Saturday, September 13, 2008

Give Me One Reason...

Why Percival is still the Rays Closer:

Percival has been nothing short of a determent, at best, since the all-popularity break. Percy has been on and back off of the DL twice since the break, and is now "day-to-day" for the remainder of the season.
Since returning from his latest trip to the DL he has been underwhelming to say the least: 2.1 innings, 5 hits, 5 walks, 7 runs! And trust me on this; if Jason Hammel has to come into the game to relieve you during the 14th inning (Sept. 10 v. Boston) then its time to take a seat and watch for a while (well done Mr. Hammel, by the way). Those numbers are indicative a young, inexperienced middle reliever not the man known as having the 9th most saves in league history.

If the Rays truly believe that they can make a run at the Series then its in the team's best interest to sit Percy down for the remainder of the season and let him get back to some semblance of his early-season form. Until then Grant Balfour or Dan Wheeler can hold down the fort nicely, I'm sure. In fact, I'm fairly certain that Balfour (what an unfortunate surname for a pitcher) will be Tampa's closer next season.

Rays fans shouldn't be routing their hearts out for Toronto:

Toronto began a 4-game set with Boston last night (Friday). Although the 'Sawx' dismantled them 7-0 in game one of the series the Jays are as hot as any team in baseball right now, going 24-11 since early August and holding opposing batters to an OBP of only .300. If they can find a way to win at least 2 of the next 3 against the Sox then the Rays will be one giant step closer to putting it into cruise control as they waltz into the post-season for the first time ever, and as AL East division champs to boot! Gives me goose-pimples just thinking about it.

Why Joe Maddon isn't Manager of The Year:

Admittedly I'm not the biggest supporter of Joe 'Jimmy Buffet' Maddon, but despite all of his misuse of pitchers (see Trevor Miller) and lack of utilizing the bunt/sacrifice he has propelled a perenial loser into the stratosphere, a team whose season is usually all-but-over by mid-June, and turned them into real, legitimate contenders.
Albeit he has a ton of talent, the likes of which Tampa has never seen, but someone's gotta keep them boys in line, and I believe Joe has been great at making sure that no one is "above the law" (i.e. BJ Upton) and keeping the wheels from falling off (especially during that pre-all-star-break-meltdown). Joe has worked around an incredible rash of injuries down the stretch and has all of his bench players over-achieving (ie Ruggiano, Riggans). In my opinion Maddon's a shoe-in for the award. Period.

sidenote: Cliff Floyd should get honorable mention as co-manager or player/coach. Some GM somewhere should be paying attention to how well he handles the young guys, and should convince him to manage their club as soon as he hangs up the cleats (prob. after this season).

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