Rays win series vs. Ranger minus Percival

Rays 5, Rangers 3

I was told the other day that some national celebrity radio hosts are beginning to jump on the Rays’ bandwagon. I will glad extend a hand to all of them but one. Jim Rhome can bit my ***. I met the guy back in 1984 at the NFL Combine. I was not impressed then, and I am not impressed now with his banter or opinions.

I will not take sage advice from a guy who is the ulitimate sports opinion, after playing college tennis for awhile. I know most sports writers never played the game to a certain extent, but I do not respect or want his opinion to be associated with a great team like ours.

Jim, Go and approve of your Cali teams, and of your UCLA/USC local yokels. We are better in Tampa Bay without your endorsement or advice. We played 10 years before you thought we were worth more than a footnote to defeat and doom. We will be on the top, and by the way, that’s not warm rain, I just had to go dude!

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

After being sold to the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth outhomered the entire Boston Red Sox tean for 10 of the next 12 seasons.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly Posters

                                The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly

                                   

                                               The Good

Rays starter Matt Garza (4-1) probably had his best stuff today for his game against the Texas Rangers. Garza pitched 8 innings of 8-hit, 4-run ball today in front of a sparse Tampa Bay crowd. Matt added 10 strikeouts today, which made the pizza-lovers’ in the crowd very excited.

In May, Garza is 3-1, with a 3.59 ERA in 5 starts. Matt was 1 strikeout short of his personal record of 11, set at Cleveland on 7/29/2007.

Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:

***  Rays shortstop Ben Zorbirst and  back-up catcher Shawn Riggans saw duty today in this afternoon game. they went a combined 2-6 and scored 2 runs for the Rays. This season, both have had limited time on the field for the Rays, but both have performed fantastic wehen called upon by the team.

                             

Riggans made  a great slide in the bottom of the 5th to score on Rangers catcher Saltalamacchia. Zorbrist was also a force in that innning, scoring on a Intentional Walk to Carlos Pena with the bases loaded.

 

                                

** Akinora Iwamura went 2-5 today, with and RBI and 2 runs scored for the team. Aki is still the only AL second baseman to not make an error, and only trails the Rangers Ian Kinsler for the lead in double plays.

Iwamura also has not grounded into a double play in 210 at-bats this season. Lat year, he was the hardest player in the AL to get to hit into a double play.

     

*  B J Upton is quietly becoming one of the best centerfielder in the MLB. He is consistantly up in average (.306), outfield assists (4, tied for 3rd in AL), and steals (13, ranked 5th in AL).

Today he quietly helped the Rays to their series victory over the Rangers by going 1-2, with a run and a RBI. Also he walked twice today to put himself into position for the Rays. B J  now leads the team with 32 RBI’s.

                                

                                              The Bad

Troy Percival has been a constant performer for the Rays in the back end of the game for the entire season. Last week in Oakland, while closing a game, Percival felt a twing in his left hamstring but finished the game.

In today’s contest, Troy pitched to the first two Rangers before finally feeling the hamstring tighten again and left with two outs in the top of the 9th inning. Percival will be sent for an MRI and the rsults will be discussed with the training staff tomorrow. 

                                       

In the meantime, Dan Wheeler and Al Reyes will pick up the slack in Troy’s absence for the Rays. Percival might miss a few days to rehab the injury, or the Rays could put him on the DL and shut him down for a few weeks.

                               

                                             The Ugly

I can’t rant and rave enough about this next subject. I know it was an oafternoon affair, and people do have to work. I admit, I could not be there only because my store that day was 65 miles away and I got done at 1 P.M.

But my seat is pre-paid for the season, so even if I am not there, it counts as a ticket sold. With that in mind, I hope the “Golden Rays” and the other 10,927 fans enjoyed the Rays victory.

I hate that we are tied for the best record in the AL, actually the majors, and we still gave attendance issues. I have heard all the excuses on the radio after the game. Mileage, gas costs, distance and time of the game are the latest things to be brought up.

 This is not an issue if you want to be here. I am not made of money, but I get to almost 75-plus games a year. I made a committment by buying my tickets to be here as much as I can.

I do not condone or want people to go poor or hungry just to support the team. But, if you get here once a week, or take in a weekend series, you are showing more support than most people in the Tampa Bay area.

If you heart is in the team, you will get here when you can be here. I am not asking people again to starve,steal or beg to get here. Come when you can and the attendance and the support will grow slowly and surely.

I rant and rave becuase I enjoy my time here every day/night. I could stay home and watch on the TV or Internet, but nothing compares to the spirit and the sounds of being here.

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If the playoffs started today, we would be paired up with the Chicago White Sox for our first series. Let’s make this weekend,plus one series a best of 4 and see what each of our teams are made of here.

Both teams have the best records in their divisions, and one will have a few losses after this weekend. Hopefully the Southside Chi-town boys are on that end of the stick.

So, come on out to the Trop. and lest’s see if we can make it feel like a playoff game with noise, crowds, and an awesome after game concert Sat. night.

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