Josh Lueke’s Socks Give More To the Tampa Bay Rays Than His Pitching

By Robbie Knopf

When Josh Lueke struck out two in a hitless appearance in the Tampa Bay Rays’ second game of the season, we thought for a moment that he might be a useful relief pitcher for their team. That thought has not crossed our minds since. Overall, Lueke has a 5.09 ERA in his 19 appearances, allowing an unbelievably bad 2.0 home runs per 9 innings. Add in the highest rate of allowing inherited runners to score in all of baseball (minimum 8 inherited runners), and his ERA doesn’t tell you half of how ineffective he has been. The good news for Rays fans is that Lueke will not be around much longer. Alex Cobb is not far from coming off the disabled list, and when he does, the Rays will likely move Cesar Ramos back to relief and designate Lueke for assignment. But when he is gone, we can look back and say that Lueke did contribute something positive to the Rays’ season. No, it had nothing to do with his pitching. Marc Topkin has the story.

"Price accessorized the transformation, deciding that for his first start in Seattle, and not having won in “forever” – actually since April 22 – he would wear Archer’s striped socks and his pants high to his knees, borrowing a pair from Josh Lueke cut that way."

Correlation does not imply causation, but David Price put on Josh Lueke’s socks and threw a complete game when the Rays needed him most. That has to count for something, right? It does not make sense to say that Lueke’s socks have super powers because if they did, hopefully Lueke would be pitching a lot better than he has. We can say, though, that David Price needed striped socks, and when Chris Archer did not have a pair available, Lueke came to the rescue. It was Lueke’s first save of his career–and at the rate he is going, the only save he will ever get. Rays fans can hate Josh Lueke, but don’t hate his socks. Apparently they can do good things.