I have some rambly thoughts after a horrible holiday weekend of Rays baseball, and I cannot afford therapy so this will have to do.
Yes, all the good feeling of the early season may be gone. That good vibe capital built up by the Rays hot start is officially vapor lost in the atmosphere.
The bullpen that look so flawless, so dominant has suddenly been a glaring weak spot over this 4 game losing streak. Even the dynamic Diego Castillo and Jose Alvarado were mere mortals vs a Red Sox team that has floundered so far this season.
Yes, there were plenty of bad feelings and red hot takes about everything each day: Kevin Cash decisions, KK defense, Heredia defense, double plays, baserunning blunders. The sizzling takes about whether the Rays should bench their best player to “send a message” was a particularly terrible and hilarious.
Yes, the Red Sox came into St Pete and won 3 games, gutting the Rays fans. Yes Austin Meadows is now on the IL with what could be a potentially very long term injury, maybe cutting short what was a breakout season.
Yes, all of this is true. I get it. Everything is terrible, and it’s probably as fine a team as any to abandon hope and give up on the season.
Let that shouting, screeching voice in your head out. Let the anger bubble up and treat yourself to a good old fashioned midnight curse out of your bedroom window. And then look at the calendar.
All of the folks who were quite ready to jump in to remind Rays fans that joy is not for them, and to check the date before expressing happiness over the hot start have a fundamental point to keep in mind: there is a long way to go.
So far the Rays have played 22 games out of 162. There are 140 games. In each game of this series the Rays fought back to tie the game. The Rays still have the best run differential in all of baseball. And there are still ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY games left.
I’m not saying don’t be angry. Lord knows, this series saw me rage out. Just amongst that anger, amid the desire to have a bonfire of your Dan Johnson bobblehead and JP Howell shirtsy, it is important to keep perspective.
There is a lot of baseball left in 2019.
Tyler Glasnow is all Rays fans after this nightmare weekend:
in·ten·si·ty— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) April 21, 2019
: the quality or state of being intense
especially: extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling, per @MerriamWebster pic.twitter.com/iqZcz9FxMC
After the game, Glasnow spoke to the media:
.@TGlasnow says he trusts every decision by manager Kevin Cash.#RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/8eSf7DuHoh— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) April 21, 2019
Rays place Meadows on 10-day IL; Wendle returns - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: A big loss and a big return for the Rays.
And now we all wait with baited breath for no ligament damage:
The #Rays Austin Meadows said he hurt his thumb on the triple. Meadows says he had an MRI but is not sure if there is ligament damage and will have further evaluation today.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) April 21, 2019
For Rays, one proves to be a lonely number - Ernest Hooper, Tampa Bay Times: A very disappointing series, that did have some bright spots behind a lot of dark and stormy clouds.
Kiermaier: Tough series a ‘blessing in disguise’ - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: Learning lessons with a long way to go. Definitely helps to learn those lessons while still holding the top record in the AL East.
9 players off to hot starts we didn’t see coming - Richard Justice, MLB.com: A couple Rays make the list of surprising hot starts.
Lo and behold the Lowe bros:— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 21, 2019
Nate, the #Rays' No. 8 prospect, homered for the @DurhamBulls. The brothers are a combined 6-for-7 with 3 HR, 4 R & 5 RBIs today.
Here’s how all @RaysBaseball Top 30 prospects are doing: https://t.co/RUU0xeJOov pic.twitter.com/xuy9rC0tgj
Alvarado played catch with a fan before the game. I will never get tired of watching baseball players playing catch with fans, especially kids. Just something so quintessentially “baseball” wholesome.
#Rays twitter world: Meet Braydon from Buffalo. José Alvarado made his 10th birthday.https://t.co/BIWRIQDf9f pic.twitter.com/vKIvyOeofd— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) April 21, 2019
Former Nationals minor leaguer killed in car accident in Dominican Republic - Sam Fortier, The Washington Post: Braulio Lara, who came up through the Rays system before moving on, tragically died in what is an all too common problem of car accident fatalities in the DR.
Around the League
Judge goes on IL with ‘significant’ oblique strain - Sarah Langs, MLB.com: The Rays aren’t the only AL East team with a RF to hit the IL this weekend. Another huge injury to the Yankees, who have an IL lineup that would dominate their major league lineup right now.
Fernando Rodney ties ... Cy Young? (Yes, really) - Andrew Simon, MLB.com: Old friend, archery enthusiast, Fernando Rodney has put himself in the same breath as a legend after he pitched in his 906th career game
Christian Yelich apparently remains Barry Bonds 2.0 - Matt Clapp, The Comeback: Yelich has always been good, but he is on an absolutely bonkers level right now.
Is Finding a Star Nothing but Luck?: Quantifying the effectiveness of MLB player development - Driveline Baseball: Fascinating research piece from Driveline attempting to put dollar amounts on team’s player development ability.
Jordan Hicks threw a fastball at 104 MPH on Sunday. That’s just bonkers.
Ramon Laureano is truly amazing. This catch is incredible, and his arm strength is ridiculous:
OMG THE GREATEST DOUBLE PLAY EVER pic.twitter.com/XZTtqL2kYN— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 21, 2019