Will Archer face negative feedback for his tweet?

by Gary Shelton on August 1, 2015 · 1 comment

in College Sports in Florida, Florida, general

Did Archer's frustration pour cold water on the Rays' expectations?/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Did Archer’s frustration pour cold water on the Rays’ expectations?/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Saturday, 6 a.m.

(Each week, the readers take over Ask Gary. They send in a question, or a couple, 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 GarySheltonsports@gmail.com.)

Do you think Chris Archer’s unsuccessful appeal to management to improve the Rays roster prior to trade deadline will have any detrimental effect on the team or on Chris?
Scott Myers

I don’t think so, but maybe it’s because I agree with him. Whether it was frustration, or whether he was trying to cheer his team toward making a move, I

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think Archer said what was on a lot of minds. This team needs help. This team didn’t get it. Getting minor leaguers isn’t going to help this year’s major leaguers.

Maybe it’s just me, but it’s tiring to watch a team and have to pay attention to the wallet every day. Wouldn’t you like, every now and then, the Rays to be a team that would be among the bidders for, say, Troy Tulowitzki? Or David Price? Because the payroll is so  low, a direct corollary with the attendance being so low, that’s never even a thought, The big boys go elsewhere.
So, yeah, ballplayers root for help, too. One of the stories in Lightning history was that after Jay Feaster made a deadly deal for Darryl Sydor, captain Dave Andreychuk passed him on the team bus, reach down and patted his shoulder in gratitude. I certainly wouldn’t blame a guy for expressing a desire for his team to make a push to help winning along. It’s what everyone is here for.
The only odd thing about this case was that Archer said it out loud. But every year, on every team, I’d bet the players are saying it among themselves. So who is going to make it detrimental toward Archer? The front office? The coaches? The fans? I suspect they all agree with him.
The only possible detriment is that the team looks as if it failed. We’ll see if that perception causes the Rays to go into a tailspin.
I see that the Steelers extended Mike Tomlin and will probably have had only 3 head coaches in 50 years.  That made me wonder: Might the Bucs have been better off to stick with the stability of the Dungy/McKay years as far as the winning teams, playoffs, having coaches that were highly sought after, players wanting to play here? Or was it wise to make changes even though we see where that has led? Would you trade that stability for that one great year?   Or do you think the players had so tuned Dungy out that they would have crashed anyway?
Jim Willson
You’re talking to the guy who wrote a column the day before Dungy’s last game imploring “Glazers…Don’t Do It.” I thought it was a tragic mistake then. I think it’s a mistake now.
I never for a minute thought this team had tuned Dungy out. He was the finest developer of  talent the Bucs have ever had, and the best chance for the successors to Brooks, Sapp, Lynch and Barber to be impact players, too. I think the Bucs would have had a lot of very good seasons.
The question is whether they would have won the Super Bowl, however. Tony never got it right with his offensive staff here, and he was determined not to be forced to make any more changes. Would he ever have gotten it right on that side of the ball? Would he have ever had an offense the defense wouldn’t have had to be ashamed of?
Eventually, Jon Gruden fell into a vicious cycle. He could coach well enough to get his guys to 9-7. But he (and his front office) failed as far as bringing impact players into town. It meant that the Bucs were going to be decent, but not great, for a long time.
Excellence is good. But in sports, it isn’t enough. Rich McKay used this example once. In the 90s, would you have rather been the Chiefs or the Rams, two teams close to each other? The Chiefs won big almost every year, but they always failed in the playoffs. The Rams got a Super Bowl win over the Titans. So who had the better run? Most of us would say the Rams, because the point in the game is to win the big trophy.
I think Tampa Bay would have been a lot better off now if Dungy was still on the sideline. I think they would have been excellent. But I have doubts if this offense could ever have won him the big prize. (The one he won, in Indy, was largely because of Peyton Manning, who never would have come here).
The first year of Gruden-for-Dungy was a great deal, because the team won the keeper trophy. Most years since, however, have been a disaster.
What do you make of Chris Archer’s tweet about the Jays being all in?  Is the clubhouse tired of the small market ways here and is  it effecting the atmosphere and play on the field?
Jim Willson
As I mentioned, I understand it. I’m sure he’ll back off it and say he didn’t mean it as frustration, but I think that’s exactly what it was. Players get frustrated to. You see other teams loading up, and it’s natural for a pitcher who does’t get a lot of support to wish this one did, too. But yes, I think a large percentage of the clubhouse is tired of the small market ways. As I mentioned before, it’s a hard enough game without constant reminders that this team doesn’t have money.
That’s the issue here. David DeJesus and Kevin Jepsen were traded to save money. Bigger named stars didn’t come here because they cost too much money. And none of that is helping to bring fans into the park, is it?
In addition to the ridiculous defensive shifts being employed these days, I would also like to see the American League abandon the designated hitter rule once and for all and play the game the way it was meant to be played as it is in the National League. So much more interesting strategies when the pitcher is allowed to bat. Do you think this unification of rules between the leagues will ever happen?
Howard Powders

This hurts to say, because I grew up on the National League version of the game, too. I agree  it’s more of a thinking man’s game. Nothing like watching the manager think about whether to use a double switch, whether he should pull the pitcher or let him hit.  It’s like watching chess instead of checkers.

But we’re 42 years into the DH by now, Howard. It’s been that long since Ron Blomberg of the Yankees walked. I wonder what the fewest number of at bats an AL pitcher has ever had in, say, a 10-year career.

The theory was that this would keep veteran sluggers into the game, but it has evolved to where a lot of teams think they’re just as well off using a fourth outfielder in the role. I’m not sure what it adds.

However, the players’ association isn’t going to let teams stop paying big bucks for a DH. I actually think you’d have a better argument for the NL to adopt it. Heck, they even use the DH in Little League these days.

Does the plea Chris Archer meant made to keep the Rays competitive, and does the Rays’ response that the team is good enough to you sound like there is something wrong in Mudville?

Cecil DeBald

If you remember, Casey didn’t hit, either. I think it’s a case of one guy want steak and the team saying that beans tasted just fine. Archer wants help, because it’s natural to want help when you can look around the club house and see the flaws. But the team has no money to upgrade, and so it says what it has is fine.

Again, my position is to shake my head at the constant nature of this, that there is never a year when the Rays think about adding punch to their lineup or an arm to their rotation. It’s the time of year we are reminded most that we are have-nots.

The Florida Gators team is unranked in the preseason pols. Will they be ranked by the end of the season?

Cecil DeBald

What would we base that on, Cecil? The quarterback is young, and there aren’t established playmakers, and the schedule is imposing. Still, I think the Gators will upset a couple of teams (Tennessee? Missouri? South Carolina?) and be right on the border of Top 25…this year. Next year, they’ll be 12th or 13th. Then they have a chance to be back.

Which one of the new players traded by the deadline will be the catayst that boosts their new team to the World Series, if any?

Cecil DeBald

I really liked the acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki. I know there are suggestions his better days are behind him, but he can influence a lineup. The question is whether the Blue Jays are just too far back..

Because I’m familiar with him, I like Kansas City picking up Ben Zobrist. He can help a team in a lot of places, and he’s a good guy in the club house.

Everyone likes what the Astros did in getting Chris Gomez. With the Astros in the thirck of it, that may be the most important move.

But I take it you weren’t thrilled with Chin Wei-Hu to the Rays?




{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jack Airey August 2, 2015 at 8:02 am

The Ray’s have become a conduit of great players helping improve other teams. This ownership is controlled by way too many bean counters. I was going to buy some more tickets this season, but I have lost my zeal for being a Ray’s fan. IMHO we don’t need a new stadium….we need new owners who are real baseball fans not stockbrokers.


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