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Rays Tank: It's just a metaphor

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Didn't I tell you not to get your hopes up?

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Look, only an idiot really thought they were gonna go undefeated the rest of the way, right? And nobody ever said it was always gonna be smooth sailing, just because it was magic. I mean, take indoor plumbing. It's a modern miracle that has saved us all from a lifetime of crapping outside. Plus, it's probably saved millions of lives. But you know what else? Sometimes, even when the crapper is indoors, things can still be ... uh ... well let's say difficult. Or maybe we should go ahead move on to our first clip, because it's just a metaphor anyway, and clip #1 is a better example.

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Sometimes we tend to view the Maddon era through rosé colored glasses. It was all California Dreamin' all the time. And most of the time, that was the case. But not always. Here's 2010 JoeMa and Matt Garza getting into it on the mound and in the dugout.

Ya know, I get that Matt is a hot head. And he's understandably pissed, almost entirely at himself. And yeah, don't show up the manager. But damn, don't show up the pitcher either. Just let him go. It's like when I've had a really crappy day at work, and my wife wants to talk about it. "How does it make you feel?" It makes me feel like punching a hole in the drywall, if we're being honest. Now can I watch some TV and cool off? Oh, and did you notice that we won the game?

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Next stop is 1993, where we get to see before-he-was-an-ex-Ray Manny being Manny from the get go.

Haha let's all laugh at Manny.

Okay, stop laughing now. He actually hit his second homer in this same game. Did I mention it was his second major league start?

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Onward and backward, to 1986, where the Giants Terry Mullholland learns that when things don't go as planned, sometimes you have to get inventive.

I'm not entirely sure this is legal. Don't care.

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For our last stop, we dial it back to 1984, where Mike Witt of the Angels locks down the eleventh perfect game in major league history.

Perfect game pitchers run the gamut from Baseball God to Who he? Even without the PG, Mike Witt falls safely in hey, I remember that guy territory. We should all be so lucky. So get out there, do your best with what you have, and good things will happen! Or they won't. But either way, you'll be able to sleep at night.

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Here's some other September 3rds:

  • 1880: The first baseball game is played under lights at Strawberry Hill, located on the shores of Nantasket Beach. The lights are on three wooden towers and have the equivalent brightness of 90,000 candles. The game between the two amateur clubs ends in a 16-16 tie, because the players need to catch the last ferry back to Boston. Buncha pansies.
  • 1906: Behind Rube Foster, the Philadelphia Giants beat the Cuban X-Giants for the first Negro League Championship Cup. It still stuns me that just 100 years ago, this was a thing.
  • 1928: Ty Cobb collects his 4,191 and final hit, then a record for most in a career. The record will stand until Pete Rose passes it in 1985.
  • 1961: Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris become the first teammates to top 50 homers in the same season.
  • 1975: Battling injuries in what he has said will be his last season, Bob Gibson comes on in relief and gives up a grand slam to Chicago's Pete LaCock, best known for being the son of Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall. Gibson pitches to one more hitter, setting down Don Kessinger on a grounder, then calls it quits, never throwing another major league pitch. Though ten years later, at an Old-Timers game, Gibson hit LaCock. Because of course he did.
  • 1977: Sadaharu Oh hits his 756th career homer to surpass Hank Aaron as the all-time career home run leader in professional baseball.
  • 2007: In his first start of the season, Pedro Martinez becomes the 15th player to notch 3000 strikeouts.

But enough about ancient history. Here's your Link Dump:

  • The one "must-read" for today, MGL talks about UZR and the shift. Maybe the biggest failing with individual UZR is that it throws out all of the shifted plays, and in the Rays case, that's 40% of all plays. What MGL does here is compare team UZR, which includes the shift, with prorated individual UZR, to see which teams are shifting effectively. The Rays are one of the best at it, but right now it looks like Houston, with their new hotshot analytics front office, is kicking ass and taking names.
  • It really would have been nice if it came in a win, but Evan Longoria became the first Rays player to hit 200 home runs.
  • Cluster luck and performance luck. What gets characterized as luck in either case can be debated, but the Rays look like they're benefiting from one and suffering from the other.
  • Good work by Josh Roegele digging into the highest-scoring month in a long time.
  • I didn't think protesting a game ever worked, but this time it did.
  • On Baseball Prospectus ($$), Joey Rickard made R.J. Anderson's "All Fringe Team," and Russell Carleton was unable to show that having veterans helps teams down the stretch.
  • Rookie night. Joey Butler is the best by far. The dude just cannot be fazed.