Same old song and dance

The Rays are singing a happy tune. Plus: The Bucs are back!

click to enlarge GIMME MOORE! On July 22, Rays pitcher Matt Moore became the first pitcher in 13 years to throw a complete game shutout at Fenway Park. - Keith Allison via Flickr
Keith Allison via Flickr
GIMME MOORE! On July 22, Rays pitcher Matt Moore became the first pitcher in 13 years to throw a complete game shutout at Fenway Park.

Ever been stuck in a painful conversation at a party after your buddy faked a diarrhea attack and stranded you with a total stranger about as interesting as a lobotomized rug? Your eyes dart left to right, you nod and smile without reason, and the small talk deteriorates to the music in the background. Then it happens.

“So, do you like music?”

Do I like music? Guess what, folks. Your elementary school teacher was a filthy liar. There are stupid questions. Sure, some people like music a little more than others, or only certain kinds. But if you expect to hear, “Why, no. No I do not like music,” you’re as likely to find Sasquatch, the Tooth Fairy or a Red Sox fan without a severe emotional problem. They simply do not exist.

Everybody likes music.

And on that note (Yeah, I went for the easy one) …

“Eager for action. Hot for the game …”
—The Eagles
After sweeping Toronto, our hot streaky Rays boogied into Beantown Monday evening with heads held high and noses simply held to kick off a series against the Red Sucks with a nice 3-zip icebreaker. Winning his sixth straight start, pitcher Matt Moore became the first to throw a complete game shutout at Fenway Park in 13 years, sending the Boston faithful home to play with the Hoppah and get an early start on their Tuesday morning drinking. Hoppah!

“Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about.”
—John Sebastian
Only 38 days after getting knocked in the coconut by a line drive, pitcher Alex Cobb is back on the mound for at least two rehab starts for the scrumptious Class A Stone Crabs. Those of us who saw the horrific ordeal as it happened not only lurched forward in our couch collectively blurting out, “Oh my God!” in unison, but eventually teared up wondering if we did, in fact, witness a death. Obviously given the alternative, we were happy to hear it was only a concussion and hoped to see him back in the Rays lineup again very soon. After briefly considering a metal plate, Rays unofficial team consultant “Cousin Eddie” recommended against it, unless Cobb enjoyed pissing his pants and forgetting his name every time the wife fired up the microwave.

“Don’t know what you got till it’s gone”
Em-bat-tled /em’batld/ Adjective 1. Beset by problems or difficulties. (See also: F***up)
Friday, a week after finding out about a DUI, the Buccaneers traded embattled cornerback Eric Wright to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional pick in the 2014 draft. By Monday, the previous statement was moot. Wright failed the team physical, nullifying the trade and making him the Bucs’ problem, er, property once again. So, much like that ridiculous shirt at a yard sale without an offer by the end of the day, the Bucs tossed him to the curb next to the recyclables.

“Celebrate good times, come on!”
—Kool and the Gang
Break out the marshmallows, bug spray and creepy counselors, kids. Bucs camp is in full swing starting Thursday. Rookies, veterans, coaches, controversy, critics, optimists, pessimists, realists, armchair quarterbacks and Cadillac Escalades. Will the Buccaneers make a playoff run? Will this be quarterback Josh Freeman’s Pro Bowl year or pack-your-shit year? Will the off-season tweaking transform the defense from worst-to-first? Will Ronde Barber pull a Brett Favre and come out of retirement complete with a new uniform and dick-pic campaign (those gray pubes haunt me to this day)? Nobody knows. So everybody knows! The anticipation is the best part of the year when everyone is undefeated before the inevitable fantasy bubble bursts, giving way to reality when the loss column ticks off a few. It’s the tailgate party before the season. Enthusiasm will be bubbling over by then as the car flags, coolers, tents and tall-boys descend upon Raymond James Stadium for the pulse-pounding pageantry. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting in a pile of your own butt-sweat holding a warm eight-dollar domestic as you slowly begin to realize … pre-season sucks. First game that matters is Sept. 8.

“Every day you get one more yard / You take it on faith, you take it to the heart / The waiting is the hardest part.”
—Tom Petty

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