So as I begin to gather my angry thoughts today after the Rays lost to Texas last night, the biggest problem and question I for the life of me can’t answer is why was Kelly Shoppach in the lineup? Why was the washed up catcher even on the roster or even allowed to enter the stadium? Coach Maddon often makes odd lineup choices, but this one was stupid, simply moronic.
Shoppach hit below .200 all season, had no power, struck out constantly, and could not throw out a base runner (he was ranked one of the worst at throwing runners out and the worst on the Rays staff). He allowed Bengie Molina to steal a base without a throw, yes, the old veteran catcher who hadn’t had a stolen base since 2006 ran on Shoppach. Shoppach also made the costly error when trying to throw to third, but overthrew Longoria by a country mile, which is fitting for the Shoppach. Shoppach struggled all night and even on hustle plays on foul balls was slow and could not make a play in foul territory.
I am trying to figure out just like everyone was last night and for months to come, where was Jaso? Jaso had a great series against Texas and was proven he can handle left hand pitching. He has a stronger arm than Shoppach by a mile and is simply a better player, but for Maddon’s insane reason, he put in Shoppach. The “smartest” manager in baseball was wrong here and he knows it. Shoppach struggled all season and there was no match up advantage her, no numbers that should have given him the reason to put him in, so why did he do this?
Maybe I am being too harsh on Shoppach, but I will show no mercy to him. He is a paid professional and his job is to hit the ball and throw out base runners, he fails at both all season. Any other job, a person would be fired for failing this much in their job, but for Kelly he simply gets to sit around and get fatter (mean but oh well). I pray that Shoppach is not on the team next year, not in the same league, not even employed after his performance and Maddon might be following him soon as well.