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Jeesh.

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Marc Topkin and Marc Lancaster have pretty good gigs, they get to follow the Rays around for a living and probably have a fair share of stories to tell about the individuals on the club, but one thing I wouldn't envy them on...their commentators.

Obviously the newspapers are far more mainstream and reach wider audiences something this blog doesn't necessarily do, but we'd like to think we have some of the smarter Rays fans around on here, seriously. That's why it's such a shock to the system when we check up on Topkin or Lancaster's entries to see comments that are ...uh, stupid? So we'll play ombudsman for a few minutes and examine the working man's idea of the Rays.

Proper grammar and spelling aren't necessary, nor is courtesy of caps lock. Take for example these from Lancaster's blog today about trading Seth McClung for Grant Balfour:

MCLUNG//BALFOUR: IN THE LONG RUN IT MAY EVEN OUT WITH BOTH TEAMS GAINING ++ POSSIBLY BALFOUR WILL BECOME THE RAYS CLOSER BUT FIRST THINGS FIRST ++ LOSING MCLUNG RIGHT WHEN HE FINALLY GOT HIS COMMAND IN [AA]REMINDS ME OF LOSING JOSH HAMILTON ++ BAD TIMING !!AND BAD JUDGEMENT !! NOW WE MAY LOSE CASANOVA BUT IF SO, WE HAVE 2 GOOD HITTING CATCHERS WAITING: HERNANDEZ AND JASO ++ NEED TO REMOVE FOSSUM,CAMP & STOKES ... SOOOOON !!!

That from a fellow named Rich, and while we're not at all sure what `++' actually means, but we're guessing it's a replacement of stuff like, you know, commas. Content wise he's correct through the first stanza, and sure if everything goes well Balfour may find himself closing, but uh, Seth found his control? 6.60 walks per nine innings in AAA, not so much, and why must Josh Hamilton's name always come up in these comments? Seriously, people, not our fellow Rich, but people chastise Andrew Friedman for keeping Elijah Dukes then say "WHY WOULDN'T YOU KEEP JOSH HAMILTON ++ HE WAS GOOD!!!!" that bothers me, but moving on he considers losing Raul Casanova a bad thing. Casanova > Paul, but neither are good, and Casanova lacks defensively where as Paul lacks in `pop' so whatever they even out, and he's astutely correct in saying John Jaso is a hitting catcher, and sure Michael Hernandez can hit, and catch, but he's not in the same prospect stratosphere as Jaso. Oh and his final line? 100% correct. Grade: B

Next is Jason:


Who would have predicted that Sternberg would be a worse owner than Naimoli?
With Vince you at least knew up front what you were getting. Sternberg and Friedman have lied to Rays fans about their commitment to winning.
Friedman as yet to make a trade that has benefitted the Rays. I see a lot of ex-Rays playing all over the major leagues that the Rays released or received very little in return. While the Rays regress
with their "working for 2009" mantra, all of the other teams are getting better, Sternberg should have been embarressed by tonites crowd, but he didn't hear the Sox fans, he heard cash registers.

Naimoli's tenure: 1996-2005, Sternberg 2005-2007 can we really judge Sternberg off of that short time. Next line, they've lied? About what precisely? Granted they haven't put money into the roster just yet, but they have made Tropicana Field respectable and they've built upon a foundation for the future. Friedman hasn't made a trade that has benefitted, I mean benefited the Rays? I guess Brendan Harris must've died or something. Rays are playing all over the league and we got nothing in return, that's more LaMar than Andrew...All other teams are getting better? You do realize Washington is about to give Dmitri Young 10 million over 2 years with Nick Johnson (position: same) making five million next year? That makes a team better? A team that features Nook Logan and Jason Simontacchi? Final line is embarrassing indeed; tonight / tonite, folks that's one more character in the first correct word, but wutevar.

Lesson Rays players must learn: Don't make Andy Friedman mad. Just as Cantu was not given much of an opportunity this season, McClung wasn't given one at all, both players voiced their displeasure with Rays management.
Why trade McClung without giving him a chance? He is younger than Balfour, throws harder than Balfour,and has more Major League experience than Balfour.
They shuld have dumped Camp or Fossum.

Mark from Orlando greats us with a pretty wise rule of thumb: don't piss off your boss, just ask Milton Bradley how yelling and throwing chairs in front of Billy Beane worked out. Cantu's ego is bigger than his choice of females (stories for other times....), but McClung has been given plenty of chances, he'd likely attest to that himself. He is younger than Balfour, correct, throws harder, yep, but last time I checked Steve Dalkowski threw harder than anyone else...he wasn't that good. Has more MLB experience than Balfour? Yes, 85 games to 58, SO WHY IN THE HELL WOULD ANDREW FRIEDMAN MAKE THIS MOVE? Oh...yeah McClung has never had an ERA below five in the Majors, Balfour, in the two seasons he's had more than three appearances has had ERAs of 4.15 and 4.35. Again, last comment is correct, but if he meant for Balfour he doesn't realize what value is.

We move to Topkin, where I was pleasantly, PLEASANTLY surprised.


Melissa:
Thank the baseball gods. Yes I agree, it was like trading for free. Belfour's minor league stats look good. And we've done pretty well trading for previously injured players. I can't wait to see how things work themselves out. Almost any ptching trade is a good trade, right?

Other than mistaking him for the clan of Belfour (The Eagle) I agree.

Bobby:
Are you people kidding me? McClung was terrible and had no hope of ever benefitting this organization ever again. Anybody we got, we would basically have to consider we were getting them for free, not to mention we got a guy who has some encouraging numbers if you look a little more closely. Albeit, he is coming off injury troubles, but as a rightnander, he retires lefties at an even better clip than most lefthanded pitchers do. Plus, and I cannot stress this enough, losing McClung in a trade is essentially like getting Balfour for free. Even if he's out of baseball in two years, we win. Get a clue, all of you.

Yep.


Tim:
Just what they need, a guy named "Ball-Four" with an lifetime era over 5. Gee, does anyone care what this origanization does anymore?

We traded a guy with an ERA over 6, his name is a moot point, he could be called Strykthree, doesn't mean he's good or bad, and apparently you do care, otherwise you wouldn't try and be funny big boy.

Steve:
Now McClung can try and WOW the Brewers with his "intelligent pitching" as he stated this spring.With Seth, intelligent pitching is an oxymoron

And finally...Halen:

Thank God McClung is finally out of that unbelievably horrible Devil Rays organization!! They have done nothing but run good players into the ground and totally destroy them! Good luck in Milwaukee Seth.

Oh screw you, but I do agree with the final sentiment, I wish Seth nothing but the best in Milwaukee.

So after all of that we began looking at our new diaries, specifically the one by `Mitch'...and I gotta say, shit's weak. Andrew Friedchickenman? Silverboy? Goddamnit those are horrible! I don't call commentator's work out, because most of it is hilarious (Top Gun Numba 1, Sean, ect) but these nicknames suck.

Then he says Salas has sucked...he has a 3.86 ERA, best in our bullpen, his cutter makes my heart flutter. The Juice does not suck, and calling him out is unacceptable. The rest is rabble, rabbble, Jersey pride! Let's call the team the Mudhens and Stu is greedy, and then of course `Go Tribe' and all that crap.

Anyhow I've almost lost my point here: our commentators our probably the best of any Rays' blog, take value in that folks, we're the few, the proud; Rays Nation.