Playing for Pride, Yankees Win 2 of 3 from Rays September 14, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in September Call-Ups, Tampa Bay Rays.
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The Yankees are out of the postseason race, and there’s no use playing for a draft pick when they’re 5 GB in front of the 15th slot (why would you want to do that, anyway?), so it barrels down to playing for pride. The Yankees have played hard the last two games (6-4 and 8-4 wins) after mailing it in the first game (7-1 loss). Either way, it seems like they are now looking to see what they have for 2009. Derek Jeter tied Lou Gehrig’s record for hits at Yankee stadium (more on that in the next post), and A-Rod had his umpteenth straight 100-RBI season. Carl Pavano left with a hip injury (what’s new?) and Mike Mussina, after losing, likely won’t win 20 games this year.
Our New Rivals March 20, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in 2008 Spring Training, Rivalry, Tampa Bay Rays.
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Add to Detroit, LAA, Boston, and the Mets, Tampa Bay. Francisco Cervelli’s wrist was unjustly broken, just as he was poised for a breakout year, by some AAAA second baseman who wasn’t going to make the team. What gives? Joe Girardi was right in complaining about it, and in reacting, Joe Maddon was a gigantic asshole. So the Yankees rightfully hit uber-prospect Evan Longoria, and Shelley Duncan slid into Akinori Iwamura. Jonny Gomes (?) fought with Duncan, and Melky Cabrera allegedly (I didn’t see this one either) punched Longoria. Duncan and Cabrera were handed 3-game suspensions, and Gomes a 2-gamer. I won’t even get into how unfair this is, but at least our guys will play Opening Day.
The Rays will be good soon. They have #1 overall pick LHP David Price, LHP Jake McGee, RHP Wade Davis, SS Reid Brignac, OF Desmond Jennings, and, of course, 3B Longoria either now or waiting in the wings. The new ownership will expand payroll with the new stadium, GM Andrew Friedman is committed, and all those #1 picks and losing actually mean something. Joe Maddon is the last installment of the loser culture that needs to be removed, but those prospects, combined with LF Carl Crawford, CF B.J. Upton, LHP Scott Kazmir, 1B Carlos Pena, and (for the next year or two) SU Al Reyes and CL Troy Percival, would make a powerhouse AL East team. They won’t be a joke anymore, and there will be four teams fighting for control (BOS, NYY, TB, TOR), not just two. The Yankees are on the decline in some aspects and on the rise in others, and could very well find themselves third in the AL East in 2010. This rivalry will be interesting to follow in the years to come.