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Jake's Take: Calling out Joe Henderson, So-called Tampa Tribune Columnist

Oh, I'm extremely pissed right now....

What happens when a supposedly well-respected columnist gets lazy because he doesn't check his facts and writes an article with what seems to be the weakest argument that I've ever seen for keeping a player past the trading deadline and signing him to a long-term deal?

This happens.

According to Henderson, we owe it to Jules to sign him to a long-term deal. Yup, he wants the Rays to pull out the checkbooks to sign the 30 yr old shortstop to what is believed to a 4-5 year deal where Lugo will get an annual paycheck of 8 MIL a year. Why, you ask, does Joe think that we owe it to Lugo?

It's because it's what the Rays don't do!!!

We do the same thing with all our stars, we play them until they get too expensive...then we ship them away for prospects or let them walk.

Yet this little blurb made no sense to did it with Jay Bradley at

We're used to seeing the Rays groom players and then send them packing when the price tag gets too high, but they weren't wrong to trade Aubrey Huff, Toby Hall, Danys Baez and Mark Hendrickson. Lugo is different. The Rays can win with Lugo.

It made all the sense in the world to trade Huff, Baez, Hendrickson and Hall....yet keep Lugo??? And the reason to keep Lugo, is that the Rays can win with Lugo??? You've gotta be kidding me.

The next problem I have with this blurb is that "The Rays groom players then send them packing when the price tag is too high?" Maybe Joe is getting senile in his old age, but I think he's confusing "when the price tag is too high" with "when the price tag isn't worth the product?"

Who exactly have the Rays had on the roster for a year or more then sent away, that has had a positive career?

Only 2 names come to mind to me, Randy Winn and Jose Guillen.

Randy Winn leaving wasn't even our doing or due to the cheapness of Naimoli, it was what Seattle wanted to compensate for us taking Lou Piniella was our manager.

Jose Guillen and Jose Bautista was a dumb trade that I'd rather not be reminded of, but again not due to cheapness of ownership.

So, who have we groomed for other teams? Tanyon Sturtze? Victor Zambrano? Nick Green? Jorge Sosa? Damian Rolls? Javier Valentin? Jesus Colome? I'd really like to know, just so that I can go to sleep right now.

What I'd like to do right now, is have Joe Henderson sit down and have him read aloud BJ Upton's career Minor League Stats to me. I'd then ask, to my glee, "How is BJ Upton not going to have a better career than Julio Lugo?". All the things that Lugo does, at 30, can be done by a 22 year old(Upton) who has potential to do the same thing right now. I honestly can say that newly-acquired Ben Zobrist could be just as good of a leadoff hitter as Lugo is right now.

Joe(both Maddon and Henderson) and some Rays fans have deemed Jules some sort of leadoff messiah, all because of a contract year "breakout" being performed by Lugo right now. I honestly am sickened by it at times, seeing that Lugo was barely hitting before an Interleague series against Atlanta where Lugo's on-base skill was shown on a nationwide scale.

Do you know what, Joe?

I want to see Lugo traded, just in spite of you and your horribly-written diatribe. Your argument is just as weak as your barely existent writing skill, which makes me wonder why you still have a job. Whenever I'm looking for a Rays-related article to're 6th on my list in the order of writers that I read for Rays articles. Both TBO writers, Both St. Pete Times and Gary Shelton rank higher than you right now.

I'd hope that you'd go online, randomly find this post and respond to it like a real man challenged to a duel, but I don't see you as the person that has the gumption to do that.