Random thoughts: Bouton changed how we watch

July 14, 2019 general

Jim Bouton was cool. Jim Bouton was funny. Jim Bouton was a rebel. To me, Bouton was all of those things. He was a party hat in a world of baseball caps, and he made the sticks-in-the-mud nervous, and he shed light in all the secret corners where baseball didn’t want us to look. He […]

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Rays kick open the door to the season’s second half

July 13, 2019 general

Chirinos ran his record to 8-4./CHUCK MULLER Saturday, 3 a.m. If you imagine them from the viewpoint of the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays are indeed something to see. Once again, the Rays clobbered the Orioles Friday night, jump-starting the second half of their season with a 16-4 drubbing of the O’s. The Rays […]

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How do Rays hold on as the Wild-Card Leader?

July 12, 2019 general

Friday, 4 a.m. What they have to do to win a wild-card berth: Win 50 more games. I know, that’s a lot with 40 games to go. And 40 might be enough. But a team (the Reds) once missed the 1998 wild card playoffs with 96 wins. The ’05 Indians, the ’03 Mariners, the ’02 […]

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Dissecting the Rays’ half of a season

July 11, 2019 general

Most valuable player: 1. Charlie Morton 2. Tommy Pham 3. Austin Meadows Why they’re not leading: The Rays are 4-9 against the Yankees Least valuable player: 1. Jose Alvarado 2. Diego Castillo 3. Mike Zunino Content beyond this point is for members only.

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Can the Bucs survive if Winston isn’t good?

July 10, 2019 general

Wednesday, 3 a.m. It starts with the quarterback. In every town, on every team, it starts with the quarterback. The way the rules are in the NFL today, it is impossible for a team to be good unless its quarterback is very, very good. And so, before you begin to weigh the chances of the […]

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Rays’ bullpen having a hard time saving games

July 9, 2019 general

Monday, 3 a.m. It’s supposed to be an easy stat, really. Just get three outs before you give up three runs. On a lot of nights, that’s all. It’s supposed to be a short putt. You enter the game clean, and if you give up only as many runs as a starting pitcher does in […]

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Rays edge Yankees again to go into the break

July 8, 2019 general

Monday, 3 a.m. Here at the break, there are a few things we have learned about the Tampa Bay Rays. — It isn’t always hopeless against the New York Yankees. There for a while, it seemed to be as the Rays dropped seven straight, but Sunday’s 2-1 victory was the team’s second in a row. […]

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Rays win in a walk after d’Arnaud’s home run

July 7, 2019 general

Sunday, 3 a.m. They won? Really? Against the Yankees, after seven straight losses. At home, which doesn’t happen often enough. With a walkoff, which almost never happens. The Tampa Bay Rays, who have struggled as of late, finally had a finish go their way Saturday evening when Travis d’Arnaud hit his sixth home run of […]

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Slumping Rays collapse again in late innings

July 6, 2019 general

Saturday, 3 a.m. Stop them if you have heard this before. Please. For goodness sakes. Can someone stop them? Once again, the Rays went kerblooey late, watching a 4-4 tie turn into an 8-4 victory. It was the third straight similar loss for the Rays, watching a late inning tie turn into a lopsided loss […]

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Once again, the Rays collapse in the late innings

July 5, 2019 general

Friday, 3 a.m. Another day, another implosion. And afterward, there were tiny bits of the Rays’ playoff chances spread all over Tropicana Field. Once again Thursday night, the Rays found themselves in a tie game late. And once again, the bullpen collapsed. After giving up six late runs to the Orioles a night before, it […]

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