I hate to be the pessimist, because generally that is not my disposition when it comes to any of our 3 Tampa Bay teams. This year with the Rays though, I foresaw a lot of issues that are coming to fruition and have failed to have been addressed. It’s not that today’s loss, while embarassing, puts us so far out of the playoff race that we can’t make a move up the standings; we are only 5.5 games out of a Wild Card birth, and 6 out of the division lead. It’s that the same issues that have plagued this team since last season, that were not addressed in the offseason and than once again not addressed at the non-waiver trade deadline are still killing us.
Grant Balfour today, comes into a 2-1 game after a gem by James Shields (no hitter through 7) and gives up 2 runs and gets 1 guy out. Brought his ERA up to a 4.76…delightful.
Dioner Navarro today, 2 AB’s, 6 pitchers, no hits and an error that cost Shields a Win and the team a win. Brings his AVG down to .226 and his OBP to (you don’t have to read this if you don’t want to, it pains the eyes) .255.
Couple these issues with the fact that the Sox went out and got a guy we were supposedly targeting in Victor Martinez and there team is much scarier than it was last week. On top of that, add in the fact that we inexplicably did not add a bullpen arm @ the deadline and it makes the Sox improvement in the batters box even more frightening. Are we really relying on a Cormier, Bradford, Howell combo to lead us to the promised land.
Before you go breaking my balls about our payroll and ownerships mandate to hold it at around 63, I understand fully the intricacies of the baseball payroll especially for a small market team. WE HAD TO ADD AN ARM. We didn’t, it’s a wrap. Scariest part is I have a sneaky suspicision the Rays roster as we know it right now, is not going to look the same in 2010. Sorry for the strong dose of pessimism.