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July 05, 2008

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Phil Compton

Great analysis. Must really burn you guys to recognize that the Rays turnaround is being engineered by New Yorkers who were smart enough to make a small fortune in Wall St., and then get out in time & invest in baseball. Us, we're used to New Yorkers bringing their money down here - pretty much the story of the state.

For as many props as your young GM has deservedly received, time to note that the even younger Andrew Friedman has turned the worst bullpen into one of the best, likewise with the defense, and without spending much of Mr. Sternberg's money. Now that Tampa Bay folks are finally realizing Vince Naimoli is gone, we're putting a few more folks in the stands (1 millionth last night) and Friedman has the funds to compete for talent to plug in for the 2nd half.

Are the Rays better than the Red Sox? I really don't think so - Boston's line-up is too deep not to retake 1st. Both teams should meet again in the playoffs, though.

Hope you can forgive the bit of ebullience that motivated the Sweet Caroline moment. Long time Rays fans (yes, there are some), have long tolerated Boston fans (many of whom moved to Clearwater 8 years ago) when they act like the Trop is their vacation home. No more. Tourists are always welcome, but New England natives who can't accept that they long ago chose to make Tampa Bay their home are being outed and converted, just as they were 10 years ago when the Buccaneers finally started winning.

P.S. It's "Rays", not "Devil Rays", and the team is "Tampa Bay" - Tampa is the city across the bay from St. Petersburg where the Yankees train, part of the Tampa Bay metro area. "Tampa" is never an acceptable abbreviation for "Tampa Bay". A bit of respect and accuracy is now warranted, don't you think?

beth

hard to know how to respond to your comment, phil. it started off with 'great analysis' but took a turn for passive-agressive land in the very next sentence.

like i said in the post, there's no doubt the rays are for real this year, but having successfully occupied first place for half a season is no grounds to go rubbing things in *quite* so much just yet, either with a sarcastic 'sweet caroline' or demands for 'respect'...

Mark

The Rays are for real this year for sure. And they're clearly the team to beat this year for the Sox. Boston's bullpen has really taken a turn for the worse this year. Okajima and Paplebon are a disappointment so far. I also think there is a chance Ortiz is not going to come back for a while, and maybe not even till '09. Thoughts on Papi's return?

beth

only that i hope it *does* happen and very, very soon. this team needs him.

Devine

OMG, Papelbon "disappointing"?!

Papelbon has a 2.33 ERA and gives up a home run about once every 13 innings so far this year. Apparently two blown saves in a row against the Twins and one rinky-dink single up the middle vs. the Yankees is too much for you. Or was it the Cardinals game where he gave up that freak double with 2 strikes and 2 outs? Have you been watching the innings where nobody touches him? You are spoiled if you think Papelbon has been anything but slightly-less-awesome (although I do wonder about the splitter these days). At least wait till the year's over before calling him a disappointment. Gah.

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