Thursday, September 30, 2010

J is for Hopeless -- And So Is Ray

In Spanish, the letter J is pronounced like the English letter H: "Ha."

Javier Vazquez, as a Yankee: J is for "Hopeless."

Yankees 8, Pesky Blue Jays 4. Home Run Javy gave up 7 runs including 3 homers.

Manager Joe Girardi says he may pitch Vazquez for an inning on Sunday. What's the matter, Joe? Don't you love us anymore?

As Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post and ESPN's Pardon the Interruption would say, Vazquez is in a Gots To Go Situation.

The Rays also lost, but their Magic Number to clinch the AL East is 3. So...

Rays sweep their last 4 in Kansas City: They win no matter what the Yanks do.

Rays take 3 of 4: They win no matter what the Yankees do.

Rays split: Yanks have to sweep the Red Sox in Boston, with A.J. Burnett likely to start on Saturday and Javier Vazquez likely to pitch at least one innning on Sunday.

If the Yanks can only take 2 of 3 in Boston, the Rays would have to drop 3 of 4. That would be great to see, although it wouldn't be one of the epic collapses in baseball history, especially since they're still going to the Playoffs. (See the 2006 Tigers, who had a 10-game lead in the AL Central on August 7, but blew it to the Twins, but got the Wild Card and won the Pennant anyway, beating the A's who beat the Twins in the other ALDS.)

After Evan Longoria reamed Rays fans out for only 12,000 came out for the Playoff clincher, and only averaging 23,000 at home all season, a sellout crowd of 36,973 came out last night.

That includes 20,000 seats the Rays organization gave away. So only 16,973 paid.

I know we're in a recession. I know the Tampa Bay area has 12 percent unemployment. Hey, you people voted for "President" George W. Bush twice, Governor Jeb Bush twice, and Governor Charlie Crist once. Stop voting for Republicans, and your economy will get better.

I also know that, on top of the economic difficulties, there's a lot of old people down there who are on fixed incomes. Well, tough: If you can only get 12,000 people in a domed stadium (so there's no weather issue) on a night when the home team can clinch a Playoff berth, then maybe they should be somebody else's home team.

Move the Rays to Montreal. Or to Charlotte. Or to Nashville. Or to Salt Lake City. Or to Portland, Oregon. Hell, move them to Buffalo: They get lousy weather all the time, and their economy has stunk even in the last couple of eras of economic growth, but have you seen the attendance the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons get at Pilot Field (whatever they're calling it now)? If it ever got the word that a team was coming, and the ballpark got its built-in-possible expansion from 20,000 to 40,000 seats, I'll bet they'll get 36,000 fans for a Playoff clincher.

Tampa Bay does not deserve Major League Baseball. Let the Rays hear "Merci!" from Montreal, or "Thanks, y'all!" from Charlotte or Nashville, or gratitude of some wording from somewhere else.

Like Yogi Berra said, "If people don't want to come out to the ballpark, nobody's gonna stop 'em."

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