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Pride or Die

I'm not going to rehash the scores or the plays of the past 48 hours, nobody cares to relive the series, and the words that come to mind aren't as family friendly as we'd like to keep the site, but it was nasty, and with Baltimore coming up, it could get even worse. The Orioles always give the Rays fits, call it the curse of Tony Saunders, or perhaps Delino DeSheilds; sure he never played for the Rays, but what an awesome name to have a curse named after.

The team needs a wakeup call, to put it gently, but more so than not we need the egos of B.J. Upton, Delmon Young, Carl Crawford, Scott Kazmir, and James Shields to kick in. We know they have them, all youngsters do; actually most players really, ego and pride, the factors that drive a high school ballplayer to ascend above the competition. I'm paging those egos, we need you.

To put it simply, you just got your asses beat. Yes you're part of a franchise with no history of success, and minus Fred McGriff no `heroes' of the past, but you know, that's no an excuse. I'm not about to compare the importance of the founding fathers to that of a baseball team, but guess what guys, other than Thomas Locke's writing, Washington, Jefferson and company didn't have `veterans' to look upon. You're the pioneers of this land, the ship builders. This franchise lives an dies off what the five of you accomplish.

I'm not blaming what happened on only these five, and we all know the axis of desecration on this youth's progress has been the bullpen. Help may or may not be on the way, if the team trades Ty Wigginton for Scott Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth, maybe the corpse of Walter Johnson, it's not going to change much. Sure both are going to band-aid the laceration that guys like Shawn Camp, Casey Fossum, and Jay Witasick have caused, but it doesn't end there.

Upton is immune to this discussion because simply he's done it all, I'm not going to appoint him leader simply because I'm not sure what goes on behind closed doors, but if the tale of him asking Delmon "What the hell did you just do?" after the `batman' incident is true, I'd say he's on his way to becoming a voice of the players.

In fact throw the other four into the immune category as well, the only reason I'm calling their pride and ego into session to not accept losing, that's where you need to separate yourself from young teams of the past. Do not embrace the idea that you're here to "put in your six then bolt." Does the front office need to do something this off-season to make your jobs easier? Yes, but for the moment being at most there's a pen arm or two on the way, otherwise it's the core 20 players.

You just got your asses kicked guys, the only way to answer back is as 25 go to Baltimore and stomp them into the ground on their grass. There's less than 70 games to get your acts together and overtake the birds; don't waste the next three chances to show them what's coming.