Toronto tramples Tampa Bay 17-11

Ok, so honestly I stopped watching after the eighth inning when the Rays were down 7-17; I figured all the offense was done for the day unless they decided to award a bonus round to the Blue Jays for a new high score or something of that nature. Seemed the logical thing to do since they must have done away with the mercy rule…

You’ll have to look elsewhere for your scoring recap; there are WAAAAAAAY too many Toronto home runs for me to want to relive them mentally. This will be a strictly commentary-based entry.

Starting pitcher James Shields set a record for the most home runs and extra-base hits allowed by a Rays pitcher. I guess that’s one way to immortalize one’s self in team lore. I don’t understand why he goes out and lays down some pitching badasssery like striking out 11 against the New York Yankees and then travels to the Great White North and lays an egg, or several I suppose. I think Jimmy epitomizes the bi-polar nature of this Rays team, which can perform against any competitor one day and can’t get out of bed the next. I think Shields must have had either his arm or confidence confiscated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or something, because his game clearly did not make it through customs.

Double-digit offense should win you any game on any given night, but not when your starter becomes the eighth pitcher in the modern era of the game to surrender six home runs in an outing. Ouch. What kills me is he struggled in the first inning but dug himself out of a bases-loaded, no-out chasm and escaped with only a single run scored. The run actually crossed the plate before the bags were full, so I assumed, silly enough, that Jimbo had picked himself up, dusted off, and decided to mow down the Jays for the rest of the day. Instead he gave J.P. Arencibia his first-ever major league home run on his first-ever major league pitch. That was the proverbial beginning of the proverbial end of the proverbial game, not that I recall reading about baseball in the good book, but I’m sure you realizes that’s been a while.

Apparently Andy Sonnanstine gets the start tomorrow, fresh off the DL; his first all year, if I’m not mistaken. I like Sonny, in spite of his struggles last year, and I’m sure Joe Maddon has some kind of mad scientist scheme up his sleeve. For those of you who will now raise the volume of your bellyaching and start calling for the head of Clueless Joe Jackson, wake up. This team is still very much alive and in position for potential post-season play. “Well not if they keep playing like this!” No shit. Thanks for the clever observation. Any team that continues to lose will not be playing in October. Do you honestly think this team will continue to perform this way? That’s been their rap forever, or at least ever since they started playing better (before it was lose ALL the time, not trade win streaks with skids). Ebb and flow, high and low, head straight to jail, do not pass “GO.” Yeah, the false starts and sputters are unnerving, but how long has it been since this team sat in the basement for weeks? Only since June? Oh shit, that’s right…

[image-1]Anyway, the point is if you rats are going to keep running your mouths, pissing and moaning, then desert the proverbial sinking ship. All you fair-weather fans can hop off the bandwagon, fold up your umbrellas and walk home in the rain. Stop going to games, stop pretending to be a fan and, above all, stop talking about baseball; most of you don’t know what you’re talking about anyway and there’s enough negativity in the world without you dogging what is still a GREAT ball club. This was a bad game; that’s not up for debate, but it’s not a bad team and, believe it or not, Maddon is not a bad manager. Do I give him his fair share of grief? Yes. Should he have yanked Shields earlier? Yes, although with nine runs scored against the bullpen I don’t think it’d have mattered. Does he know what he’s doing and have what it takes to take this team to the postseason? That also is a “yes,” so get off the man’s back and let him work his magic with his California cool and you can go back to supporting this team, when they’re winning. Me, I'm a baseball fan first, Rays fan second, and fan of winning third. Do I want them to win every game? Absolutely. Am I in a better mood after they win? Absolutely. Do I give up hope when they have a terrible game? Absolutely not.

Oops! Looks like I overslept. What happened in the game? Well, no kidding they lost, my question was more to how many digits were in the opposing team’s score.

So I took a nap. Big deal. There’s something so bitterly disappointing and at the same time exhaustively boring about watching your favorite team get the piss beaten out of them by a squad most likely not in contention for October play, unless of course you’re talking about fighting over tee times. Nevertheless, the Toronto Blue Jays absolutely demolished the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre in Jolly ol’ Canadia Saturday afternoon. I can’t tell you the score off the top of my head; I stopped watching it and limped off to bed for a quick snooze, but the four-letter network’s Web site tells me Tampa Bay lost 11-17. Is it football pre-season already? That sounds like the score of a Bucs game…

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