It’s All In The Bag ………. Or Is It ?

It’s All In The Bag ………. Or Is It ?

Coming off an improbable season ending to their regular schedule the Tampa Bay Rays now find themselves facing their biggest piece of adversity of the postseason. The team is now down 2-1 in the ALDS and are now in a ” must win ” situation” if they are to go further into the MLB playoffs. Standing in their way just happens to be AL West divisional champions the Texas Rangers .


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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Monday night’s game was a heart wrenching loss ( 4-3) for the Rays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida . On the mound for the team , manager Joe Maddon placed his faith in starting David Price . Countering for Ron Washington’s Texas Rangers they had Colby Lewis . Two young pitchers with contrasting styles but both eager to show the fans and their respective managers that the faith shown in them was certainly justified . Throughout the regular season both pitchers showed their sterling presence within the AL and league as a whole . But as we all know once the postseason everything starts afresh and it’s a new set of rules that everyone now plays by with regard to the pitching .

The crux of this game has to be predetermined by Joe Maddon’s team willingness to get their bats popping and not hold anything back. Get a lead , defend it steadfastly and let the chips fall where they may .

From my own perspective I felt that the Texas Rangers had a slight edge in terms of the respective pitching rosters but that by no means can always determine the outcome of a series . The postseason stats might bear this out but as all know anything can happen and usually does during the events that tend to unfold during the MLB playoffs.

Game four today will pit Jeremy Hellickson against David Murphy and clearly the players on this Rays’ roster knows what is being asked of them at this juncture . Win or go home .

Given the heroics of the team throughout much of the regular season and their improbable comeback I would hate to think that the Tampa Bay Rays could bow out of the postseason at this juncture ! They have given their fans a deserving uplift as well as the entire community within the area . Long forlorn and viewed as one the less bright spots on most teams’ regular season schedule this organization has given many of the small market teams around the league reason to hope and pursue success.

The crux of this game has to be predetermined by Joe Maddon’s team to get their bats popping and not hold anything back. Get a lead , defend it steadfastly and let the chips fall where they may .

For me the surprise team to make this postseason has to be the Arizona Diamondbacks and their very vocal manager Kirk Gibson and his experienced assistant staff . From worse to first within the space of one season the Diamondbacks were runaway winners of the NL West . In dethroning San Francisco Giants this young team played itself into contention for a postseason and berth where they now meet the NL Central divisional winners the Milwaukee Brewers led by their manager Ron Roenicke .

Kirk Gibson exemplified during his professional career as a player ….. playing tough and not giving any quarter to an opponent. It has been those instincts that he has instilled into his players that paid great dividends not just merely for the fans but the organization as whole under the ownership group led by senior managing partner Ken Kendrick with GM Kevin Towers taking of care of baseball operations and all personnel decisions.

Having lost game two in their series 9-4 to the Brewers the Arizona Diamondbacks now find themselves down 0-2 in the best of five game series against a Brewers team looking to make the most of their first appearance in the postseason since 2008 .

In a determining game three the Arizona Diamondbacks willl send to the mound Jay Collmenter to face Shawn Marcum of the Milwaukee Brewers . And while the Diamondbacks have struggled to score runs in the postseason this hasn’t been the case for the Milwaukee Brewers with their prolific offense led by Ryan Braun , Prince Fielder and Corey Hart .

It would be unfortunate to see Arizona Diamondbacks be swept out of the series against the Milwaukee Brewers without actually proving to be competitive during the postseason . As we know however , it is not simply what you are able to do during the regular season but how you acquit yourself during the postseason when you are placed under real adversity . And this now happens to the position that Kirk Gibson’s team now finds itself in .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the plight of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays ? And do you believe that either of these teams will be able to erase the deficits they face and play themselves back into contention within their respective series ? Simply chime in a with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ………

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Closer Neftali Feliz (30) of the Texas Rangers celebrates with catcher Mike Napoli(notes) #25 after the Rangers defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ….

(2) First baseman Mitch Moreland (18) dives to touch first base ahead of a sliding Johnny Damon (22) of the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth inning of Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …..

(3) Infielder Sean Rodriguez (1) of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated after scoring against the Texas Rangers during Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …..


MLB News

MLB scheduled games 4th October 2011

MLB probable starting pitchers 4th October 2011

MLB results 3rd October 2011

MLB postseason individual player stats batting averages

MLB postseason individual player stats pitching ERA & wins

MLB postseason Team stats cumulative

NB : At the time of posting this article the result of the Rangers Rays’ game wasn’t yet made public .

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

13 thoughts on “It’s All In The Bag ………. Or Is It ?”

    1. al clements

      I know that you feel aggrieved because the Pirates had another atrocious season again posting a losing one at that !

      But look on the bright side Bob Nutting and Neal Huntington are still looking to make a great deal of money by giving the fans a less than meaningful product on the field of play . So what’s new ?

      Hurdle and the coaching staff couldn’t even smell what they’d been cooking with this team as they began to stink up the joint to high heavens by midseason . Not much more can be said after that !

      😉 …. 😦 ….. 🙂

      tophatal ………. 😉


  1. The Rays have to address their lineup in the off-season, Al.

    They were 13th out of 14 American League teams, batting. 244.

    That just goes to show you how good their pitching was to get them into the post-season.

    I don’t know who’s gonna be out there over the winter that the Rays could possibly land (Manny) but we both know this team isn’t going to spend any money.

    Somewhere, somehow, this team needs some pop.


    1. Chris aka Sportschump

      Both you and I know the financial constraints that this organization places the team under . But it’s as I continue to maintain Stuart Sternberg and his partners can either seek a fresh influx of money by taking on a new partner flushed with deep pockets or continue on the path that they’re currently maintaining . We all in the end know where’s that’s leading and it is not going to be pretty !

      The team itself is filled with budding and future stars in Hellickson , Cobb and Jennings . Say nothing of which you still have the likes of Fuld , Longoria , Upton , Shields , Zobrist , Price and Matt Joyce .

      You’re right it has been the offense that has continued to let the team down with its sporadic productivity over the course of the season . It has to be way more consistent if they want to be viewed as viable contenders not just within the AL but baseball as a whole .

      My question to you though Chris , if you were Andrew Friedman and given the undoubted cuts will have to be made where do you start and who would you choose to bring in ?

      tophatal ……… 🙂


  2. The Rays made to the playoffs and no one expected them to. Yes, they do have some problems but this is a good team. The Diamond Backs are still not out of it. This could go five games


    1. Bobby Gee

      For me the fact that they (Rays ) made it was astonishing but the real issues that the Tampa Bay Rays will have during the offseason will all boil down to money and how best to make the use of the monies in bolstering the roster of the team .

      If the Diamondbacks can figure out how best to get their offense going in the first four innings of this series then there’s no reason to believe why they can’t get the better of the Brewers in the NLDS .

      Ron Roenicke’s Brewers are showing why they are one of the better teams in the NL to be sure . They’re well balanced in certain facets of the game and are not afraid to get going as and when needed .

      tophatal …………..


  3. I’m disappointed that the Rays were eliminated, but I feel like the best team won and I’m glad the Rays made the playoffs despite their flaws. Maybe next year.
    I was glad to see the Diamondbacks win to stay alive in their series with the Brewers. Good luck to them.
    Just one more thing, Joe Maddon should win manager of the year hands down.


    1. aero

      For me the the fact that the Rays made it this far has been astonishing when you think that six weeks ago their season appeared over given the lead that the Red Sox had in the AL East . At season’s end who would have expected this team to gain the wildcard berth and then make such a gallant effort in the postseason ?

      I think that the Diamondbacks can make their series against the Brewers competitive if their offense shows up with much more regularity .

      As for the AL Manager of the Year to my mind there are only three credible candidates . Those are Maddon , Leyland and Ron Washington . As to who will ultimately prevail remains to be seen as the idiot writers of the BBWAA tend to have their favorites rather than looking at the body of work of those candidates .

      Vanessa Marcil will continue to support the Rays in any way that she can even if it means taking off her clothing as a way of showing her loyalty .

      tophatal ………….


    2. aero

      For me now is what does the front office do by way of this roster in its present form and how do they go about addressing the issue of getting some talent without over extending themselves in terms of their overall finances ? Sternberg and his partners we know haven’t got deep pockets .

      As we know the fan-base (avg. 19,000 conservative guess) is simply not enough to make this organization a viable concern. Certainly not in either Hillsborough or Pinellas County ! The beat writers and in area analysts and the fans calling for the team to remain simply have no god damn idea as to what they’re talking about . The Rays simply are not getting the type of backing needed from the companies or fans in the area to remain in the locale long term. Not even with a move to downtown Tampa or nearby the city limits will actually make one iota of difference .

      Ladies in the bay area are you prepared to bare your assets and show your undying support for the Rays ? Go on show the Rays your love !

      tophatal ………


  4. Such an anti-climactic end to their season. I watched till the last out yesterday hoping to see some more magic, especially since Feliz is prone to blowing a save. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. They definitely overachieved this year, but as long as Maddon is there to push the buttons, I think they’ll be fine… Joyce, Jennings, Rodriguez, and all the pitchers they have are a good start already!


    1. chappy 81

      It was anticlimactic to see this team falter in the way that they did against the Rangers yesterday .

      And once again was the offense that let them down . That is certainly needed to be addressed by the coaching staff and front office in particular . But once again with the Tampa Bay Rays their woes all comes down to money and the willingness of the organization to go that extra mile and spend perhaps an extra $10-$15 million to bolster the roster .

      GM Andrew Friedman’s contract is up with the organization and we’ve yet to hear whether or not he’ll return next season at the same time they still have to gauge the interest in seeing whether or not B J Upton will seek to re-sign with them or pursue free agency . The player believes he’s worth $10 -$12 million a year at least but I doubt that they may want to pay him that sort of money when adjudged against the productivity of his teammates who are said to be contributing more . However what Upton has an intangible over a number of them has been his defense .

      There’s going to be a great deal of drama within this organization this off-season that’s for sure !

      ‘Don’t mess me fool ‘ ! ‘ Y’all better better show me the money bitches ” !

      tophatal ……….


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