Don’t miss “New Guidos on the Block” singing the National Anthem and collectively throwing out the first pitch before tonight’s Yankees game. It’s “Guido” night at Yankee Stadium tonight…well, as it is every night I suppose…anyway, the first 10,000 fans will receive a free 20 oz. bottle of Ed Hardy Self-Tanner!
Rafael Soriano is an ANIMAL! Mariano who? Bottom of the 9th in Anaheim last night…9 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 outs! Go sit down…those poor bastards never had a chance!
Update: This is only the third time that this has ever been done for a Save! LaTroy Hawkins in 2004 and Mel Rojas in 1994.
The Rays roll in to Anaheim tonight to play game one of a three game series against the Angels before they come home to SMOKE (ha) the Red Sox. Should be interesting with tonight’s pitching match-up, James Shields vs. (Ex-Ray) Scott Kazmir. Both pitchers have had their issues this year. James Shields is 11-11 with a 4.82 ERA and Scott Kazmir is 8-10 with a 6.40 ERA! Check out this article that discusses rumors that Scott Kazmir was traded because of fears that he would negatively influence David Price. The article states, “According to our sources, it was accepted among those close to the Rays that prior to the 2009 season, Kazmir liked to partake in illegal recreational activities with his good friend Edwin Jackson”. Since they won’t just come out and say it, I will. The rumor is that Scott Kazmir is a big pothead and was smoking pot before his starts when he was with the Rays. This is not new news by the way, the rumors about Kazmir being a pot smoker have been circling for a while. This is supposedly the reason the Mets got rid of him. I personally think it is silly that marijuana is illegal, but that’s just my opinion and if the Rays felt that it was necessary to get rid of him based on that reason alone…well, that’s their decision. Seems to me that the Rays have a mad some pretty good decisions over that last few years! Trading Scott Kazmir to the Angels has definitely been one of the best decisions that they have made!
My personal opinion on this is that Scott Kazmir has been extremely overrated (and overpaid) since day one and whether he is a pothead or not doesn’t really matter. If anything, I think it would have helped him chill out before a game since he couldn’t seem to get through the first inning without giving up 3 or 4 runs! The Rays gave him plenty of opportunities to get his stuff together and he just couldn’t do it. Joe Maddon seemed to stick by his side longer than any other manager would have. I think this is one reason that makes Joe Maddon such a great Manager, it creates “buy-in”…for most players at least. Scott Kazmir was just a hopeless case. Scott Kazmir was playing for Scott Kazmir, he is not a team guy. The Rays organization is a “team-first” organization and guys like Scott Kazmir don’t belong here. I think the Rays finally realized that and that is what they were afraid of. David Price is 100-times the pitcher, and all-around professional athlete for that matter, than Scott Kazmir will ever be. Scott Kazmir always seemed like a bratty little kid to me. I’m glad he is gone and David Price is 15-5 with a 2.97 ERA, and in the running for a Cy-Young Award!
Buy tickets here for the Red Sox series next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday @ The Trop before they are gone! Friday night, the first 10,000 fans get this Matt Garza collectible t-shirt!
As I had hoped, the Rays managed to find a way to split the series with the Athletics in Oakland, which also gives the Rays the season-series win. Coming in to Sunday’s game the Rays were tied for the season-series with the A’s, a team that has given the Rays a lot of trouble in Oakland over the years. So, it seemed very appropriate, for some kind of possible redemption value at least, that they would be facing Dallas Braden. Dallas Braden, of course, is the Athletics starter that hurled the perfect game against the Rays back on May 9th of this year.
So when, in the top of the third inning, the leadoff batter Sean Rodriguez hit a bullet past a diving Oakland third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff in to left field, I think Rays fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief! Then then very next batter Kelly Shoppach doubled in Sean Rodriguez to put the Rays on the board first…1-0 Rays. Things were kind of uneventful until the bottom of the fifth when after one out Garza gave up a single and a walk and then Sean Rodriguez’s error on a potential double play ball found the Rays facing a bases loaded with one out situation. On an 0-2 count on Coco Crisp, umpire James Hoye called a Balk on Garza, which brought the tying run across the plate! Nobody (except for James Hoye) is sure exactly what happened. Something about Garza moved after he was set or his shoulder twitched or something like that. I don’t know. Garza said he was shrugging off a pitch. Either way, all season long the umpires have made it very clear that they are going to do whatever they can to make it difficult for the Rays to enter the postseason or the World Series for that matter. Bud Selig and the umpires have their heads so far up the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Phillies asses its pathetic. Tampa Bay just isn’t a big enough market yet. Think about all the viewership and the merchandise that would be sold if the World Series every year was the Yankees vs. Dodgers, or the Red Sox vs. Phillies. No problem, they can continue their campaign against the Rays, but the Rays will continue to fight back day after day night after night. All you bandwagon Guido Yankees fans can continue to remind me of the Yankees 27 championships (or RINGS, as you Jersey Shore knuckleheads like to refer to them as). I will laugh to myself because I know you don’t know the first thing about baseball, you just like the gear because you think it’s a fashion statement and you come to the Trop to get drunk and start a fight.
Wow…kind of went off on a little tangent there. Anyway, back to the game, after a few words with umpire James Hoye, Garza returned to the mound and collected himself. Coco Crisp hit a rocket on the very next pitch towards first base, but because the Rays have Carlos Pena playing first base and not someone like…ohh I don’t know…Lance Berkman or Mark Teixeira, an exceptional defensive play was made and the out was recorded. Then, after falling behind the next batter, Daric Barton, Garza managed to come back and strike him out to end the inning. The next inning , Evan Longoria doubled in two runs, putting the Rays up 3-1. Fast forward all the way to 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. I’ll make this short and sweet…the home-plate umpire dropped the ball again (not literally…well, kind of), allowing the Athletics to score making it 3-2. But, because the Rays are resilient, Soriano struck out Chad Pennington for the final out of the game. The Rays 76th win of the season and Soriano’s 37th save, which leads the American League.
The Rays are now 76-48 on the season, which is one full game behind the Yankees for the lead of the American League East Division, and leads the Red Sox by 5 1/2 for the Wild Card spot. The Rays roll in to Anaheim tonight to face the Angels with 38 games left to play on the season. The Rays will face the Angels in a three game series, and then they head home to fight it out with the Red Sox and then the Blue Jays. The Angels have been struggling lately, so hopefully the Rays can continue their forward momentum and pick up some ground on the Yankees. Go Rays!