Joe Maddon has it pretty rough. For starters, despite a wealth of quality young talent, Tampa Bay seem unlikely to ever get much value for the troubled Elijah Dukes or retirement bound Rocco Baldelli. Secondly, Maddon has to cope with knowledge his son Joel is to music what his bullpen is to pitching. And then there’s the small matter of nearly 60 games a year against Boston, New York and Toronto.
A night after Maddon’s club blew a 7 run lead at Fenway, Tampa couldn’t hang on after being spotted a 4-0 first inning lead, all earned runs surrendered by Boston’s Jonathan Lester. A 2 HR, 5-RBI night by Big Papi sorted things out, however, the decisive blow coming with 1 out and one on in the 9th off Al Reyes, a ball Delmon Young probably should’ve caught.
How bad are the Devil Rays relievers? Even Guillermo Mota could help these guys out.
Earlier in the night, Dustin Pedroia and J.D. Drew let a shallow pop to right drop between them, prompting the inevitable chants of “we want Trot”. I’d provide a YouTube link, but all my friend Bill got on videotape was various shots of Dioner Navarro flashing signs.