Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reason for Rays in Series? Spring Training Fight w/ Yankees.

More hackey journalism du jour from the Daily News and Yahoo!:
The New York Yankees may not be in the post-season for the first time in 13 years, but it seems the Bronx Bombers are taking some of the credit for the Tampa Bay Rays being there.

Who knew that back in spring training that when a Rays fringe player named Eliot Johnson crashed into a Yankee minor league catcher named Francisco Cervelli, infuriating Joe Girardi in the process, the AL East's perennial losers were sending a message that would resonate all the way to October?

Or as Johnny Gomes put it Tuesday: "It's one thing to send a message. It's another to back it up. I think that's what this organization, behind Joe Maddon, did this year. We backed it up. We rallied together and let people know that's how we were going to play. We played that way to the end and we're still playing that way."

You remember Gomes. He hasn't had much of a role in October, bumped off the postseason roster by the return of Rocco Baldelli, but it was Gomes who a few days later came flying in from right field to fight with Shelley Duncan. Duncan had taken it upon himself to retaliate for the Johnson slide by going into Akinori Iwamura at second base with his spikes high.

All these months later, Gomes thinks it was important for the Rays to establish the new, you-can't-push-us-around mentality against the Yankees that Maddon was preaching to a team loaded with young talent that also had a history of losing.

"Since I've been here that organization has been taking our lunch money," Gomes said of the Yankees, "on the field, off the field, spring training, everything. It took a little push to change things. I don't think that had to happen for us to start winning. We were just approaching spring training like it was the regular season, and we won the most games in the Grapefruit League because of it, and that carried over.''
You have to love that they're going to Johnny Gomes - who is not on the roster - for quotes on why the Rays made it, and that his example is... well, the only significant thing he's done all year, which is running out of right field to attack an opposing player.

A player injuring a minor leaguer for no reason by running him over and potentially ending his season and possibly his career "got the ball rolling."

Classy, Tampa.

Those reasons clearly outweigh the decade-plus of losing and drafting high and developing players.

As much as I want to see the city of Philadelphia and its fans continue to suffer.... go Phillies.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:40 AM   4 comments


At 10/22/2008 5:34 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Ah, so THAT'S where Fox got their motivation for their own ridiculous comment. Glad to see their originality at work.

However, it does not explain the melodramatic "baseball saves all" montage at the opening of the game. I'm all for baseball getting me verklempt, so when it doesn't even move me, you know you've tried too hard. Eww.

At 10/22/2008 5:45 PM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

Ask Francisco Cervelli whether or not baseball "saved" him.

They should send him a World Series share.

At 10/25/2008 1:25 AM, Anonymous chase utley's hair gel said...

I hope Jamie Moyer pitches like the Mighty Moose tonight.
Let's go Phillies!

At 10/25/2008 11:40 AM, Blogger June said...

I also like that he couldn't even spell Gomes' name right


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