The Rays begin the work week riding a five game winning streak, 3.5 games out of the wild card, and just 5.5 games behind the Yankees - thanks to the A's ending New York's seven game run on Sunday. Tampa Bay has nine games left in the regular season. Steve Kinsella will follow this morning's Rays Tank with more notes from around the AL East, but first some entertaining news from the weekend:
Yankees 3B Eric Chavez made headlines this weekend when he got his feelings hurt on Saturday as his former team launched three home runs in the 13th inning. "Oakland just isn't suppose to be this good," Chavez was quoted saying. "It's just not fair. I mean, we beat 'em anyways, but right when I get out of that hell hole, the team starts to play well! Now they have to rub it in our faces by having fun? What is this, amateur hour?"
Brian Cashman, architect of the team with the highest payroll in baseball asked, "can the commissioner fine a team for excessive celebrations? You gotta believe that if someone doesn't teach these kids how to take the game seriously, they'll never be successful -- And how about those uniforms," Cashman continued. "Everything about this team is obnoxious."
Former Tampa Bay outfielder Jonny Gomes responded to the Yankee criticism by noting, "come on, man, it wasn't that bad. You should see how we celebrate when we win!" He then returned to packing his sombrero. When reached for comment, A's manager Bob Melvin suggested the Yankees could learn a thing or two on celebrating from Josh Reddick instead. He was then doused in Gatorade, just because.
I might be paraphrasing.
On to the links!
- For those of us who like laughing at things like Batting Average - and awards based on Batting Average - Paul Swyden says, "Not so fast."
- BrooksBaseball's Matchup Analysis Tool is out of Beta testing and now includes strike zone plots, a detailed matchup history, first pitch percentages, and direct links to share with friends.
- Tampa Bay Lighting coach Guy Boucher came by the Trop to toss the first pitch on Friday. His strategy was somewhat unorthodox, and incredibly awesome. Also, Stephen Vogt in a hockey mask!
- There has been quite a few posts looking into decisions made by Joe Maddon over the last week, most recently by the man formerly known as "mr. maniac": Michael took a critical look at the use of Matt Moore in Saturdays win, starting with the intentional walk of Edwin Encarnacion after Moore had racked up a 2-2 count.
- Evan Longoria, Matt Moore, and Rich Thompson hosted a pizza party at the MLB Fan Cave while in New York