If you'll remember a long time ago I penned a piece called 'Oh, Joe!' that basically de-mythed all of Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune's misguided thoughts...well...here he is, again.
Another Year, Another Bad Team at Trop well that's clever Joe...after the jump I dissect his 'piece of work'.
It's not a good thing when you're mathematically eliminated before pitchers and catchers report, but the Rays will justify it the way they always do - by saying they are one of baseball's youngest teams.
Okay Joe, we're amongst the worst 4-5 teams in the entire MLB? Really? Perhaps record wise, however talent wise I'm pretty sure Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Colorado would take quite a number of guys from us to be quite frank. We're not 'mathematically eliminated', I know that was an ol' sarcastic thing, but really Joe we were at .500% 25 games into last season before the injuries began happening, were we sitting dead then too?
This ain't it, either, unless Michael Waltrip's crew chief can switch out the Rays' Gatorade jug with some of his magic go-go juice.
So ... um, how 'bout that free parking!
Yeah, sad but true. They lost 101 games last year and didn't do much during the winter to get better, although Akinori Iwamura's alligator-skin glove apparently is something to see.
I'll ignore the fact that it's not always been 'forever young', since basically the downfall of the Naimoli era, other than Chuckles and his bad deals, was the Hit Show, which we went and tried buying wins...didn't work, but no shock Henderson wouldn't print that.
I'll ignore the Daytona 500 reference since...well I'm not keen on NASCAR knowledge and this piece isn't about racing. Then he makes fun of free parking....nice job Joe, I'm sure the owners who are losing money because of it really sit around thinking 'well golley, free parking is just the greatest thing ever!' No they don't, they actually have a reality in mind that suggests giving the fans some money off of the parking could add up to a few more hotdogs bought, a few more games attended, but not in Joe's world!
Next he shows his ignorance of the new acquisition, yes Joe we brought him in and the only thing special about him is his love of reptile gloves and birthday cakes, odds are Henderson has no idea the guy won 5 gold gloves in Japan at 3B, nor that he had a .380 OBP and hammered 30 homeruns...but I'm starting to expect this from Joe.
One of these days, maybe Jeff Niemann, Andy Sonnanstine, Jason Hammel and Chris Seddon will be fine major-league pitchers, but until then fans will be asked to drink from a well of faith the Rays pray is bottomless. Fans will be asked to continue believing in things they cannot see. Oh, and ignoring what they do see.
Okay now I'll ignore that the best arms are going to be in Durham this season....and that he doesn't know the A arms that will likely start in Vero Beach, but then he goes and tries showing his minor league knowledge...and fails...miserably. Niemann - good, Sonny - good, Hammel - eh, decent, Seddon - what the ....? How can you not name Mitch Talbot, and instead name...(and no offense to Seddon) Chris Seddon? When was the last time Seddon went an entire playoff without allowing an earned run, not a game, not a series, an entire playoff tournament!
And you can see evidence that one day, maybe, perhaps, it will be better.
That won't help this summer, though.
So keep smiling and keep these numbers at the ready. The Minnesota Twins built with kids and went from 69 wins in 2000 to 85 wins a year later. Florida went from 79 wins in 2002 to 93 victories and a World Series title in only a year.
When the Rays do get better, it could be that dramatic.
Until that magic summer comes though, they're just another team that lost 101 games last year. They will be that until they prove they aren't.
Perhaps I wouldn't have made a rant if he posted this from the beginning, but the rest of his article is so full of trash this is just an ignorant attempt to save face with the people who know what the heck they're talking about, he's dead on with the first point, but it seems his lovefest for Sweet Lou, his indifference on Chuckles, and his good ol' boy attitude towards Naimoli doesn't give Sternberg, Friedman, or Maddon a chance in hell to win him over unless they win 162 games, I will say this, if the Rays win 83-84 games, I won't be suprised when Joe Henderson pops out of the hole with this 'HOLY COW, I TOLD YOU BOYS THEY'D TURN IT AROUND' column like so many others would.