For the Tampa bay Rays, there will be no champagne on ice at Tropicana Field tonight.
David Price will not give up 7 runs and exit early, crushing the hopes of the Rays faithful and prompting fans to leave in droves, leaving just a hopeful few to witness history. Sam Fuld will not draw a key bases loaded out in his first PA in weeks to start an unlikely 8th inning rally. Dan Johnson will not paint a chair white. Evan Longoria will not go legend, twice.
Instead, the Rays will play a relatively meaningless (unless you are an Orioles or Yankees fan) game to cap a utterly disappointing season.
Blame Evan Longoria's hamstring all you want, but last night, James Shields went out and pitched the game of his life, 9 IP, 15K, 2H, 1R, and lost!
If that's not a microcosm of this Rays season, then I don't know what is. Joe Maddon called it "the crime of the century."
Shields set a franchise record for strikeouts, 15, in the complete-game effort. His gem would also set a franchise record for Game Score, at 94, the highest Game Score in a losing effort since 1918. Yet, incredibly, it would be the 4th time in the last 2 months that the Rays lost 1-0, and the 10th time this season, the most since the 1976 Brewers lost 11.
Sure, injuries and sloppy defense hurt, but it is pathetic offensive performances like that that truly doomed the 2012 Rays.
- It's stadium proposal season, I guess. Joel Cantor said yesterday that he wants to buy and raze Channelside and build a Rays stadium in its place. He claims that AT&T Park would fit in the space but, shocker, doesn't know how the project would be funded.
- The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers of America voted Fernando Rodney as the Rays 2012 MVP.
- The Houston Astros played the Chicago Cubs last night, the first matchup of two 100-loss clubs in over 50 years.
- MLB and FOX reached a new 8-year TV deal. The new deal will eliminate the much-reviled Saturday blackout.
- Seven years after his first, and fatefully last, MLB plate appearance, Adam Greenberg got a second chance. And hey, no big deal, just go try and hit 20-game winning kunckle-baller, R.A. Dickey.