Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lead-Offs & Walk-offs

In an amazing act of humility Joe Maddon finally stood-down from his stubborn and illogical insistence that BJ Upton lead-off for his defending American League Champion Rays, and for the first time (since Upton returned from injury early in the season) he finally broke-down and put Jason Bartlett in his rightful place in the lineup; leading-off.

Bartlett responded immediately with patience at the plate and consistent at-bats.

Upton responded by saying he was "a little upset". Now you know how the average fan feels when, as the lead-off hitter, you swing first pitch or strike-out on 3 or 4 pitches on a consistent basis. Upton sounds more and more like CC everyday; you don't get to decide where you hit in the lineup, you aren't entitled to anything- you fill your roll, collect your inflated paycheck, and hopefully have some fun along the way, and maybe, maybe if you're lucky you can EARN your way back up to the top of the lineup.

Evan Longoria is a stud. Dirtbag once again proved his worth, not once but twice, coming through in the clutch v. arch-rival Boston.
Longo hit a solo homer in the 8th to tie the game, and eventually push it to extra innings, but that's not the even the good part:
The good part came with one on and two out in the bottom of the 13th when Dirtbag tee-d off on a 1-0 pitch from Boston's Takashi Saito and sent it deep into left-field for a walk-off homer, his 23rd of the season, and quite possibly his most important.
This may seem overly-dramatic, but this may've been the biggest hit of the year for the Rays. Time will tell.

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