Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rays reach first in AL

I intended the title of this blog to serve as a reminder of the zaniness of the game itself, rather than any sort of celebration of an otherwise-obsolete, juice-box eyesore, or the ghosts who call it home. But since this is nominally a Rays-themed blog, I'm obligated to comment.

The Rays' presence at the top of the standings serves as a not-so subtle reminder of the world-upside-down potential within a 162-game season and between them. Tampa Bay ranks fourth in the AL runs scored and fifth in runs allowed. Translation: These Rays aren't doing it with smoke and mirrors. Are they overachieving right now? Probably. But with the wealthiest farm system in the game, a cost-efficient roster born of that farm system and 1.1, Tampa Bay looks to remain atop the American League for some time.

By the way, the Rays have secured 21 of their 32 wins at home. Maybe there really are ghosts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jon Lester threw a no-hitter.

Lester is the rightful story. Lost in the shuffle, however (quoth the AP):

Catcher Jason Varitek, who has been behind the plate for a record four no-hitters [...] also caught [Clay] Buchholz's no-hitter, along with gems by Hideo Nomo and Derek Lowe.

I don't know if there's a way to measure the ability to call a game -- Catcher's ERA is unreliable at best -- but I do believe it is a skill. Four no hitters by four different pitchers, as well as the consistent success of the Sox' pitching staff, leads me to believe Jason Varitek is the best at it.

I still hate the Red Sox.

There it is.

This nature photo used without permission from the Associated Press.

There it is. That impulse to write. Wonder what comes of it this time.