Two days ago, manager Kevin Cash pulled Steven Souza Jr. out of the game after Souza hit a fly ball to right-center and then failed to run hard out of the box. I think some fans found that an odd choice, being that Souza isn’t a guy who generally lacks hustle, and the mistake was really just that—a mistake.
Today, Marc Topkin wrote about the aftermath to Souza’s public (Souza admitted it, Cash did not call him out publicly) benching, with quotes from the clubhouse, and it seems to me that maybe Cash does know his team, and that maybe Souza is just the guy to use to send a message.
From the article:
Cash declined again to discuss details of his decision, saying he considered the matter now closed. But he praised Souza for the stand-up way he admitted and took blame for his actions in postgame interviews, "really impressed with how he's carried himself."
"I think we need some accountability as a unit," he said. "And if this heads us in that direction, then that's awesome."
I think the point here is that a public shaming isn’t always a public shaming. It’s clear enough to everyone, both inside and out of the clubhouse that Souza does try hard. So making an example of him isn’t going to stick. Instead, it makes a point that Souza and the rest of the team won’t forget, and it also gives Souza a chance to be a leader.
Of course, the Rays lost again last night, and Drew Smyly did not pitch well.
How frustrated is #Rays Smyly with extended struggles? Asked if he was looking forward to AS break, his reply: "Can't wait."— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 7, 2016
So how far away is Alex Cobb from returning? Still a ways off. He had trouble throwing strikes. But he stayed healthy. Bryan Levine of Suncoast Sports Now has good coverage and good quotes from the game:
“The competitive side of you gets angry about the result and not being able to make the adjustment,” Cobb said. “But you walked off the mound, and remember that the goal is to stay healthy, and you have a long time to get that all ironed out.”
This is pretty cool. Dylan Floro probably saw it coming, but he was told he was headed to the majors in front of camera and a bunch of kids.
- Just over one day left to #VoteLongo into the All-Star game. Come on now, he really does deserve it.
Need more reason to #VoteLongo? This was cool.