Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Beautiful Run Ends


The Tampa Bay Rays did not make it through game 6, losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 1 to 3. But it was one heck of a run. They won 11 out of 20 games on their way to the World Series and showed us all how a small-market team can make its way through the wild card, the division championship, the league championship, and into the World Series. 

Box Score

Of course, I could quibble with tactics (I am far from alone), but they were tactics that have worked well in the past. Other interesting stories here and here

Overall, the geeks were on track.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Here We Go — Rays vs Dodgers


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The Tampa Bay Rays against the Los Angeles Dodgers is, to many, an unequal match. The Rays had the best record in the American League, but the Dodgers had a better record in the National League. The Dodgers payroll has got individual players with larger salaries than the entire Rays roster. 

The Rays have played 14 games over the last couple of weeks, winning 9. The Dodgers have played just 12, also winning 9. I don't know if that's an advantage or disadvantage. However, I would guess that the Rays are happy to get out of San Diego. They've been in that "bubble" for a long time.

The folks over at FiveThirtyEight have numbers that show the Dodgers as heavy favorites:

They might even go so far as to pick the Dodgers in four — but they would have done the same in the NLCS, which went seven.

We are left with hope, youth, and managerial skills.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Rays Are In


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Forgive me for thinking that I might never see so many ex-Durham Bulls in the World Series as we will see on Tuesday, but I was worried. 

I am really tired of looking at the shadows in San Diego. I know that television rules the playoffs (just behind covid), but everything on the west coast and middle of the country? But the move to Texas is OK. East coast would be better.

I'm not rooting for either the Braves or the Dodgers tonight, but I guess it would be fun to see a southeastern world series. Plus, the Bulls used to be a Braves franchise back before the Rays, née Devil Rays, and the AAA Durham Bulls (and the DBAP) came into existence.

Congrats to all. Well-deserved. They worked for it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

One More Win


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The Rays are one game away from going to the World Series. The Braves are handling the Dodgers. What an odd playoff season, but so nice to see ex-Durham Bulls doing so well out there in San Diego. 

FiveThirtyEight has a nice take on how the Rays are doing it (written before Wednesday night's win). Plus their updated Predictions imply that it could be a Rays/Braves World Series. Wouldn't that be something?

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Matchups - League Championships

 More geek stuff from the folks over at FiveThirtyEight

The Dodgers are still looking very good for the National League (first game is Monday). The Rays won an incredible thriller last night (Friday) and play the Astros on Sunday. It looks to be a close game.

Friday, October 9, 2020

And Then There Was One


And suddenly there is just one contest lest in the Division series. The Astros (AL) are in. In the NL, the Dodgers and Braves are in. The only spot left is for the Rays or the Yankees. 

A couple of ex-Durham Bulls are with the Rays, so guess who I'm rooting for?

Thursday, October 8, 2020

On the Verge


The Rays, Astros, Dodgers, and Braves need one more game to get into their finals. Rays-Yankees contest is particularly interesting and fun to watch.

Monday, October 5, 2020


 Geek stuff. According to the number-crunchers at FiveThirtyEight, here's how the next round of playoffs looks. By the numbers, the LA Dodgers should have a relatively easy time of it over the Padres. So should the Braves over the Marlins. However, The Astros/Athletics matchup is much closer and the Rays/Yankees competition is a wash (even though the Rays owned the Yankees this year). Should be fun.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Rays Sweep Blue Jays


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The Rays are off to San Diego to play the Yankees in the Division series "bubble". Nice to see Charlie Montoyo, but the Rays were in a groove these last couple of days. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Rays Have Great Year; Now for the Playoffs

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Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays for a terrific year. Also one of the weirdest years in baseball history. But the game itself has not changed ... much. So let's see what happens beginning Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It's Official — No Bulls Baseball This Year

Well, it happened. We knew it would, but it still hurts to know that we will not be going to the DBAP to watch the Bulls this year.

Several players we watched last year are on the Rays' 40-man and the new 60-man "pool", and we'll probably see some baseball. But no Bulls, no baseball in Bull City.

Press release here (with terrific video by Mike Birling); N&O article here; thinkpiece out of St Petersburg here, snippet on the 60 pool here.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day — 2024

Bald eagle on veteran's grave, Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Photo by Frank Gilk, Minneapolis Star Tribune. Stories by Jon Tevlin June 25 and August 10, 2011.

The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak

     Nevertheless they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them? 

     They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts. 

     They say, We were young. We have died. Remember us. 

     They say, We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done. 

     They say, We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave. 

     They say, Our deaths are not ours: they are yours: they will mean what you make them. 

     They say, Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say, it is you who must say this. 

     They say, We leave you our deaths: Give them their meaning: give them an end to the war and a true peace: give them a victory that ends the war and a peace afterwards: give them their meaning.
     We were young, they say. We have died; Remember us. 

— Archibald MacLeish

Saturday, February 15, 2020


I was not a fan of the new netting when it was first installed, but, having dodged a bat more than once, I thought it was OK. And there was the problem of inattentive adults with small children seating them with their backs to the field on the top of the dugout...

This just makes sense. Must be outrageously expensive though ...

Monday, February 10, 2020

Pitchers and Catchers Report on Wednesday

Time is getting close ...

The hardest part of Spring Training is that it’s a different type of baseball than what we’re used to seeing. It’s a gradual buildup toward opening day, individuals are focused on themselves, not as much on who they’re facing.
With that context, here are some key areas to focus on and also what not to pay attention to over the next six weeks. Here’s the most important thing to ignore: