The Devil Rays brain trust is getting what they deserve. You put a poor attempt of resembling a major league team together, the results are easy to predict.
In year one of Lou, the theme was riding out the bad contracts of Grieve and Vaughn and seeing what some rookies named Baldelli and Crawford could do. After year one, those high salaries would be off the books and that would give Lou a better chance to compete.
With that payroll off the books, anyone could tell you that they needed a veteran pitcher to lead the staff. A solid third baseman could of helped as well since there was nobody in organization that was ready to handle the hot corner after Lou determined Huff's defense on an everday basis was not a good fit. We all know what was done with the salary. Nothing like this. That is where the key mistakes in building a good foundation under Lou was first botched.
The third offseason (2005) was a travesty. Instead of giving Lou the pieces to build on after the Devil Rays first season out of the cellar, they instead decided to use the money they could of used on players, and deposit the sum of 27 million into Vince Naimoli's bank account.
Its easy to criticize Lou for the way he runs his team. From the outside looking in, guys like Schilling can give him a hard time about the losses. But, Lou has not been given any chance to win period. If you have not figured it out yet, its the beginning of the end of the Lou era in Tampa. Say what you want, he came here to instill his brand of baseball teaching on the young ball club. There was an opportunity to turn this thing around by this point in time under Lou. The ownership and the front office dropped the ball. I do not expect Lou back next year. He gave it his best shot under the financial constraints. If you see Lou, thank him for staying on the job despite what he has been through this year professionally and personally. And, oh by the way, Schilling is an idiot.