Andriese game up a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th./JEFFREY S. KING

Andriese game up a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 4 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays finished an impressive first half of their season Sunday afternoon with an unimpressive effort against the Minnesota Twins.

Basically, the day ended sadly because the Rays, frankly, could not throw the ball straight.

Tampa Bay look a 10-inning, 11-7 loss after a grand slam by Brian Dozier. But it was wayward throwing, more than anything, that cost the Rays.

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Random thoughts: Dressing for duress

by Gary Shelton on July 15, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

It was interesting that Jameis Winston's trainer wore a t-shirt that proclaimed "Jameis Against the World."  After much thought, I have decided to go with the world.

--  The best reason that Bill Russell was such a good rebounder. His middle finger is very, very strong. In the last two weeks, he's flipped off Charles Barkley and Vince Carter on his finger tour.

-- Ranking the Rays available for trade: 1. Wilson Ramos.2. Adeiny Hechavarria   3. Nathan Eovaldi 4. Carlos Gomez  5.  Chris Archer 6. Matt Andriese. 7. Matt Duffy. 8. C.J. Cron. 9. Sergio Romo. 10. Stu Sternberg.

-- The untouchables? 1. Jake Bauers. 2. Kevin Kiermaier. 3. Willy Adames. 4. Elliot Ness.

-- I see where a website asks if Chase Utley should make the Hall of Fame. I'm not sure he should be able to buy a ticket.

-- This just in: Roseanne Barr loves everything about Papa John's pizza.

-- I know it's hard to be a Rays fan, but in the fallout over the Papa John's racism spew, we discover that Tampa Bay fans got 50 percent off if their team scored six runs. But the Marlins and Royals' fans got 50 percent off if their team scored five. What? Is pepperoni harder to find in St. Pete?

-- Because they are so cool, the Montgomery Biscuits (they're in Alabama!), will host a Millennial Night. Said the team: "Want free things without doing much work? Well you're in luck! Riverwalk Stadium will be Millennial friendly on Saturday, July 21st with a participation ribbon giveaway just for showing up, napping and selfie stations, along with lots of avocados." Once there, fans can talk about Alabama recruiting and sing Lynard Skynard songs.

-- So what's on a Papa John's special? Pepperoni and a toasted KKK bedsheet?

-- Did you see Leonard Fournette wanted to be taken out of the Madden video football game because he didn't like his speed rating? In a related move, the knight wanted to be taken off the chess board because he couldn't even move in a straight line.

-- At its core, sports is a father-and-son experience. But after the Lakers landed LeBron James, Luke Walton got a call from is a Grateful Dead concert. Can you imagine Luke explaining to his friends "my dad is a Deadhead."

-- Maybe it's just me, but putting Richie Incognito in charge of an anti-bullying campaign is kind of like putting Timothy Leary in charge of an anti-drug program.

-- Here's an idea of how to deal with Terrell Owens, Hall of Famer. Mention him briefly in Canton, then for the next 100 years, rotate his bust to more prominent closets in the Hall.

-- Kyrie Irving has tennis shoes coming out to honor Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Kix and Lucky Charms. Can Count Chocula be far behind?

-- Whoever would take Irving for a Cereal Killer?

-- LeVar Ball says he and LeBron James could take over Hollywood together. That's like saying that Tom Brady and I could afford nice cars. Only one of us has the juice, and it isn't LaVar.


Ramos pulled his hamstring and will miss the All_Star game./JEFFREY S. KING

Ramos pulled his hamstring and will miss the All-Star game./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 3 a.m.

Runs. Doubles and home runs. Singles and triples. Walks and stolen bases. A team touching home plate enough to wear it out.

How many times have you seen the Rays like this? They exploded late with three straight five-run innings (it's been 27 years since baseball witnessed that)? They turned a 6-4 deficit into a 19-6 victory, and they turned a baseball game into a relay sprint.

The Rays, unusually hot on offense lately, have now scored 56 runs in their last seven games (eight per game). They've collected 81 hits over the same seven games.

The Rays have never scored more than 19 runs in a game, although this is the third time they've scored that many.

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Is Yzerman tying his own hands?./CARMEN MANDATO

Is Yzerman tying his own hands?./CARMEN MANDATO

Each week, the readers take over and play Ask Gary. They send in a question, or a couple, on Thursday night or Friday morning and we all talk about the world of sports. Think of it as a radio show where you don't have to be on hold. Join us and ask a question, make a comment or be funny. Send the questions to

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Do you think Steve Yzerman’s strategy of locking up his core players to long-term lucrative contracts will pay off? Were you surprised Tyler Johnson wasn’t moved, before his no-trade clause kicked in, for a bigger stronger forward?

Larry  Beller

Larry, it will pay off only if Yzerman rewards the right guys. There is no reward in giving a "B" player the contract of an "A" player. Obviously, you're giving up a certain amount of control when you tie up a guy. In essence, a general manager is tying his own hands.

That said, it's hard to complain about giving a long-term contract to Nikita Kucherov. He's a blossoming star, and from what I read about his contract, it was a bargain. But if he dips the way he did in the second half of last season, sure, it could catch up to the Bolts.

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Twins rough up another Rays’ starting pitcher

July 14, 2018 general

Saturday, 3 a.m. They were the guys you trusted the most, the guys you were certain you could rely upon. Nate and Blake. Blake and Nate They were the the real starters, the guys that the rest of the jumble of the Rays’ pitching rotation was built around. For all the “bullpen days” that the […]

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Twins treat Snell, Rays rudely in defeat

July 13, 2018 general

Friday, 4 a.m. No, it wasn’t about the rain in Minnesota. It was about ending the reign of Blake Snell in Minnesota. Snell, who has been sharp enough this season that analysts and fans have expressed ire that he was left off the American League All-Star team, had his roughest outing of the season against […]

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Cron, Smith control the airways against Tigers

July 12, 2018 general

Thursday, 4 a.m. Sometimes, you win by the big fly. Sometimes, you win by catching the dangerous fly. And sometimes, you need both. Just ask the Tampa Bay Rays, who completed a sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a 4-2 victory Wednesday afternoon. The Rays won their fifth game in a. a row, and their […]

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Ramos leaves no doubt that he’s an all-star

July 11, 2018 general

Wednesday, 4 a.m. Someone should tell Wilson Ramos he can relax. He’s made the team. Okay? Ramos, the Rays’ all-star catcher,  was at it again on Tuesday night. Once again, he led the Rays to a victory, 5-2 over Detroit. Ramos hit his second home run in two nights. His 14 home runs have tied […]

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Nice drawings, but who’s going to pay for stadium?

July 11, 2018 general

Wednesday, 3 a.m. Say this for the Rays’ proposed new stadium: It’s as shiny as a bag of dimes. On the other hand, the question of where  those dimes comes from remain unanswered. This, as they say, is the easy part. Ever since the Rays focused on the site in Ybor City for its new […]

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Rays survive up-and-down game against Tigers

July 10, 2018 general

Tuesday, 4 a.m. For most of the season, they have been subject to the rises and falls of baseball There are days when you swear the Rays are better than they have played, that they could indeed muster a charge at the second wild-card berth. Then there are the days when the bats turn invisible, […]

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