep up that pace of run prevention, and they can’t keep scoring runs via clutch hitting alone, so it seems clear they won’t continue on their record winning pace. The only question is how much will they fall off their current pace, and can the Yankees take advantage. The two games this week will tell us a little, but not enough.

Jorge Posada is going for an MRI on his foot. Nick Swisher is still out with his sore biceps problem. Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera both threw about 30 pitches last night. Sergio Mitre is also unavailable having started on Sunday. So, Mark Melancon remains in the Yankees’ eight-man bullpen and the bench consists of Ramiro Peña. If the Yanks can split these two games, they should be pleased. Get ‘em next time, boys. Let the rest of the league (the Rays have yet to face the Twins, Tigers, or Rangers) and the law of averages soften them up a bit first.

Tampa Bay Rays

2010 Record: 28-11 (.718)
2010 Pythagorean Record: 29-10 (.744)

Manager: Joe Maddon
General Manager: Andrew Friedman

Home Ballpark: Tropicana Field

Bill James Park Indexes (2007-2009):
LH Avg-100, LH HR-91
RH Avg-95, RH HR-96

Who’s Replaced Whom:

  • Hank Blalock has replaced Pat Burrell
  • John Jaso (minors) has replaced Kelly Shoppach (DL)
  • Joaquin Benoit has replaced Mike Ekstrom (minors)

25-man roster:

1B – Carlos Peña (L)
2B – Sean Rodriguez (R)
SS – Jason Bartlett (R)
3B – Even Longoria (R)
C – Dioner Navarro (S)
RF – Ben Zobrist (S)
CF – B.J. Upton (R)
LF – Carl Crawford (L)
DH – Hank Blalock (L)

Bench:

S – Willy Aybar (IF)
R – Gabe Kapler (OF)
L – John Jaso (C)
L – Reid Brignac (SS)

Rotation:

R – James Shields
R – Matt Garza
R – Jeff Niemann
L – David Price
R – Wade Davis

Bullpen:

R – Rafael Soriano
R – Dan Wheeler
L – Randy Choate
R – Grant Balfour
R – Lance Cormier
R – Joaquin Benoit
R – Andy Sonnanstine

Lineup:

R – Jason Bartlett (SS)
L – Carl Crawford (LF)
S – Ben Zobrist (RF)
R – Evan Longoria (3B)
L – Carlos Peña (1B)
L – Hank Blalock (DH)
R – B.J. Upton (CF)
S – Dioner Navarro/L – John Jaso (C)
R – Sean Rodriguez (2B)

15-day DL:

C – Kelly Shoppach (sprained right knee)
OF – Matthew Joyce (strained right elbow)
LHP – J.P. Howell (strained left shoulder)

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Series Preview

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266 comments

Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 5:30 pm

And Beckett on the 15 day DL.

2 Yankster   ~  May 19, 2010 5:39 pm

How much Rays over performance can be attributed to the manager? It seems like one of the few variables that aren't counted in the comparatie offensive stats. I guess it's more likely to be luck...

3 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 6:41 pm

For those who were wondering...Kim Jones reports that Randy Winn was positioned exactly where they wanted him yesterday. They expected Mo to jam the lefty. Didn't work out.

4 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 6:53 pm

[3] RAB had an informative post about the positioning ... here's the takeaway

Sometimes though, you just gotta tip your cap and credit the other guy. Give Hermida some props for a nice piece of hitting.

That’s a great pitch, a 90 mph cutter on the outer black. Hermida just went out and got it. It happens. Not very often, but it happens.

I know it’s easy to jump on Winn or the coaching staff or whoever for poor positioning on a play like that, especially since Randy kinda stinks, but in this case it’s not justified. He was positioned properly, Rivera executed his pitch, and Hermida just beat him. Simple as that.

5 Chyll Will   ~  May 19, 2010 6:59 pm

...especially since Randy kinda stinks,...

Ouch!

6 Diane Firstman   ~  May 19, 2010 7:03 pm

Greetings from the B&N in Park Slope. I'm here to listen to Emma read from her great book.
I even passed up a last-minute pair of tix to the game tonight.
Go Yanks!

7 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 7:04 pm

It's Thames I'd like to throttle. They're showing that play where he called off Cano, then didn't make the catch. Arrggghhhh. Pisses me off all over again.

8 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 7:05 pm

[2] I think it is a big difference between the two teams.

[3] Did you get a chance to see what Pedroia said about the play we disagreed on last night?

9 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 7:09 pm

Oh frak!

10 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 7:09 pm

This could wind up being a really statement series for the Rays.

11 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:10 pm

Well, that was fast.

12 mjpucci   ~  May 19, 2010 7:10 pm

Welcome, everyone. Glad to see the Yankees picked right up where they left off yesterday...

13 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:11 pm

[6] Woman about town, you are!
(Hi, Emma!)

14 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:11 pm

He's still out there.

15 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:12 pm

Nice throw, Frankie.

16 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 7:13 pm

Yankees have been the victims of some real bad umpiring over the past 4 games. In fact, it cost them two wins so far.

17 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 7:13 pm

Yanks were robbed on that steal.

18 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:16 pm

[8] Yeah, I saw that. I don't think it changes my opinion, really; I think sending Cano (who a) isn't all that fast and b) doesn't have the best instincts in the world) is still a lower percentage play than asking Winn to come through with a hit. Sending Cano is doubling down on a bet that says that Papelbon isn't just going to make a *bad* throw to the plate, but a catastrophic one, because, from my viewing of the play, that's the only way Cano wasn't going to be out. A good throw gets him, an average throw gets him, even a bad throw gets him, the only thing that makes that play is if Papelbon completely throws the ball away. Could it happen, sure, but what's the likelihood? 1 in 10? 1 in 20?

We'll just have to agree to disagree on our evaluation of the percentage of that likelihood ...

In any case, my apologies if my tone last night was testy, 3rd shitty game from the bullpen in a row + booze makes Cult a bit grumpy ...

19 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 7:17 pm

[18] No problem...just thought it was an interesting quote because that's exactly what I expected from Papelbon, who doesn't strike me as a prince of poise.

20 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:18 pm

Well 1 run is okay there ... not great, but ok.

21 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 7:26 pm

Ugh.

22 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:26 pm

[20] You want to know what's bizarre?
After all this time, all this time, I *just* now noticed that it's "basebaal" and not "baseball."

An object lesson in how we decode.

Oh, damn it.

23 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:26 pm

Oops!

24 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:27 pm

[22] =)

Makes a *bit* more sense now, though ... right?

25 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 7:28 pm

oh hell brett - don't want that.

regardless of that not good play, i think it might be time to swap gritner and jeter. i think jeter is very slowly coming out of his slump, but being in the 2 hole might be good for him and having gritner lead-off might help maximize this lineup.

26 NYYfan22   ~  May 19, 2010 7:31 pm

hey everybody. Just got in from JJ's T-Ball game. hilarious.

27 mjpucci   ~  May 19, 2010 7:32 pm

It's really not good that I avert my eyes on a pop fly to right.

28 NYYfan22   ~  May 19, 2010 7:33 pm

ahhh, perfectly-positioned Winn.

29 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:40 pm

Even mk's getting on Girardi about the bunt.

30 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:40 pm

Frankie, my Frankie!

31 NYYfan22   ~  May 19, 2010 7:41 pm

don't waste this 2B, please.

32 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:41 pm

[25] 'Cause he'd see more fastballs with Brett on base?

33 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 7:41 pm

Cervelli has been amazing. I'm not sure how it can last, but I love it.

34 mjpucci   ~  May 19, 2010 7:43 pm

Hehheh...only MK would notice that the opposing team spelled Teix's name wrong on its lineup card...and call them out on it.

35 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:44 pm

I feel good about the Juan Miranda Experience!

36 NYYfan22   ~  May 19, 2010 7:45 pm

c'mon baby... read them their rights... THEIR MIRANDA RIGHTS! (props to thelarmis)

37 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:48 pm

Well, we've got Davis up to 40 pitches ... which isn't nothing ...

38 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 7:49 pm

[24] Oh, it's profoundly clever, but now that I look at it again, I realize I sort of did know that but not really. I guess I must have registered it at the beginning but then it became subconscious or something and I just started reading "baseball" and for whatever reason noticed it now.

My brain works in mysterious ways, what can I say?

39 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 7:51 pm

Dang, now they're making me hungry.

40 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 7:55 pm

Oh, lovely, it's BAD AJ tonite ...

41 NYYfan22   ~  May 19, 2010 7:56 pm

goddammit. we need good AJ. We need good Joba. Sacrifice a chicken in the clubhouse or something. fuck.

42 NYYfan22   ~  May 19, 2010 7:57 pm

what a break we had such a defensive powerhouse in RF. whew..

43 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:05 pm

Way out of the zone.

William, you may be right that he has worries about his bats peed. He must be cheating.

44 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:05 pm

Rainout!

45 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 8:07 pm

Angel Pagan hit an inside the park home run.

46 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 8:08 pm

Teixeira's been taking that pitch an awful lot lately.

47 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:08 pm

Why is Teix DH'ing?
I'm sorry, A) he's not hitting enough to DH and; B) with a compromised defense already, does it really make sense to sit your gold glove first baseman?

48 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 8:09 pm

[43] I really don't think it's a question of if he is in decline, but how steep it will be. The Yankees really have some significant problems right now.

49 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 8:11 pm

Bah! Shoulda had that.

50 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:14 pm

Oh, dear Lord.

51 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:14 pm

Christ, nuthin' goin' right tonight.

52 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:15 pm

Do we really have to watch this whole game? Can't we cut our losses now? Just forfeit or something and spare ourselves the prolonged agony?

53 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:15 pm

Oh, he was fucking OUT!

54 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:15 pm

[52] New Mythbusters at 9.

Oy.

55 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:16 pm

No.
He wasn't.

56 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 8:16 pm

Good Evening All. Tis an ominous night. AJ getting frustrated.

57 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:16 pm

Still no outs.

58 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:17 pm

[56] Bah.

59 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 8:18 pm

This blows.

60 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:19 pm

#@^&*&@!$)*$#&_@^!!!!

61 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 8:19 pm

Dare I say it...start the circus music

62 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:20 pm

[61] Was thinking the same thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z961FEgdlWM

63 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:20 pm

Dawson played for some awful Expos teams.

64 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 8:24 pm

wow i go do some stuff at 1-0 and come back to 5-0

65 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 8:26 pm

It must stop now!

66 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:26 pm

[64] And this surprises you?

67 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:28 pm

I think Girardi should pitch.

68 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:28 pm

OK, this is a joke, right?

69 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:30 pm

Finally.

70 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:31 pm

Is this guy ever just mediocre? Ever just ok? He's either lights out or he pitches BP. There's no in between with this guy.

He never gives you that gut it out Andy performance where he sucks but you look up and amazingly the other team's still only scored four or five after six and you're only down by a couple runs with a chance to come back.

71 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 8:31 pm

Mmmmmm that stellar ERA AJ has v the Rays will be changing a tad. Clue me in, who is currently the long relief man for the Yanks?

72 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:33 pm

I think I heard mk say that Melancon is warming.

73 patrick b   ~  May 19, 2010 8:36 pm

But this is why it made perfect sense to be pretty upset about the previous last 3 games. It's not whining or being a spoiled Yankee fan it's if your starter gives you a quality start it should be a solid, no-drama win because you are gonna have nights like tonight. If we were on a 5 game win streak now, as we should be, you could just shrug this one off. But what's funny, and maybe to his credit, Joe is acting as if we are on a 5 game win streak. As mentioned above, there is no way Tex should be DHing. Our best line-up, with the injuries, is Posada at DH and Cervelli behend the plate and every healthy body at their regular position. If Jorge wants to catch, then DH Cervelli.

74 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:37 pm

Hey, let's bunt Cervelli!

75 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 8:38 pm

MK=Jinx

76 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:38 pm

[73] Yup.

77 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:39 pm

Nice job, Brains.
NIce job.

78 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 8:39 pm

At least it's a run.

79 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:40 pm

Why didn't we get to see Cervelli swing the bat last night?
I'm not at all over that. I'm just getting more exasperated by it, in fact.

80 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 8:41 pm

[73] Well, other than the fact that Posada can only play tonite in a complete emergency and went in for either an MRI or a bone scan today, yes, our best lineup has JoPo in it ...

81 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:43 pm

[80] If Jorgie can't play, shouldn't he be on the fifteen-day DL so that Montero can come up? I mean, the situation is untenable as it stands.

82 OldYanksFan   ~  May 19, 2010 8:44 pm

Miranda has been hitting the ball well.

83 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 8:44 pm

Damn, Miranda smoked that ball.

84 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 8:46 pm

[81] Why would we bring Montero up?

He's not on the 40, he's not hitting and he's not particularily useful as a defensive sub, there's no reason for it.

85 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 8:46 pm

miranda has had some good swings - too bad that one was right at zobrist.

[81] problem is montero probably wouldn't get the call-up and is not exactly tearing up aaa - so we would probably see prof. moeller.

86 OldYanksFan   ~  May 19, 2010 8:47 pm

From Lohud:
Shelley Duncan is back in the big leagues, called up by Cleveland to take the place of injured Grady Sizemore.

87 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 8:48 pm

The Yankee Circular Lineup {TM} has an arc missing at the bottom. I'm beginning to REALLY miss Granderson.

88 patrick b   ~  May 19, 2010 8:49 pm

[80] No, you are right, and I am drunk and pissed (I'm Irish not English so not redundant), but I guess my assumption is that they are being overly cautious with Jorge's injury. Which again, taking the long view, is probably for the best. It's just the last few ugly losses makes it tough to swallow showing up for a scrap with less than your best crew.

89 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 8:50 pm

not that that was a hard ball for gritner to get, but i think even his routes are improving.
he and frankie b are really the lone total bright spots of position players right now.

90 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:50 pm

[84] [85] I know, I was only half serious, musing from a place of desperation. But the half that was serious was thinking, fuck it, give him a taste of things now, at least it'll give me something else to focus on than this abysmal situation.

91 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 8:51 pm

I think it's time to nix the plan of only paying attention to the Rays, and instead shift focus back to Boston (and Detroit and any other potential wild card contender).

92 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 8:52 pm

[89] The worry with that, however, is they could both regress significantly, which would leave the Yankees with only Teixeira, Arod and Cano.

93 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:53 pm

One pitch, one out.

94 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 8:54 pm

Just one question: is it an accepted part of the conversation around here that Rays fans consistently express how much they uniformly despise Maddon and desperately want him gone? Because they do. Which makes certain comments - I don't know what to call them. Funny? Relevant to some idea that that's just kind of how life is?

Are people here aware of this and just dismiss them as stupid Rays' fans? Because the things they say - more vicious than things I read (and, um, may have posted) circa 07'ish and reeking of the exact same hostility many of us had by the end of Torre's reign.

95 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 8:55 pm

[92] no doubt.

96 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 8:55 pm

Nicely done DJ ...

97 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 8:57 pm

[94] Are there Rays fans?

98 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 8:57 pm

[91] Goodness, William, does it eat at you from the inside? The team is injured to high hell, was playing great before these last two games and had played a significantly harder schedule than the Rays, which I displayed pretty clearly with statistical proof. It's 40 games in, sheesh. That statement is such hyperbole.

99 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 8:58 pm

[94] i had no idea that rays fans despised him.
however, is there any fan base that thinks there manager is any good?
i think this is something that is prevalent among hard core fans of a particular baseball team - i don't think it is as prevalent for die-hards of the nfl or nba.

100 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 8:58 pm

[97] Yes, there are, and they are a surprisingly bitter lot.

Show/Hide Comments 101-200
101 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:59 pm

For God's sake, Teix, would you look away and not inside, please.

102 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 8:59 pm

Why'd you fucking pull that???

There's a SHIFT on!!!

103 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 8:59 pm

[99] That truism is what I was getting at. I have to disagree with your last sentence, though. NFL and NBA fans haaaaate their coaches. Hate.

104 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:00 pm

Fucking awful.

Hell-bent on pulling the ball into the fucking dragnet, down by five, no less.

Teix ought to be ashamed of himself.

105 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 9:00 pm

[101][102] Gah.

106 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 9:01 pm

[97] I know two ex Tampa Bay fans. Once the name was changed from Devil Rays, they lost interest.

107 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:01 pm

[103] i am beginning to reconsider that position since i wrote it - but i think there are some exceptions - pats fans were certainly all over belicek for a while; jets fans are slurping up rex ryan right now. i loved jimmy johnson as did most cowboys fans i know.

108 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:02 pm

[99] Just to follow up, I'm not saying Jeff Van Gundy and Lawrence Frank are great coaches, but the crap they caught when their teams were still doing well.

And I confess to cursing Coughlin to the nth degree before the Super Bowl season. And guess what - I've got questions about him again.

I was crushed that they didn't set up a coach in waiting deal for Spags and send Coughlin out on an ice floe filthy with money after giving him a couple more years.

109 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:04 pm

[98] What difference does it make that the team is injured? Does that mean the losses don't count? The Yankees are now 4 games back of the Rays and will be short handed for at least another two weeks or so. By that time, the Yankees could be looking at 7 or 8 game deficit. This isn't a flukely Rays team. If the Yankees fall that far behind, then their best bet to make the post season will be as the wild card. Sometimes, you just have to accept reality.

110 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:05 pm

[100] Then let them know they have a damn good team they should be supporting.

111 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:05 pm

[108] yeah - very true points. i know doc rivers got killed all year and now look at things.

112 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:05 pm

[107] NFL fans can definitely temporarily swing high on their coaches - we all get cult worship'ish here and there - see Pats fans with BB since the first Super Bowl, Giants fans with Parcells before he became a massive ass, Dallas fans with JJ, like you mentioned - but NFL fans can get as ugly and vicious towards guys doing the make the playoffs but no better thing year after year - see, Fontes, Wayne, Reeves, Dan, etc.

113 patrick b   ~  May 19, 2010 9:05 pm

Best case scenario (I know it was Tex I'm just saying what I thought) Tex walks bringing up ARod to really make it a game. Tex has had so many crappy at bat where I'm not looking for anything spectacular, just a walk or a sac fly and he comes up short.

For the record, I LOVE Girardi -- do I have questions, of course, but I think he is far and away the best man for the job.

114 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:09 pm

[109] You presuppose stuff all the time. At the 1/4 point. I read the same bellyaching from you last year. We don't know how it's going to turn out. We don't know how the next two weeks will go, or anything else. The Rays are a good team, but I suspect that this Yankees team, if certain situations like even Robertson's straighten themselves out, may be a great team.

And I sure as heck am not conceding ^%#@ this early in the season. I'd want a new head if that sort of thought crossed my mind regularly.

115 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:10 pm

[111] Eagles fans and Andy Reid are a very solid example of classic NFL fanbase mood swings, also.

116 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:11 pm

[113] I think he's more good than bad, while admitting that his propensity to overthink is very, very real. But yes, I am satisfied with my defending World Series Champion manager.

117 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:14 pm

Well struck, Alex.
Well struck.

118 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:14 pm

nice drive - alex's power stroke is really coming out these last few games.

119 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:14 pm

God did you hear that sound?
What a beautiful sound.

120 patrick b   ~  May 19, 2010 9:14 pm

If Tex walks . . . I'm not saying, just saying that Arod is the best player any of us has seen in a long time.

121 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:15 pm

[114] How do you have an opinion without presupposing? Are you suggesting that because "we don't know how it will turn out", there is no point about having an opinion?

If you aren't concerned by the depleted state of this team, and see no harm from falling far behind a very good Rays team, well, good for you. I just hope the Yankees aren't taking that approach because they do have issues to address.

122 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 9:15 pm

Yay Arod! IT STARTS NOW!
(but please do not put Boone Logan in the game)

123 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:15 pm

NIce job, Robbie.
Keep that up.
He had a couple nice ones yesterday, too.
Maybe...

124 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 9:16 pm

I guess this game ain't over yet...

125 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 9:16 pm

Do I smell "comeback"

126 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:17 pm

Shit.

127 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:18 pm

[121] I'm suggesting that if that "opinion" was ALWAYS negative, I might get it checked out.

And one can have plenty of opinions without presupposing. That you don't see that seems telling. In fact, that is simply an absurd statement. Do you really think that an opinion requires a presupposition about something that has yet to take place? A hint - those sentences will all start with "I think..."

128 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 9:18 pm

Hats off, that was some double play.

129 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:19 pm

Unbelievable.

Well, now we won't have to see him in the outfield anymore.

130 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:19 pm

omg w- who would think i would shudder at a marucs thames injury.

131 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 9:20 pm

Ruh roh.

132 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 9:20 pm

Who's left on the bench?

133 OldYanksFan   ~  May 19, 2010 9:20 pm

Pena to the OF?

134 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 9:20 pm

Cashman, someone has to go on the DL, and bring up/in an OF.

135 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:21 pm

What happened? I'm not watching, just arguing in preparation for a thorough nap.

136 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 9:21 pm

Only Posada and Swisher left on the bench. Gotta be Pena to the OF.

137 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:22 pm

Ok, this is now officially Spinal Tap territory.

138 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 9:22 pm

[135] Thames stepped on his own bat running to first. You see something new everyday.

139 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 9:22 pm

[135] Thames threw his bat, it landed on the basepath, and he stepped on it. Not sure if he sprained his ankle or what, but it was stepping on his own bat that did it.

140 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:23 pm

[135] Thames stepped on his own bat running to first.

141 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 9:23 pm

What are the odds Boone Logan survives this cut too?

142 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:23 pm

[134] and get rid of the 13 man pen at this point.

143 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:24 pm

Holy good gravy. [138], I think you're right. In all my years of watching baseball, I've never seen that.

Shoot, throw in all the softball games I've played in, and that's never happened.

144 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:24 pm

Remember Spinal Tap, with all the drummers?
Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

145 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:25 pm

[127] Uhm, yes, predictions are opinions that require presupposing. If you prefer to only have positive opinions, that's great. Looking on the bright side is always nice, but eventually you have to deal with reality. Also, while I appreciate your interest, I can do without the hints.

146 OldYanksFan   ~  May 19, 2010 9:25 pm

Wow.... he throws his bath right into his basepath, steps on it, and injures himself. That is some kind of graceful.

147 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:26 pm

Do you have to have nine guys out there?
Can you play with eight, if you so choose?

148 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:26 pm

randy win''s batting stance drives me insane.

149 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:27 pm

Please, fucking Derek, pleeeeeeeassssse!
You swung the bat well last time, remember?

150 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 9:27 pm

Big hit Derek

151 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:27 pm

[148] :)

152 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:27 pm

[148] I never thought of him as a pull hitter, but his stance almost seems to preclude going the other way.

153 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:29 pm

No green light.
Take two pitches.

154 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 9:29 pm

Ugh

155 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 9:29 pm

Crap.

156 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:30 pm

Would like to have actually seen the pitch. I hope he don't go out of the strike zone again.

157 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:30 pm

YES didn't show us where that pitch was.
I'd love to know.

158 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:30 pm

[145] First of all, your statement covered "opinions," not "predictions."

But beyond that predictions do *not* require presuppositions, only suppositions.

And I have a distaste for presupposition upon presupposition leading to statement, which ends up in such an assumption pile up that you can't even see the shore you charted your course from at the beginning.

159 OldYanksFan   ~  May 19, 2010 9:31 pm

I wonder if Jeter ends up with a .750 OPS, if folk here would still give him 3/$70m contract.

160 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:31 pm

[156] He really should have tried to work a walk, drive in a run and turn it over to Brett.

161 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 9:32 pm

Maybe Joe can explain why we need 13 pitchers and no bench.

162 OldYanksFan   ~  May 19, 2010 9:32 pm

Sprained left ankle.

163 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:33 pm

Meanwhile, AJ's actually done what I said he never does: he's settled down and remains out there in the seventh.

164 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:33 pm

Alright, I'm done, and off to nap, based on a mild *prediction* that they don't come back to win this game. And that's not even a prediction, so much as what I'm guessing, half because I think it's more likely than not, and half because I like to work a mix of optimism and pessimism.

165 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 9:37 pm

DL both Posada (now the bottom of his foot is swelling) and Thames. Can't go into a NL park with zero bench.

A Posada who can't play is worse than Chad Moeller.

Just checked. None of the 3 listed catchers at SWB are on the 40 man roster. Which means someone has to be DFA'ed (I assume the 40 man is full).

166 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:37 pm

[158] Ah, you are playing semantics then? I am more interested in baseball than word games. Besides, what exactly are you claiming that I presupposed?

167 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:38 pm

6 stolen bases is ridiculous - and no one can blame po (or for that matter aj'sfirst few innings can't be blamed on po either)

jesus fuck mk - only blowhards like you call him big game james.

168 patrick b   ~  May 19, 2010 9:39 pm

[163] Yeah, AJ has sucked it up as best as he could (while sucking). Tex walks, Jete walks or gets a hit he could have gotten a win. But no matter what he is eaten up some innings. Some teams win when their starters suck, Detroit, Minn, Boston, et al why not us!

169 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:39 pm

[166] I'm not playing at anything, and I'm not interested anymore. Good night.

170 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:40 pm

Nice job, AJ.

171 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 9:40 pm

You know what this game needed? A fucking Boone Logan sighting.

172 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 9:40 pm

Boone Logan?

173 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:40 pm

[164] Now I can see how you maintain such a sunny outlook. When things look bleak, you take a nap :) I guess I presupposed you'd be watching when things looked bleak.

174 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:40 pm

[167] Hehehhehehehheh.

175 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:41 pm

For those interested, the pitch Jeter swung at was a 90mph fastball right down the middle.

176 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:41 pm

[168] I'm really pissed at Teix for that weak-ass tap out 4-3.
And I wish Derek had tried to work a walk.

177 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:42 pm

[175] Sigh.

178 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:42 pm

Boone "Let the Games Begin" Logan.

179 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:42 pm

[169] Nor am I...again, thanks for your interest in my comments, which seems to be greater than your interest in the games. Enjoy the nap.

180 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:43 pm

[171] [172] honestly, there is just no way someone named boone logan can be an effective ml pitcher.

gabe kapler is still fucking playing?

181 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 19, 2010 9:43 pm

Boone Logan??

182 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:43 pm

[173] If you had just finished a law school semester, you would scrupulously avoid any activity over the next weeks that has even the remotest possibility of ending in disappointment. There will be no more harshing of my buzz in this kingdom. All things with the potential to do so must be and will be kept at arms length. I may order a pizza. I'm fairly certain how that one ends up.

183 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:44 pm

[180] Gabe Kapler...from Minnesota?

184 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:44 pm

[159] Jeter still gets a big contract regardless, which is why I think they should have just done it already.

185 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:45 pm

[182] :)

186 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:45 pm

[182] Oh...so you are playing lawyer then. I feel much better now. Enjoy the nap and the pizza.

187 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:46 pm

[183] he's bounced around a bit but was on the red sox from 2003-2006

188 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:46 pm

[185] And the outcome on that one = still fat.

Thanks, law school.

189 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:48 pm

Gardner is definitely a different hitter this year.

190 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:48 pm

[187] Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember now.

191 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:49 pm

Teix, this is UNfuckingACCEPTABLE.

192 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:49 pm

ugh - hitting into the shift.

193 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:49 pm

This is a spot where Tex has to try to lay down a bunt.

194 ms october   ~  May 19, 2010 9:50 pm

that really was a horrid trade for the twins.

195 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:51 pm

[192] Not even "hitting," more like "dribbling."

196 jjmerlock   ~  May 19, 2010 9:53 pm

[186] I don't argue just for the hell of it. I just choose to argue at certain intervals, because I've made the decision to not overlook something I find disagreeable. I told you last year you didn't know how things were going to turn out and you didn't. Every imperfect thing that happens doesn't have a better decision that could have been made at the bottom of it. Blowing woe and doom all over is tiresome and safe, considering how tough it turns out to be to win a World Series. I'll give you that the Yankees' payroll makes that marginally less safe, but this is the best damn franchise in all of sports, and if you bet on them every year to win it all at 1 to 1 odds, you would be broke.

197 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 9:55 pm

Have I ever mentioned that I don't like having two lefties in the pen?

198 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 19, 2010 9:57 pm

[197] No, can you explani why?

199 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 9:57 pm

Melky's now a LIDR in Atlanta. He's batting below the Mendoza line. They say his motto is "Make LOB not WAR."

But I kinda miss his arm.

200 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 9:57 pm

[197] You don't say, Mattpat. You don't say.

Show/Hide Comments 201-266
201 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 9:57 pm

The fans aren't angry ... they're justing saying BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOne.

202 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 9:58 pm

[198] Quirky habit of mine

203 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 9:58 pm

[196] What happened to that nap?

204 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:00 pm

Did Kay just say what do you need more runs for? Has he watched the last three games?

205 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:01 pm

[199] Poor Melkius.

206 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:01 pm

This is one of those dilema innings in which Logan pitching well could do more long-term harm than good.

207 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:02 pm

My eyeball hurts.

208 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 10:02 pm

Mythbusters was fun.

209 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:02 pm

I wonder if Atlanta would send Melky back at a cheap price, and if so, if it would be worth having him?

210 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:03 pm

Bard pitching to Mauer.

211 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:03 pm

Ground out...now facing Morneau.

212 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:04 pm

[206] Nothing is going to get Boone Logan off this team. We have a one man bench for the sake of keeping Boone Logan on this team. Might as well hope he does well, because damnit, we need to lefties in the pen!

213 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:05 pm

Walked Morneau...now Cuddyer.

214 JeremyM   ~  May 19, 2010 10:06 pm

[212] I still can not wrap my head around this team having a one-man bench. It blows my mind, and it cost them a game last night since Thames needs a caddy out there. Why they need a 13-man pitching staff I'll never know.

215 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:07 pm

Some outfield in there now...Winn, Gardner and Pena.

216 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:08 pm

[214] You're not paying attention. Its vitally important that we have two lefties in the bullpen.

217 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:08 pm

Hit for Cuddyer...now Thome.

218 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 10:08 pm

[214] Totally agree.

And they gotta use the DL. This is just ridiculous.

219 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:09 pm

[214] It also cost them at least one game, maybe two in Detroit. The roster management has been head scratching to say the least.

220 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:11 pm

Thome grounds out...Boston wins.

221 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:11 pm

Holy fuck, did you see that??

Damn, Brett!

222 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 10:11 pm

Don't get hurt, Brett!

223 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:11 pm

Great play by Gardner...even better play by Zobrist.

The Rays know how to play this game.

224 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:11 pm

You know, I'm not sure Mark Melancon is any good either.

225 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 10:12 pm

Holy crap. Nice, but please don't kill yourself, Gardy. We're kinda short of OFers here.

226 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:13 pm

The Rays are really rubbing the Yankees face in this game.

227 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:14 pm

God, it's still only the eighth?

228 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 10:15 pm

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOne!

229 The Hawk   ~  May 19, 2010 10:16 pm

I was pressed into service to watch a movie tonight and thus missed this game. I ended up fast forwarding most of it and it was still a million times more depressing than last night's game. Just seeing Thames in right field brought a tear to my eye. And now he's gone!!

230 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 10:16 pm

[228] We weren't Booooooooing, we were saying Boo-urns.

231 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:18 pm

[229] Last night's game left me feeling angry; this one has me feeling helpless.

232 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 19, 2010 10:19 pm

[230] The Yankee bullpen is looking a bit like Lyle Langley now, isn't it..on the monorail to nowhere..

233 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:19 pm

[231] Very well put.

234 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 10:21 pm

[232] Not to mention. . . Worst. Bench. Ever.

(when you have no bench, it is the worst ever.)

235 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:21 pm

[233] Is there any reason to think things are going to get better any time soon?

236 The Hawk   ~  May 19, 2010 10:21 pm

Extra credit tonight to Melancon as the guy many were clamoring to be called up and just joining in the fun immediately. Thanks, NYT!

237 rbj   ~  May 19, 2010 10:21 pm

Ah, good night all.

238 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:23 pm

The Yankees are actually better off playing in NL parks now because their bench is like an NL team's pitcher. It actually lengthens the lineup.

239 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:23 pm

[235] Andy and Phil have a huge load to carry, that's for sure. If either of them should go into a funk...

240 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:24 pm

[237] Night.

241 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:26 pm

[235] No...which I realize upsets the more optimistic, but is simply coming to grips with the reality of the situation. This team is without four starting offensive players and their main set-up guy. They also have a SS who is struggling mightily and a bullpen in shambles. At this point, Javier Vazquez doesn't even register as a problem.

242 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:26 pm

[238] I dread the overmanaging that's going to occur in the NL ballparks.

243 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:29 pm

[241] Oh, man, remember the good old days when he was our only real problem?

244 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:30 pm

Wouldn't it be nice if Jeter got a big hit this inning?

245 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:32 pm

[244] I love Jeter too much to dwell on him anymore. Looking inside the numbers is really too scary. It's much easier to just hope he turns it around.

246 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:33 pm

[245] Thats what I mean. I just want it to turn around.

247 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:35 pm

another 1-5.

248 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:37 pm

Maybe the Rays will be really tired for tomorrow.

249 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:42 pm

Another hit for Robbie.

250 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:46 pm

You just can't...

251 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:47 pm

Save situation, suddenly.

252 cult of basebaal   ~  May 19, 2010 10:48 pm

This seems a cruel thing to do to us ...

253 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:49 pm

I've started randomly giggling. Is that bad?

254 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:50 pm

[252] [253] Hehehheh ehheh.

255 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:50 pm

Imagine we didn't throw the human white flag that is Boone Logan out there?

256 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 19, 2010 10:53 pm

"With a good night yawn, the heartache is gone, yes indeed"

We'll get 'em tomorrow, Andy will stop this nonsense.

257 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 10:53 pm

Well that was nice.

258 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 19, 2010 10:53 pm

As you were.

259 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 10:54 pm

Very fitting that Miranda would end the rally. It defines the state of the Yankees.

260 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 11:09 pm

Posada has a broken foot...the Yankees are in HUGE trouble.

261 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 11:10 pm

Posada has a hairline fracture. He's going on the DL. They're calling up a catcher. Montero?

262 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 11:19 pm

Gawd. It's probably gonna be Chad Moeller, isn't it?

263 williamnyy23   ~  May 19, 2010 11:24 pm

The injuries are unfortunate, but you can't realyl say you're shocked when guys like Posada and Nick Johnson get injured. Cashman (or whoever set his budget) has to take a hit for holding the line with Johnny Damon because his presence on this team would be a huge help.

264 Mattpat11   ~  May 19, 2010 11:34 pm

[262] What was the name of the awful catcher we called up a few years ago that got crossed up constantly?

265 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 11:35 pm

[264] Chris Stewart?

266 randym77   ~  May 19, 2010 11:39 pm

Wonder what the roster move will be. Johnson or Granderson to the 60-day DL?

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver