Open Thread: Rooting for the Rays



The Yankees are off, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have anything on the line tonight. The Rays and Red Sox are starting a huge four-game series in Fenway Park this evening (Hellickson vs. Weiland), a series that will determine the AL wildcard, for all intents and purposes. If Tampa sweeps, they’ll tie Boston and then we’ll really have ourselves a race. If they don’t, then they’re still going to have to make up some serious ground during the final week and a half of the season. It can happen, but it probably won’t.

Regardless of who wins tonight, the Yankees will gain a half-game on one team and lose a half-game to the other. I’d much prefer to see them gain ground on the Red Sox and increase their lead in the division than put even more distance between then and the Rays. They’re eight games up on the wildcard with 14 left to play, so that race is really close to being over. I feel confident in saying that the Yankees will make the postseason, even if the Rays manage to sweep. That’s why I want Tampa to take this series, to help put some distance between the Yanks and Sox. For the next four days, I’m pro-Tampa.

Anyway, the game will be shown on MLB Network at 7pm ET tonight, and you can talk about it (and more!) here in the open thread. You all know what to do by now, so have at it.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Jake S says:

    Let’s go The Rays, y’all

  2. Kramerica Industries says:

    Probably more Rays fans on this blog tonight than in the Tampa Bay area.

  3. It’s Weiland, easy win for Rays.

    Did anyone see the Shelley Duncan catching trifecta? We need a new meme for that.

  4. I want to see all of the preseason predictions on divisions and whatnot to compare with reality and LOL in the MSM’s faces!

  5. RJ says:

    I work in western MA looking forward to all the fair weather sux fans squirm over this. Been to 10 different MLB parks…. hands down the worst fans. Of course you sell out every game that rat trap only holds 350 and corp sponsors give tix away like crack to a whore.

  6. RJ says:

    I work in western MA looking forward to all the fair weather sux fans squirm over this. Been to 10 different MLB parks…. hands down the worst fans. Of course you sell out every game that rat trap only holds 350 and corp sponsors give tix away.

  7. KenC says:

    when was that brawl? was it the coco crisp james shields one?

  8. RJ says:

    I work in western MA looking forward to all the fair weather fans squirm over this. Been to 10 different MLB parks…. hands down the worst fans. Of course you sell out every game that rat trap only holds 350 and corp sponsors give tix away.

  9. Brian S. says:

    Stupid ass Buck Showalter ruined things this week by playing the Rays at full force. Tampa could have been only down two games heading into this series but noooooooooooooo. I thought the Orioles disliked Boston and would do all that they could to help fuck their season up but I guess not.

  10. rj says:

    Sorry for the double post…..

  11. MikeD says:

    I can think of few announcers more annoying than Jerry Remy. Why is it ALWAYS the Red Sox feed when MLBN has a Red Sox game? Why can’t I hear Tampa?

    • Greg says:

      Probably easier to get and the nation has more Sox fans than Rays fans.

      • MikeD says:

        The Rays have fans?

        Seriously, I used to think I was annoyed because it was the Red Sox broadcast team, and then I realized it was Remy. I had no problem listening to the Red Sox broadcasters those times when Remy wasn’t there. It’s like the Seinfeld episode where every time Kramer heard Mary Hart voice from Entertainment Tonight he’d suffer an epileptic seizure. Remy doesn’t quite do that to me, but soon as he speaks, I hit mute.

        I swear one of the outlets used to allow fans to pick the broadcast team. Didn’t used to offer this, or maybe I’m thinking of the Extra Innings package from cable.

  12. Jimmy McNulty says:

    I hope the Rays win the wild card and face the Tigers in the ALDS for a five game series rife with extra innings where Verlander has to make three starts and throw 130 pitches in each one. But, The Red Sox have a four game lead and like what? 16 games left, so it;s unlikely that they lose the WC. It’s fun to fantasize though.

  13. Plank says:

    That’s an awesome picture.

    What happened to the story about the Yankees selling the SI Yankees? Did YES censor it? I remember you guys saying they had no control over your content and you would end the partnership if they tried. Is that out the window?

  14. Rey22 says:

    Biggest series of the year for the Red Sox and they have Weiland starting game 1. And I thought things were bad in Yankeeland rotation.

  15. Cy Pettitte says:

    that broken bat single by Upton just now was so awesome.

    • MikeD says:

      I think Babe Ruth went on a three-year bender in the afterlife, from October 2004 through October 2007, only to return to scream, “The Red Sox did what?” He’s now planning all sorts of fun pain.

      Of course I don’t believe any of that, but yeah, that ball and bat arriving at short was pretty odd, almost like a curse.

  16. Chen Meng Wang says:

    Haha the Baseball Gods smite Scutturo.

  17. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Lol Scutaro completely got fucked by the bat.

  18. Chen Meng Wang says:

    Tampa is a very hacky team, huh?

  19. Cy Pettitte says:

    Longo 3 run bomb! fuck yea.

  20. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Evahhhhhn Laaanagorihhha.

  21. dontchaknow says:

    evan goes boom !

  22. Chen Meng Wang says:

    Hooray Evan.

  23. SevenAces says:

    Finally done with work to watch the game, as soon as I turn it on BOOM! Longoria hits a homerun, HAW HAW.

  24. swishers fauxhawk says:

    Man, Boston’s rotation sure derailed quickly. Shame, since they just had five aces in the rotation last season.

  25. Kramerica Industries says:

    Pretty hilarious sequence right there leading to a sudden 4 run lead.

  26. Chen Meng Wang says:

    Really want to see Moneyball.

  27. Kevin says:

    The biggest thing with the Rays, they had their chance to really gain ground on the WC with the O’s..and failed to do so.
    All the wins against the Sux at this point do is secure our chances to win the division.

  28. Greg says:

    How are players that go to Boston learning to foul balls off at an extreme rate?

  29. MikeD says:

    So are people here planning to see MoneyBall?

    I will, although Keith Law’s review made me pause. It seems the other reviews are pretty good, so it just might be a Klaw thing. In today’s chat he did mention he walked out of the Unforgiven, which went on to be a major critical and financial success. Eastwood might have even won an Oscar from it.

    BTW Law about half way through today’s Podcast had an interesting discussion about how he went from being just a stat guy to becoming someone who now appreciates scouting and how integrates the two. It’s worth a listen.

    • Chen Meng Wang says:

      I’m going to watch it, but I’m not going to pay for it. Hooray for being a dirty pirate :)

    • Jesus Freak says:

      Whatever credibility KLaw had he certainly lost it after his endless Casey Kelly propaganda.

      He’s nothing more than a media front/plant for the Red Sox.

    • Engelbert says:

      Walking out of Unforgiven is like slapping your mother’s corpse in casket during her funeral. That man deserves the same fate as Little Bill.

      FYI, Unforgiven won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hack-Man). One of the best movies ever made.

    • pat says:

      I never understood walking out of a movie other than to be a pretentious douche.

      • MikeD says:

        I agree. I’ve never walked out of a movie, no matter how painful, and in a couple of cases (when I actually thought about getting up), I’m happy I stayed.

        I had a friend who I went to a movie with and he got up and walked out. I had no idea what happened to him. Met him in the lobby after the film ended and he said he just couldn’t take the movie anymore. He’s still a friend, but I’ve never gone to a movie with him since.

    • mbonzo says:

      Law doesn’t let the evidence convince himself something is good or bad, he convinces himself, which is his major flaw. He stubbornly pants picture, one of which is black or white, nothing in the middle.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      Why would I want to see a Hollywood movie about someone who never won shit?

  30. Tom Zig says:

    Come on Hellickson, don’t give it back.

  31. Greg says:

    Holy mackeral 74 pitches in 3 innings for Hellickson. 40-34 S/B ratio

  32. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    PEDroia must’ve forgotten to time his pre-pitch jump.

  33. MikeD says:

    The Babe takes a long sip of beer and smiles.

  34. Carl LaFong says:

    Just saw the magic # to tie picture of the Mick on the homepage & it brought back once again how formidable looking a baseball player Mickey was. As a kid, the guy was like superman to me except I reasoned he got a bad batch of kryptonite somewhere which caused the limp.

    Also, as the picture clearly shows, once Mickey was assigned the #7 when he returned from the minor leagues later in the 1951 season, the #7 the Mick wore both home & away was far different than the #7 the Yankees have in monument park depicting the retired Mickey Mantle’s #. How is it that no one connected w/the Yankees has noticed this & changed the one on display to the more accurate #7 depicted today on the home page? The only time I remember Mickey wearing the #7 as depicted in monument park was during the 1962 season & I can’t swear to it that it looked like that for the entire season. This thing is starting to really pi## me off. If it hasn’t already been brought to their attention, could some one please do so & explain to them why this matters & why the correct #7 should be the one on display?

  35. Greg says:

    They’re taking him out?

  36. Rey22 says:

    Damn. Great play by Gonzalez.

  37. Jesus Freak says:

    Greatest Baseball Movies

    1. Baseball by Ken Burns

    2. Bad News Bears (the original version)

    3. Bang the Drum Slowly

    4. 61*

    5. The Natural

    6. Bull Durham

    7. Bingo Long

    8. The Sandlot

    • Plank says:

      Major League II is the greatest baseball movie of all time.

      • Pat D says:

        Obviously Taylor’s thinking…I don’t know what the hell he’s thinking!

        Cerrano back…he’ll need a rocket up his ass to catch this one. It’s outta here!

        Take over, Monty. I’m…in the bag.

  38. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    They’re seriously shifting for Saltalamaccia? wow Joe Maddon…

  39. Mustard says:

    It is brutal listening to Remy. No wonder Red Sox fans are so bad.

    The NESN broadcast is not very professional, then again, neither is nESPeeN or MLB Network.

  40. Mustard says:

    Strike zone is pretty bad tonight too.

  41. Tom Zig says:

    Boston really burning through their bullpen

  42. Karl Krawfid says:

    Can’t believe they still boo Damon.

    Who would have thought after Damon hit that slam back in 04 he would end up getting more love from Yankee fans than Sox fans.

    • Jesus Freak says:

      Who would have thought after Damon hit that slam back in 04 he would end up entering the HOF as a Yankee.


      • Karl Krawfid says:


      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        If he’s a HOFer that would be even worse than Jim Rice.

        • Jesse says:

          He’ll probably be get in because he’s got a legit shot at 3000 hits, but I agree with you.

        • Karl Krawfid says:

          I think everyone wants to hear that Damon speech imo.

        • Jesus Freak says:

          The media loves him, he’s a lock.

        • CP says:

          Not really. Damon was a legitimately good defensive center fielder for many years. Rice was never even average defensively.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            UZR disagrees but since the voters don’t even look at defense it’s probably irrelevant. So the voters will look at just the hitting numbers. His triple line is good for a CF but not great or dominant. .286/.353./.435 for a career wRC+ of 108. 100 is league average and wRC+ can be used to compare all hitters of any era (or so FanGraphs says).

            Of course we’re kidding ourselves if the voters even look at the triple slash. For counting stats compared to other HOF CF he’s not really impressive.

            • CP says:

              UZR starts in 2002, when Damon already had 6+ years in the majors.

              FWIW, baseball reference has Damon at 51.5 WAR and Rice at 41.5 WAR. That ranks 160th all time. Of the position players ranked between 150th and 170th (50.2 – 53 WAR), nine are in the HOF and 2 are still active (Damon and Berkman).

              • Kevin says:

                It’s amazing to me how Damon is booed there.
                Manny Ramirez and Curtis Leskanic (game 6,2004 ACLS winner) from the 04 team have been arrested for Domestic violence and driving drunk with a BAC of .333 with his daughter in the car and Damon is still more loathed than those guys?

  43. Karl Krawfid says:

    Casey Kotchman!

  44. Kramerica Industries says:

    Kotch power.

    That was huge.

  45. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Sox gettin pwned.

  46. MikeD says:

    Two sounds I love:

    The quiet that comes with a winter snow.

    The quiet that comes at Fenway when the Red Sox are getting their asses kicked.

  47. well you know says:

    Morales has picked off runners at first two games in a row. Get that in the scouting report.

    When Damon got hit, the Rays announcers (radio) were irate, said it’s been happening too much from the Sox and retaliation is in order. Maybe we can get another brawl. (Love the photo)

  48. Jesse says:

    Tonight’s trivia question:

    What do all 45 of these ESPN experts have in common?:

    • Rey22 says:

      Wow. Disgusting morons.

    • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

      Jim Caple’s is the biggest fail.

      East champ: Red Sox
      Central champ: White Sox
      West champ: A’s
      Wild card: Rays
      Champion: White Sox

      East champ: Phillies
      Central champ: Reds
      West champ: Rockies
      Wild card: Giants
      Champion: Phillies

      WS: White Sox over Phillies.

      Only 2 of his predictions will even make the playoffs!!!!!

      • Jesse says:

        Did you see Gene Wojciechowski’s picks?

        East: Boston
        Central: Chicago
        West: Rangers
        Wild Card: Tigers (He didn’t pick the Yankees? Shocker!)

        East: Philadelphia
        Central: Chicago (Yep, the Cubs)
        West: Colorado
        Wild Card: San Francisco

        Obviously the biggest shocker is that he didn’t pick the Yankees since he’s kissed their ass during the 2009 playoffs and during his career as a writer with ESPN.

      • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

        21 Red Sox over Phillies predictions. 21!!!
        And 33 total Red Sox predictions.

        what a bunch of douchebags.

        • Kramerica Industries says:

          I think we need to take the slightest bit of caution to the wind, in that the Red Sox, in theory, still can win the World Series, and over the Phillies.

          I don’t view it as being particularly wise to use “opinions” from March/April as a basis for talking shit now. The only basis we should have, collectively, is that they are 3-11 this month and are going to have to dearly hang onto their playoff lives over the last two weeks.

          This is fun as hell to watch. But we all should know that a playoff-calibre team is capable of blowing friggen chunks down the stretch and still winning the World Series. 2000 ring a bell?

          • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

            True, but 21 “experts” picking the same world series with the same winner (only 4 picked Phillies over Red Sox) is just absurd given that the Phillies were much better than the Sox on paper before the season. Hallady, Lee, Hamels >>> Beckett, Lester, Buccholz.

            • Kramerica Industries says:

              I completely agree. I figured the Phillies were the favorites as well coming into this season, since it’s been a very long time since there was a rotation that good in the majors.

              I dunno, I guess I can’t blame anyone since it’s always easy (and fun) to get a little carried away, being fans of the other side of the rivalry – something just didn’t strike the right note or something. I actually fear that this makes the Red Sox, provided good health, of course, a bit more dangerous if they are in the postseason, since they can only go up from here.

              But that’s still two weeks away. Certainly worth enjoying while it lasts.

    • Guest says:

      That’s impossible. I understand the Yanks had questions and the Sox have 18 aces, but all 45 had the Sox winning the east ????


  49. Jesse says:

    Why the hell wasn’t the shortstop there?

  50. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Ortiz should have gone to 2nd…that lazy fuck.

  51. j6takish says:

    I’m rooting for the Rays because they aren’t Boston, but there is something else about the Rays that make them so damn likable…when they aren’t playing my team

  52. jon says:

    man i know the yankee tv anoucners arnt the best but jesus are the red sox guys homers

    when youk stikes out they spend 5 mins on how the only reason that happened was because hes hurt and how much of a god he is for trying to help the team

  53. JonS says:

    I wonder if the Red Sox not making the playoffs would help Granderson’s chances?

    • MikeD says:

      On one level, I’d say the answer is yes. The problem is Grandy has picked a less than great time to have his first extended slump. If he finishes strong over the next two weeks and the Red Sox fall out of it, then he’ll improve his chances greatly. I don’t see how any Red Sox could win the award when they have three legitimate candidates, yet they still pulled a collapse.

      The main beneficiary could be Verlander. The narrative around his season keeps building, and if all the Red Sox players are removed because the team continues to fold, and if Granderson finishes weakly, then Verlander might get a lot of the votes. Or maybe this all will help Joey Bats.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Granderson hasn’t hit in three weeks. His MVP hopes are over.

  54. Karl Krawfid says:

    Upton baby!

  55. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Fat Albers!

  56. Cy Pettitte says:

    I know this is really obvious but I’d like to point it out nonetheless.

    Jennings fWAR: 1.8
    Jennings $/fWAR: ~$222k

    Crawford fWAR: 0.2
    Crawford $/fWAR: $70,000,000

    also, fuck yes Bossman Jr. 2 run bomb.

  57. swishers fauxhawk says:

    Matt Albers has an 80 suck tool.

  58. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    wow that pitch was like in the same spot as the one as the one Upton hit for the slam.

  59. Karl Krawfid says:

    LMAO Cliff Lee lmao!

  60. Kramerica Industries says:

    Rays are going to be 10-5 against Boston after tonight.

    They have won 11 of their last 15 at Fenway, since the start of 2010.

    That’s domination, holmes.

    • Greg says:

      In a way it shaves two games off Boston’s lead because that gives the Rays the series advantage over the Sox.

      • Kramerica Industries says:

        Not really. If the two teams were to end the season in a virtual tie and a playoff spot is on the line, all it means is they play a one game playoff at the Trop.

        That might actually be a dis-service to the Rays, in that case. They had a solid 5-4 record against the Sox there (though they lost two of the three series) – they have owned them at Fenway in a big way.

      • CP says:

        Doesn’t matter. The tie breaker only matters if both will be in the playoffs anyway. And that won’t happen.

    • joe says:

      holmes? As in Sherlock holmes?

      I think you need some work on the slang….

    • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

      Funny that nobody on the MSM says anything about that, but they are all over the Yankees 4-11 mark against Boston.

      • Hall and Nokes says:

        To be fair a lot of that materialized in the last week or so.

        If the Rays finish it off tonight and win tomorrow, I should think it will be a big story by Saturday. I mean, not as big as whether Pennsyltucky State is moving to the Big 10 of course, but big.

        • Kramerica Industries says:

          A lot of the Yankees poor record materialized when they were only a .500 home team in the first 2 1/2 months of the season.

          They were only a Mo blown save from winning the majority of the Fenway games this season. Generally, that will yield good overall results – but the Yankees were just brutal in the Bronx until the Tribe came to town.

          17-16 after June 9, 29-10 since.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      And Boston has dominated the Yankees this season. What’s your point?

  61. Jesus Freak says:

    Sox 3-11 in September

  62. meaty balls says:


  63. MikeD says:

    And the Red Sox lose.

  64. Kevin says:

    Pity the Rays lost those two games to the O’s…they’d only be two games back.
    Here’s hoping the O’s crush the Red Sux next week..or get into another brawl with them, either works for me.

  65. Mariano's Pimp Hand says:

    The Angels are a game behind the Rays but they have 10 games coming up with the Os, Jays and As before finishing up with 3 against Texas. Given their schedule I wouldn’t count them out of the WC race.

  66. RJ says:

    anyone else have issue post from their phone… I got error messages so I tried reposting, reposting with an edited version, seems like each time I hit post it actually posted.

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