Rays vs. Rangers Game Thread. Have at it, y’all.
Damon with the 2-run homer.
BTW, has there been any confirmation on the Francona firing story? I'm a little shocked at that, despite the historic collapse.
 they just released statements. he's gone.
 They're going to take the weekend to think it over. Apparently it wasn't a happy clubhouse.
Clubhouse issues makes sense. I can't think of another reason (though their injuries also contributed) why they would get that bad that fast.
 Oh wow!
Terry to the Cubs?
I hope not, for the Cubs' sake.
Holy cow. Who said the Rays had weak offense?
ooh, i'm sooo super psyched about the yanks in the playoffs that i forgot there's a game on now!
6-0 TB already? holy wow. maybe we shouldn't have let them in! ; )
yeah, tito's gone. it's official.
Nice start for Matt Moore.
this is NOT the yanks game thread. i repeat, NOT the yanks game thread. but this IS the yanks lineup for tonight!:
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
 Yeah, it's looking a little scary.
 It's *a* game threat, but not *the* game thread.
I'm starting to get a little nervous about the Rays.
They're peaking at the right time, that's for sure.
Lots of talk about the clubhouse culture in the statements from Epstein and Tito. I wonder what changed.
jorge hamilton, haha!
wow, mike napoli is ugly enough to be on the shit sox.
and to think, he used to catch lackey!
 The Globe has been saying Francona has enabled a culture of complacency in the clubhouse, and he's also been criticized for allowing Lackey's tantrums.
Maybe it's just time. There was an analysis that came out awhile back. It found that managers are most effective their first three years. After that, it's downhill. They are either unable to see the problems, or unable to fix them if they do see them. (Since if they could fix them, they'd have done it earlier.)
So even though Boston "doesn't have scapegoats" according to Theo, really this is Tito's fault. Or would you ([17)] say that anyone 8-years in would not be able to prevent these problems?
There's plenty of blame go around in Boston. The players, the GM, the medical staff, they're all being blamed.
i hope johnny sticks around a coupla few more years and racks up some serious #'s. good ol' noodle arm!
ooh, i thought that was a strike. so did the tbs box.
apparently, no one else did...
Wow, the Rays. Damn.
But I'm going to mute it.
Kelly Shoppach, are you kidding me???
holy crap. former shit sox great kelly shoppach with his 2nd bomb of the day.
Jeez. Shoppach is en fuego.
 Yeah, the fan base is mainly livid at the players, I'd say. Majority agrees with aO, "You just told us you didn't believe in scapegoats you lying pile." My impression, anyway.
 are you not fond of buck martinez's smokers cough?
 Compare his September to Saltalamalacamalmacchia's.
 It's the crap between the coughs that gets me.
Shoppach is OPSing 4.000 in the postseason.
 you left out an "m"
 And Tito seemed to want out too. Seemed like he knew he had lost control and didn't want to be held responsible for the nonsense any more.
shit. are we gonna have caray for our game? wait, no. i think i read something somewhere...it's not him. smoltz, darling, but no caray. i sure hope that's the case!
she is absolutely *amazing*!!!
wow : o
 It is. We are very fortunate.
 See, I knew it, but I couldn't remember where it goes.
Tito was fucked. He was the best thing about that team. They ended up with a very unreliable starting rotation, injuries, big contracts dismal production from Crawford and Lackey, and isn't that Theo's fault...whining babies.
Big Papi was not the patriarch he made himself out to be. He was more inclusive for the Home Run Derby then for his own teammates. That RBI tantrum was an indication.
Will Francona get the White Sox job?
 The press release said it would be Brian Anderson, John Smoltz, Ron Darling and Tom Verducci for the Yankees-Tiggers series.
 That sure looks like a good team. I'm not sure about Verducci in the booth -- don't think I've ever heard him.
 was supposed to refer to , not to .
Matt Moore fucked us up in his other MLB start, right?
 Verducci will be the field reporter. TBS's Kim Jones. ;-)
 Apparently one issue is the players weren't in all that great shape. Son, you're a major leaguer, and an adult, it's up to you to do your workouts.
That's a tough comparison. How about, their Ken Rosenthal?
 Exactly. Funny that fitness wasn't a problem in 2004, when Millar was swigging Jack in the dugout.
What up gang? Woke up from a nap to see the Rays up 8-0 zip. booooooooooooooo
Looks like the SWB Yanks are coming to Rochester after all.
 either tito or sandy alomar, jr. for the pale hose gig.
there are gm openings for the cubbies and halos, if theo leaves. i doubt he will though...
 yes, that's it! i knew i saw that.  yeah, i thought the same thing about verdouchey.
 yup, he sure did. i think he went 5 strong.
RI - scott feldman. he one of us?
 I think it was his only MLB start, and he struck out like 10 Yankees.
 i wish we had Jaime Maggio for our game! ; )
 Hm, not sure. Hard to believe a gentile would have that name!
 like most of 'em, he's prolly half...the wrong half!
 Thanks! And some games in Batavia as well.
I might have to make a pilgrimage out there next summer.
Never been to the Rochester stadium before.
Scott Feldman does indeed wear the hat.
hamilton bunting the runner over, down 8-0 in the 6th? really??? christ.
cool thing with that kid!
wish they showed maggio again... only reason i'm watching this damn game! ; )
 acha! nice work, detective. i was just at that page the other day...
 Frontier field is great. I played a couple of all star games at Dwyer stadium under the lights when I was a kid, too. That was pretty damn cool.
 You're walking a real thin line, thealarmis! (sic) Watch out for it. ; )
With the sound off this game is just too boring.
 He struck out 11.
Jeez. His two previous appearances were out of the pen, and he didn't look nearly that impressive.
 Yeah, that's utterly ridiculous. If I'm the fans or the mgt, I say give me back some of my damn money if you're not going to come prepared.
And yet they looked so good at the All-Star break ... LOL.
 !!! ; )
alright people, i'm a-gonna practice some marimba and grab some grub before the main event. see you all at gametime!!!
LET'S GO YAN-KEES!! !!!
 dammit. i should've written:
eh?! ; )
 Rochester is the main substitute host but fellow International League North members Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Pawtucket and Syracuse also will host games.
Basically it's a season long road trip. I want Toledo to host some of those games.
 Should be interesting to see the schedule when it's published.
Whoa..8-0? I'm starting to worry about the Rays now..over-reaction? Gotta beat Los Tigres first anyways..grumble grumble..need espresso..
No, we're all watching the Rays with trepidation. As was said earlier (by someone else), they're definitely peaking at the right time.
 The alternative was Boston. If it's anything or the Red Sox, chose anything.
"Fear is for fans of other teams."
 very nice!
 i know cult personally. that's just liquid courage talking! ; )
back to prak...
 Ditto. I have benn reveling in the all the articles about their so called clubhouse issues. Good times. T-minus 60 minutes til heart racing time!
Tito Francona's press conference makes it sound like it was his decision to leave. Very interesting. Parthian shot at the players, too, certain unnamed ones anyway.
Hm, wherever he ends up, I think I'll root for him.
 What did he say about the players?
 Forget which article it was but saw something yesterday ripping both Youkilis and Wakefield for being selfish..anything that bashes "Yoouuuuuuk" is fun to read!
Francona to Cubs for sure, $5million a year, easy.
 I'm trying not to revel too much, might hurt us karmically in the playoffs. But some is good.
Boston has to be blown up, Tampa has a bunch of good young arms.
 thanks for your help this week! fish market is open saturday, but limited in where they let tourists go. we walked around for an hour, but when the auction got under way and they started rolling the big tuna out, they wanted us out of there. then across the alley for a sushi shop with a long but fast moving line. a guy who went there 5 years ago said they used to let you do a lot more.
I haven't read this whole thread, but Tito left on his own. Leaving before he was asked to? I don't think so. Nobody in their right mind could blame him for this collapse. However, Tito was a bit like Torre. He trusted the players to police themselves... for the vets to do the work. That didn't seem to work with the current Sox team.
My guess? Lackey and Crawford fucked it up.
Crawford sucked all season, and I expect more consistency from a LFer then a Pitcher, especially one who is divorcing his cancer stricken wife.
And Crawford blew the catch that ended their season.
There is a camera shot of Tito as he watched that play.
Looked like... FUCK THIS... I'M OUTA HERE!
I said before the trade that I'd cry if the Yanks got Crawford because he might get 6/$100... which would be overpaying.
8/$160 was beyond insanity. BEYOND!
A pure desparation move by Theo to try and put the Sox over the top this year. How did that work out?
In 9 full years, Carl is now a 105 OPS+ guy, averaging 3 WAR/yr... almost 1/3 of that on his D, which has now declined for 4 straight years.
I suspect the Sox with eat $40m of so of his contract and try to move him
 I'd like that. Let me say that I would not wish a Mets managing position on him. Bobby Valentine yes; he deserves it. Not Francona.
I also think Junior Barns has one year to fix the mess he help make before he gets shitcanned himself. Sox will not let him out that easy no matter what GM openings are up this or next year.
 He said he was frustrated with, among other things, "the sense of entitlement".
My sense (from filtering through the reaction of the more reliable beat writers) is that Adrian Gonzalez is among the culprits. Terry tried hard to cover for him, but could not stand the complaining about the schedule, about the painful demands leveled on the Sox by ESPN, things like that.
Tampa is really amazing. Second lowest payroll in baseball. Only the Royals spend less. And yet they are competing in the AL East. They have knocked the Yankees or Red Sox out of playoffs three times in four years.
They are ruthless when it comes to trading or cutting lose players when it makes sense. So doubtless some of those young arms will be available to the right buyer. Though maybe not within the division.
I haven't read this whole thread, but Tito left on his own. Leaving before he was asked to? I don't think so.
He left on his own, but not before he was asked to?
 Imagine Bobby V in Boston? Yikes!
 Yes, they closed off a lot of spots due to fishmongers complaining. I can understand their point, lot of clueless tourists being pushy with photographs, stepping everywhere, etc. Glad you ate some fresh sushi though! Let us know next time you come back!
 Thanks. Interesting stuff.
This is a joke, right?
 The story about Youk is that his tendency to call out his team mates and 'hold them accountable' and light a fire under them was an asset in the past, but this year came off all wrong, as if he were complaining about them. Something like that. The fact that he wasn't among the best players on the team this year probably didn't help matters.
 That's another thing that bothers me. $21 million a year comes at a price. In this economy you get no sympathy.
Yankee game thread is up.
TBS has a pretty decent crew with Don Orsillo and (is that) Buck Martinez. I wonder if the Sox were playing, if TBS would still have Orsillo (the Red Sox PbP guy) on the TBS team.
Yes RI ... That's my belief anyway. I don't think his head was on the block. The guy announced he's leaving with 48 hours of the last game. Certainly if he wanted to stay, he would have talked more with Theo. If Theo didn't want him, I'm sure Theo would have let him 'leave on his own accord'. Tito had time if he wanted to stay.
He doesn't like the ethic of Crawford and Lackey, and as someone mentioned above, AGon might be on that list. Those guys are now on the team forever.
I think Tito just had enough and saw no future with these 'new guys' on the team.
Wait, so if he didn't leave before he was asked to, then that means he was asked to leave.
So I literally do not understand what you're saying.
But it's time to move to the other thread!
 Never trust Jazz on fish...or food for that matter. The list of items he won't eat is longer than Flo-Jo's fingernails (still growing, I presume).
Hey Jazz, we got no (Yankee) game today. I'm going to have to splurge for the post season package. For 20 bucks it's woit it.
 BTW, I confirmed with my wife this morning that Tsukuji was closed on Sunday and she'd "Of course, that's common knowledge." (In Japanese)
Old-School Banter Scroll
RHP Adam Warren (2.2, 3.63)
LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-4, 2.71)
8:10 p.m., YES Network
LHP Andy Pettitte (10-11, 3.88)
RHP Paul Clemens (4-6, 5.69)
7:10 p.m., YES Network
LHP Erik Bedard (4-12, 4.81)
2:10 p.m., YES Network
Baseball Think Factory
MLB Trade Rumors
Lo Hud Yankees Blog
This Isn't Happiness
Everyday I Show