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Thread: Any Tampa doubters now?

  1. #1
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Any Tampa doubters now?

    The Rays have now won 7 games in a row, and own baseball's best record as of today, July 7.

    They own a 5-game lead over Boston and 9 games ahead of the Yankees. Can anyone really doubt this team is for real?

    They're great up the middle (Navarro, Iwamura, Bartlett and Upton), have a tremendous starting rotation and the emergence of Evan Longoria and added power from Eric Hinske and recent production from Carlos Pena gives the Rays hope that they may actually continue to win at this pace.

    If the Rays can bolster the bullpen (Brian Fuentes), they've got a chance to do damage in the postseason too. That's not to diminish the bullpen though, as J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler have been filthy this season. Throw in Percival, Al Reyes and Trever Miller and the bullpen is already better than most teams. But someone like Fuentes would really help.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm rooting for a Tampa-Florida World Series, although the Rays clearly look to be more equipped than the Marlins.

    Just amazing to me there are still folks that don't buy into this club.
    Last edited by Brutus; 07-07-2008 at 03:07 AM.

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    Member mroby85's Avatar
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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    I still doubt Tampa Bay. I think the Yankees and BoSox will both end up ahead of them, I could be wrong, but there is a lot of baseball left to be played, and i just don't see Tampa being able to hold off the Yanks and Sox. A Tampa Bay, and Florida are probably 2 of the least teams I would want to see in the World Series, simply because their fans are pathetic, and I would rather fans who deserve it get to see it.

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    Quote Originally Posted by mroby85 View Post
    I still doubt Tampa Bay. I think the Yankees and BoSox will both end up ahead of them, I could be wrong, but there is a lot of baseball left to be played, and i just don't see Tampa being able to hold off the Yanks and Sox. A Tampa Bay, and Florida are probably 2 of the least teams I would want to see in the World Series, simply because their fans are pathetic, and I would rather fans who deserve it get to see it.
    Thing is, it's not like the Rays are 20 games over .500 with only a 10-20 run positive differential. They've got a 78-run differential over their opponents. That's better than Boston by a few runs and it's better than the Yankees more than three times over.

    Their Pythagorean is on pace for roughly 98 wins (compare that to about 84 for the Yankees).

    Certainly you could be right, and they could fall behind both teams - especially Boston. But the numbers suggest they're absolutely legit. In most ways you would measure a team, they are better than Boston and especially the Yankees.

    Out of curiosity... what is it that you have reservations about? Their pitching and defense both independently appear to be among the best in baseball. Their hitting is hardly playing above their heads, but still good enough to be considered a very, very good offense. Even if they go through a slump at some point (which should be expected for any team), I'm not sure I see a big enough weakness barring injuries anywhere on the team to have a collapse.

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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    How could anyone doubt them still with that pitching staff they have?
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    Member improbus's Avatar
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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    They kind of remind me of those old turf teams from the '80's (Cardinals, Twins, etc...). They are fast, athletic, and able to take advantage of their home field.
    Variatio delectat - Cicero

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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    I'm rooting for the Rays but he playoffs may be a different story for them.

    Maybe Weather, Jr, or Dunn could help them out? I like Price

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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorrisHopper30 View Post
    How could anyone doubt them still with that pitching staff they have?
    So you think Garza, Jackson, and Sonnastine are really this good?

    Count me among the doubters as I am not sold on those guys for the long haul.

    I think for the 2nd half it will be Kazmir, Shields, and a whole lot of inconsistency. I see them fighting to try to hold off the Yankees and White Sox for the Wild Card.

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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    Quote Originally Posted by swaisuc View Post
    So you think Garza, Jackson, and Sonnastine are really this good?

    Count me among the doubters as I am not sold on those guys for the long haul.

    I think for the 2nd half it will be Kazmir, Shields, and a whole lot of inconsistency. I see them fighting to try to hold off the Yankees and White Sox for the Wild Card.
    I knew Garza was this good, Jackson and Sonnastine have been surprising me though.

    Garza has amazing stuff and so does Jackson, but Jackson has always been termed a 'bust'. He's done well this year.
    Last edited by NorrisHopper30; 07-07-2008 at 11:47 AM.
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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    I don't think they can keep up this pace, but they can make the playoffs and they will be very dangerous for the next several years. They are a blast to watch and it's nice to see a team with such youthful exuberance playing so well.

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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    Quote Originally Posted by swaisuc View Post
    So you think Garza, Jackson, and Sonnastine are really this good?

    Count me among the doubters as I am not sold on those guys for the long haul.

    I think for the 2nd half it will be Kazmir, Shields, and a whole lot of inconsistency. I see them fighting to try to hold off the Yankees and White Sox for the Wild Card.
    Yes, Garza is this good. If you've ever seen his stuff, it's better than both Kazmir and Shields', and it's been just a matter of him controlling his emotions on the mound.

    Jackson is a 5th starter who throws in the mid-90s, so even with his inconsistency, out of a fifth starter who can throw that hard, you'll take the good with the bad.

    Sonnanstine hasn't been that good, but he eats a ton of innings and throws strikes. That's what you want from a back-end starter.

  12. #11
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    Quote Originally Posted by swaisuc View Post
    So you think Garza, Jackson, and Sonnastine are really this good?

    Count me among the doubters as I am not sold on those guys for the long haul.

    I think for the 2nd half it will be Kazmir, Shields, and a whole lot of inconsistency. I see them fighting to try to hold off the Yankees and White Sox for the Wild Card.
    To add to what NorrisHopper and a few others have said... absolutely I think Garza, at very least, is really this good (along with Kazmir and Shields).

    I don't know what to think of Sonnastine, but as far as Jackson, he's always had a lively fastball and a great curve. His problem has been control. This year he's still walking some guys, but he has a 2:1 K:BB ratio despite that. He's had better command. Since control has been his only problem, and never talent, I'd say it's not really a shock to see him pitching well.

    Garza though, absolutely he's good. That's not a fluke, IMHO.

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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    The Rays have now won 7 games in a row, and own baseball's best record as of today, July 7.

    They own a 5-game lead over Boston and 9 games ahead of the Yankees. Can anyone really doubt this team is for real?

    They're great up the middle (Navarro, Iwamura, Bartlett and Upton), have a tremendous starting rotation and the emergence of Evan Longoria and added power from Eric Hinske and recent production from Carlos Pena gives the Rays hope that they may actually continue to win at this pace.

    If the Rays can bolster the bullpen (Brian Fuentes), they've got a chance to do damage in the postseason too. That's not to diminish the bullpen though, as J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler have been filthy this season. Throw in Percival, Al Reyes and Trever Miller and the bullpen is already better than most teams. But someone like Fuentes would really help.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm rooting for a Tampa-Florida World Series, although the Rays clearly look to be more equipped than the Marlins.

    Just amazing to me there are still folks that don't buy into this club.
    I would love for TB to win the division just because it would guarantee either the Red Sox or Yankees would not make the playoffs and creates the possibility that both could miss the playoffs.

    That being said I am skeptical because of the bullpen. So far this year they have been phenomenal yet for their careers all of them (except Percival) have never resembled anything phenomenal. Just look at the differences between this year and last year.

    Pitcher This Year Last Year
    T. Miller 3.57 4.86
    Wheeler 1.82 5.86
    Howell

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    Re: Any Tampa doubters now?

    The bullpen pitching out of their minds has everything to do with the starting pitching IMO. Sure, they're doing things out of the bullpen that none of those guys should be able to sustain. At the same time, I would argue that most bullpens would experience career years if given 7 innings a start out of the rotation.

    Still, as Garza, Jackson, and Sonnastine blow by their career highs in innings, I would have to think this bullpen will get worked harder soon.

    Again though, maybe I'm wrong and these starters were just all set to explode as I seem to be in the minority here. Either way, interesting thread.


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