If you told me at the beginning of the season that the Rays would go though all the injuries and setbacks they have, and yet still be playing quasi-meaningful games in September, I'd have laughed. And yet here we are. Yeah, that last loss still stings. But we still have a whole month of baseball to go! So let's try and enjoy the ride.
Just look at Wil Myers. Doesn't that look like a guy enjoying the ride?
Well, he did for 2013 anyway. And that's why enjoying the ride is important: you never know how long the ride actually is.
Peter Bourjos is guy who's made a living out of enjoying the ride, right into walls.
Stamp it with a star.
You know who never seems to be enjoying himself? Dioner Navarro. Well, except when he's going yard against his old team. But here's proof that even Navi can crack a smile when things go right, even if those things don't involve humiliating the Rays.
That was a smile, right? Sorta?
Of course, it is soooo much easier to enjoy the ride when you're winning. Like the 2002 A's did, 20 times in a row.
They blew an 11-0 lead in this one against the Royals before Hatteberg's pinch hit walk off. And yes, 20 wins in a row is an AL-record. That's objectively commendable.
Here are some other guys who had objectively commendable days on September 4ths past:
- 1923: Sam Jones of the A's no-hits the Yankees, despite not recording a strikeout. He is only pitcher to accomplish this feat until Ken Holtzman matches him in 1969.
- 1927: Lloyd and Paul Waner become the first brothers to homer in the same game when they both go yard, helping the Pirates top the Reds 8-4.
- 1966: The Dodgers become the first team draw both two million on the road and at home.
- 1993: Jim Abbott no-hits the Indians singlehandedly (ADA pun intended). Boos rain down in the ninth inning when Kenny Lofton attempts to bunt for a hit. The attempt was deemed objectively douchey by the baseball gods, and went foul
- 1995: Robin Ventura becomes the eighth player to hit two grand slams in the same game.
- 2010: Jim Thome hits a pair of homers for the Twins and moves past Mark McGwire for eighth place on the all-time list at 584.
But that's quite enough ancient history. Here's your Link Dump.
- Mr. Baseball has an in depth look at the sordid history of the pitcher's mound.
- It's September! And Terrance Gore is back! Nicholas Stellini investigates contemplates the one-trick pony. Also, that makes it as good a time as any to dig this back up.
- In AL East notes, the Orioles are experimenting with Manny Machado as a shortstop. It's about damn time. J.J. Hardy is a decent player, but the privilege of paying him near market rate never seemed to me to be enough to justify turning Machado into the league's best defensive third baseman (as opposed to the best overall shortstop).
- More AL East notes, Benjamin Drozdoff checked back in on the weird new turf at the Rogers Center. It's a good article.
- Ray Jazayerli at Grantland on the Royals. Why did the experts miss? I think that in almost every case, including this one, it's because people and computers aren't good at factoring growth potential (rather than past production), and people and computers aren't good at factoring in defense.
- We're going to break down the numbers on this later today, but Marc Topkin wonders if the Rays should give Kevin Kiermaier a long-term deal.
- Since we're talking about managers, bullpen usage, and roles today, here's Jeff Long talking about managers, bullpen usage, and roles ($$).