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The Rays Tank: To infinity and beyond

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I would like Manu's comments on this picture of Jake Arrieta
I would like Manu's comments on this picture of Jake Arrieta
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild Card games are over, the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs are in. Despite being shut outs both games were wildly entertaining. The first game for the awesome insights of Chris Archer and Ms. Mendoza on the broadcast, coupled with the failure of the Yankees (a three-hit performance) in Yankee Stadium. With Dallas Kuechel on short rest, no less!

The second game? For that lumberjack Chris Arrieta.

Arrieta was arguably the best pitcher in the second half this season, and he straight up wrecked the Pirates. Complete game four-hit shut out on 113 pitches.

Arrieta was drilled with a pitch after he hit two batters in the game. Old friend Sean Rodriguez tried to throw a punch when the benches cleared, got ejected, and then took out his frustration on a Gatorade cooler.

He broke his hand punching a locker when he was in Tampa Bay, so I doubt the Rays miss that recklessness, but I will say I will always remember Sean for being the first Rays player to be stung by a Rays fish at the beach.

And of course there was the old-friend alert for Joe Maddon.

I have to agree. I missed Joe this year, a lot, and this game only gave me fond feelings. I may not like the way he left, to commit to the Rays one week and then peace out the next is still in poor taste, but I don't fault him for leaving.

Maddon has the opportunity to become legendary, guiding a Cubs team at the right time to do exactly what they are doing, when the franchise he served for ten years was not in a position to dominate, and when that franchise saw it's two leading architects head for the door. No Hunsicker. No Friedman. No Price. No Shields. It was time to go.

Despite my father's south side roots, I wish the Cubbies well this post season. That is one helluva fun team to watch, and I want more of Joe Maddon... oh and Kyle Schwarber! What a night of baseball.

LINKS

- The Lightning start their season tonight, and to celebrate there are many Rays involved. Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi suited up and got on the ice for the Lightning's Wednesday practice:

and Evan Longoria will be the Bolts' "Social Media Captain" tonight, presumably on twitter, which continues the great relationship between the two franchises

- Raymond the Sea Dog responded to John Oliver's use of him in an analogy:

- Bryan Grosnick, of Beyond the Box Score, intends on wearing a Rays hat for an entire year

(Just Kidding, Frosty might be terrible next year, it's the Rene Rivera lesson)

- Grosnick says he has "the next Zorilla" article on the way, but Baseball Prospectus has one too (behind the paywall) -- Spoiler Alert: In this article, it's Enrique Hernandez.