Posted on: April 29, 2008 7:15 pm

Rude & Insulting Reaction to Rays Sweep


A growing number  (but not all) of Bostonian sports fans are getting some weird sense of entitlement - that the norm within the universe is that only teams from the Boston area are destined to win, and if they so lose then there is something out of whack with the universe and they seem to give little credit when due to the other prevailing team.  Ok, there are jerks everywhere.  

But when the Boston Globe publishes an article written by one of its own reporters in its sports section that SLAMS the fans of the young sports franchise, the Rays, simply for being happy when it appears that their young little franchise is getting close to a breakout year is just plain f'ck'd up, and may reflect how and why many Bostonians have such rude, arrogant, attitudes toward others.  

The Rays have only completed 10 seasons, and now its fans are being STOMPED on by a Boston Globe sports staff reporter who primarily writes a blog column to monitors Boston team franchises, including the Red Sox that is in excess of 100 years in age, with over $90,000,000 more in its bloated payroll, and who, frankly, didn't win a world series for 86 years?  Plus, he doesn't even bother to get the name of the team's home town correct, always referrning to TAMPA, rather than ST. PETERSBURG. He appears to be more like a ranting insecure aging bully looking to knock down the new neighborhood kid, and is an embarrassment.  Anyway, see this article - I think it is an embarrassment to New England sports journalists (edited for space and emphasis added for those who like to speedread): 

Sweep prognosisPosted by Eric Wilbur, Staff April 28, 2008 12:38 PM


It is in this, their finest moment as a franchise, that we’re reminded once again just how pathetic Tampa Bay has been over the years.

We scoffed at the name change, but it apparently has made all the difference.

The Devil Rays? They were that annual bunch of losers, an also-ran in a division that demanded excellence and plenty of cash to contend. These, my friend, are the brand-new Rays, the matured offspring that has already delivered the greatest month in team history. No Devil Rays team had ever been in first place or three games above .500 this late into the season. These destined Rays, winners of six straight, accomplished the feat with a three-game sweep of the Red Sox over the weekend.

It’s April 28. The fact that this is something to be excited about comes over as kind of lame.

That’s not to say this isn’t a major turn of events as far as this franchise is concerned. The Rays are stocked with burgeoning young talent and an eye-opening pitching staff that has the second-best ERA in the American League. Their bullpen’s 2.37 ERA is the best in all of baseball. Opposing offenses are hitting just .237 against Rays pitching, the best in the AL, as the staff held Boston, which has scored more runs than anyone in the league (133), to just five runs over the weekend in Tampa’s first-ever three-game sweep of Boston.

There should be excitement. The Rays have an interesting mix on a team that is proving it might be able to contend over the next five months. It's just that based on history, it doesn’t take much to generate Rays Fever.

Nobody is exactly ready to call this past weekend a changing of the guard sequence of events by any means, but the Rays are tied for first place and it’s almost May. That's big news in Tampa, a mere footnote everywhere else. ...... .

The Rays, meanwhile, are getting top-notch starting from the likes of James Shields and remarkable relief from the once-thought washed up Troy Percival. Carlos Pena is proving that 2007 wasn’t a fluke, tied for the league lead in home runs with six, while another former Boston short-termer, Eric Hinske, is tearing it up with a .994 OPS (in 68 at-bats). Evan Longoria is going to be such a household name that we predict it’s only June by the time he wants to punch someone for another “Desperate Housewives” quip.

The Orioles, Rays, and Red Sox are all tied for first today. You tell me which one of the three is most likely to stay.

Still, keep in mind that the Rays have gone on this historic stretch without staff ace and noted Red Sox killer Scott Kazmir, who is recovering from an elbow strain, and they are proving some preseason number crunchers a bit more prophetic than, oh, the Detroit Tigers. The Sporting News’ David Pinto gave Tampa’s pitching staff a good chance of becoming the class of the AL East, which it is so far. Baseball Prospectus predicted this would be the greatest season in Tampa Bay Rays history, which, sadly, it already is.

PECOTA predicted an 88-win season for the Rays in 2008. They’re on pace for 90-91 wins right now.

That would, of course, be the aforementioned greatest season in team history, and would no doubt be in the mix for the wild card or even the AL East title depending upon how much Tampa can win consistently against the Red Sox and Yankees the rest of the season. But must we get into fantasy right now? After all, they’re dancing on the beach over an April first-place record and three games over .500.

“The Rays have had grand moments before,” writes the St. Petersburg Times’ John Romano. “Wade Boggs gave us one night. Doug Waechter gave us another. The 12-game winning streak in the middle of 2004 was the greatest collective achievement. But there has never been anything like this.”

It’s exciting all right; a young team annually destined for the dregs of the division may finally have something to play for. But when a three-games-above-.500 mark is your franchise’s crowning achievement thus far,  well, sorry that just sucks. 


See the entire article for yourself:


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 9, 2008 2:59 pm
Edited on: April 9, 2008 5:02 pm

Time is Now for TV Replays in Baseball

Last night I sat in the stands at the Rays home opener against Seattle Mariners and boo'ed along with everyone else all the way through the 8th and 9th inning after a 3rd base umpire called Upton out at third base.  It nullified a 1 - out triple, in a game where the Rays were down by only 1 run.   The call was close but tv replays everywhere did showed that Upton was clearly safe and that the ump had a bad view or perspective.  We all booed continously for so long because of extreme frustation and we all are just frankly  sick and tired of getting the shaft on the bad umpire calls, especially after what happened up in New York in the Ray - Yankees game (2 extremely bad calls - a phantom tag on Upton  and a HORRIBLE call of a  force out on Pena when the ball was caught by the second baseman clearly after Pena slid in and was standing on the base).  The Rays have played only 7 games, and already the Rays have suffered with 3 very bad calls at critical times.   The percentage of bad calls is just too high.  I won't get into homeplate calls for balls and strikes because I do understand that that is more subjective in the eyes of the plate umpire.

I know the Rays aren't the only team to always get the shaft but folks here can't help but wonder if close calls don't sometime go in favor of more dominant teams.

Something has got to be done.  Why not give two challenges to managers each game for some things like calls at bases or whether a ball hit inside or outside a foul line or home run line (but not calling balls and strikes),  just like football. Or just have an additional umpire watching from the tv booth and interject when there is clearly a wrong call.  TV replay can't take any more time than the time spent waiting for the manager to go out and rant and rave at the umpire, only to be usually followed by an ejection.  With tv replay, we won't have to wait for the rant and rave and ejection to continue. 

This is the 21st century, and replay is now used in football and tennis, and to some limited extent in hockey and basketball (by the ref's).  Why must baseball be so sacrosant?  The playing field needs to be leveled out  and umpires need to be more objective in their calls, and having something like limited tv replay will, I think, make some umps call plays more honestly, or if it was impossible for the ump to get a clear view of the play, enable the multi-view eagle eyes of tv cameras to assist.

Category: MLB
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