Rays Ride Shields to Victory

 

 

Rays 9, Royals 2

 

 

Sundays I always have worn a nostalgic or retro uniform to the games. In the past it has been a Japanese series Dany Baez jersey, or an old Jared Sandberg 2003 jersey. Yesterday, I decided to wear a post 9/11 Jose Guillen jersey to the game.

Little did I know what kind of garbage that would start. I was called a bandwagon fan by a guy I have never seen at a Rays game before, and was laughed at by a few people for not supporting my Rays 24/7.  Now, if you know me, I have been around even before we had a team in Tampa Bay. I had one of the original Season Ticket receipts in my collection from when they asked for only $ 20.00 to reserve a Season Ticket.

I have worked for the Rays as a vendor, been selected to their Fan Wall of Fame, and have been a Season ticket holder since 1998. Guess that would be a “Fair Weather”, or “Bandwagon” fan to a franchise like the Red Sox or the Yankees becuase they have been around for over 100 years, but to call me a badwagon, or even a opportunist is just wrong.

By the way, I wore the Guillen shirt for two reasons. First he is a baseball buddy of mine, so I wanted to show support for him in that way, but it was a Rays jersey, not a Royals jersey. Second, this weekend has been about supporting the troops and patriotic gestures by all of us to show our spirit. My show of spirit was to wear a flag adorned post 9-11 2001 Game Issued jersey. 

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Carl Crawford still needs that 1 base to hit 300 for his career. Crawford did go 2-3 with 2 run scored  and has raised his average to .288 for the year. Carl also got an RBI on a Sacrifice Fly to left in the 6th inning to score Akinora Iwamura.

 

                                     

 

Crawford leads the club with 61 runs scored, and is currently 2nd in the Al, he is also  on pace to defend hsi stolen base crown. Crawford currently has  22 stolen bases and is 6th in the AL.

 

               

 

Akinora Iwamura went 2-4 with 2 runs scored today, and hit a monster triple to deep right center in the 6th inning. It was Iwamura’s  3rd triple of the season for the Rays.

Aki has hit safely in 45 of his last 54 games, going .313  during that span. Iwamura has not hit into a double play this season in 343 at-bats, and is currently the hardest batter to get to hit into a double play. Aki was also the hardest to double up last season only hitting into 2 during 491 at bats for the Rays last year.

 

                     

 

Gabe Gross hit a solo homer in the 6th inning to rightfield. It was Gross’s 7th homer of the season. Gross, who has seen most of his duty this season as a late inning defensive replacement, got the start for the Rays on Sunday.

 

                 

 

Evan Longoria kept up his assault on the Rookie homer ecord before the break with a 2-run homer to left in the 3rd inning. Evan hit a long drive into section 143 that scored Carlos Pena. It was Longoria’s 16th homer of the year,and currently tied with KC’s Bob Hamelin, set in 1994. Tim Salmon of the Angels holds the all-time record with 17 before the All-Star break.

Evan has been hitting .418 in his last 13 games, and is currently leading all rookies iwth 17 homers, and is tied for 1st in extra-base hits with 39. His club leading 52 RBI’s is second among MLB rookies.

Evan is also invloved in the last chance voting for the last spot on the 2008 All-Star squad. Evan needs our voted becuase of a New York presence on the ballot. Jason Giambi is also being considered for the last slot, and the NY fans will do all they can to stuff the ballot box to get another guy in the last game at Yankee Stadium.

Log onto www.mlb.com today to cast as many votes as you can for Longoria. Voting ends soon, so a vote today will be another vote to get this amazing rookie to NY.

 

                              

 

James Shields got his 7th vicotry of the year last night in a 9-2 victory over the Royals. Shields pitched 7 innings of 4-hit, 2-run ball before leaving the game as the pitcher of record.  Shields got 8 strikeouts on the day, and retired the first the first 5 batters he faced in the game.

 

For the second time in Rays history, they have 2 represenatives for the All-Star game . The last time the Rays had two reps was in 1999, when Jose Canseco and Roberto Hernandez were voted to the All-Star game.

Evan Longoria is also one of five finalist for the last slot on the All Star roster. Voting will end at 5 PM oh Thursday, July 10, 2008.

Fans can text the word , “Vote” to 36197. Monster will then send you an offical text ballot to select your winner. Evan’s number is “A4″.

 

The Rays are currently 6-0 on this homestand, and are going for only the 2nd undefeated homestand in franchise history.  The only other undeafeated homestand was a 3-game series against Detroit to start the 2002 season.

 

                                      

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