Monday, April 23, 2007


(MAP: Tampa Bay. Just because I like maps.)

Tampa Bay beat the Yankees 10-8 today. They will play a lot games like that, losing most of them. But the starting eight players in the field are nearly as good as any in the game. If you consider cost (salaries), they are by far the best in the game. I wouldn’t trade them for any eight. Their pitching will keep games close but that’s the fun of it.

It’s early in the season but, what the hell. Here are some developments. Ben Zobrist, their shortstop, was hitting .167 in 56 plate appearances including two sacrifices. He had drawn NO walks. That gave him an OBP (on base percentage) of .161. Have you ever seen an OBP lower than a batting average? That is quite a feat. He was batting second in their lineup. Can you say, “Automatic out?”

He has been replaced by Brendan Harris. After going 2 for 4 today, Harris is hitting .364 in 33 at bats. Right, it’s early in the season and can he play shortstop? If he can hit like that he can play SS for me. That will part of the fun watching them.

Assuming Harris is the real thing, that gives the Devil Rays the most solid lineup in majors. The rookie center fielder, Elijah Dukes is struggling somewhat and Ty Wigginton I doubt will ever hit enough to be more than adequate at first base, and the catcher is not yet hitting up to par, but any manager would be more than happy to have those be his most serious problems. Several of the others are potential super-stars.

It will be a fun team to watch.



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