Friday, August 29, 2014

Too Little, Too Late -- A Story of Evan Longoria -- The $7.5-Million Man

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Don White
Is Evan Longoria The Best Player on The 2014 Edition of the Tampa Rays?

Every time a supposed good player like Evan Longoria pulls a boner, famed NY Yankee
and Met manager Casey Stengel turns over in his grave.
Baltimore, MD.--When one man makes considerably more money than other comparable players, one must ask why. I'm speaking to the Evan Longoria problem on the Rays 2014 team.
Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce have outhit him by 30 points. Longoria's head isn't in the game. Maybe he's looking forward to the off-season when he can go deep sea fishing, because he certainly hasn't gone DEEP too often during the season. Remember, all toll, this is a guy who hit some 33 homers in 2013. Don't expect that every year. (Actually home runs are down considerably in the entire MLB. Do you know of anyone with 50 or more homers?)

Evan Longoria started off bad by not amassing enough good hitting stats to make the All-Star team. 

Then two nites ago he's running around the bases and doesn't bother to notice his third base coach or the fact he had to hold up Matt Joyce at third. But, no problem. Here comes this lumbering 6-2, 210-pound third baseman--who just happens to be team captain and an example for all --taking not one base prudently, but two bases foolishly. Shame, shame, shame . . .

Rays wind up with two players on third base. That hasn't happened for quite a while in MLB baseball. Players who reach the pinnacle of their careers just don't do that. Such a zany tactic has never been done before, except on the 1965 Mets coached by Casey Stengel. What? It can't be done, so Baltimore tags Longeria out and he has egg on his face the rest of the evening. Now, that's really funning, not tragic. Why can't the Rays take on some of the Met's of '65 nostalgia, stupidity, and humor? The Rays could be famous for something.

The Mets proved to be so incompetent that they gave 
Stengel plenty of fresh Stengelese material for the New York
 City newspaper writers. "Come see my "Amazin' Mets," 
Stengel said. "I've been in this game a hundred years, but I
 see new ways to lose I never knew existed before." On his 
three catchers: "I got one that can throw but can't catch, one
that can catch but can't throw, and one who can hit but 

can't to either." Referring to the rookies Ed 
Kranepool and Greg Goossen in 1965, Stengel observed, 
"See that fellow over there? He's 20 years old. In 10 years 

he has a chance to be a star. Now, that fellow over there, 

he's  20, too. In 10 years he has a chance to be 30."

Kranepool never quite became a star, but he did have an 18-

year major  league career, retiring in 1979 after playing his 

entire career with the Mets and becoming their all-time hits 

leader, before it was broken by David Wright in 2012. 

Goossen did in fact turn 30 in 1975, five years after leaving 

the majors One of his most famous comments was actually 

the work of Jimmy Breslin, who used it as the title of his 

book about  the first-year Mets, Can't Anybody Here Play 

This Game?.[Though his "Amazin'" Mets finished last in a 

ten-team league all four years managed by him, Stengel 

was a popular figure with reporters nonetheless, not least 

due to his personal charisma. The Mets themselves 

somehow attained a "lovable loser" charm that followed the 

team around in those days. Fans packed the old Polo 

Grounds (prior to Shea Stadium being built), many of them 

bringing along colorful placards and signs with all sorts of 

sayings on them. Warren Spahn, who had briefly played 

under Stengel for the 1942 Braves and for the 1965 Mets,

commented: "I'm  probably the only guy who worked for 

Stengel before and after he was a genius."

Stengel announced his retirement from the Mets on August 
30, 1965, a month after he broke his hip while falling off of a
 bar stool.

Yes, Longoria is coming back, folks. He now has 17 home runs, including  a line-drive homer in last nights Baltimore game. Now, finally, he is the hitter management thought they were getting when they paid him more money than anyone else on the team on this low budget Tampa Rays club, seven point five million dollars a year Yet, there are rookies who run the bases better, there are good hitters who don't bat in the four slot all season in good times and bad, and there are better third basemen than Longoria. But one caveat: he is a better than average third baseman, though not the best by any means.

This brings us to Joe Madden, manager of this zany ball club. I am irked that when a player, and I don't care who he is, is batting .230 for a better part of the season and he doesn't put him in the eight slot. Why does he play up to a non-crowd pleaser? Don't fans mean anything to Madden? 

If you're going to be zany, like the 1965 Mets, why not do it with a purpose. We need a new zany manager. Madden is too bland. Why do Rays fans come to the ballpark if it isn't to be entertained? 

Here's what we do -- we find an heir to Casey Stengel or Yogi Bera and let him "build the Tropicana house" with his funny antics -- because we sure as heck aren't rattling the turn styles with who we've got -- Joe Madden. 

In the spring of 1953, after the Yankees had won four 

straight World Series victories, Casey Stengel made the

following observation, which could just as easily have 

been made by The Professor's prize pupil, Yogi 

Berra (who would also become famous with many 

laughably quotable statements): 

"If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to 

start thinking we're not as smart as we think we are."

Think about it, he's right. Joe Madden manages like he thinks he the smartest man in baseball. He wouldn't make such horrendous mistakes if he took Stemgel's advice. We might lose some games, but the fans would leave the park happy and well entertained.

We'd like to see the best possible outcome, and you don't put a poor-hitting guy like Longoria in the four slot hoping the end of the season will come after this player has come around. 

Back to Longoria: In his favor, I will say that the statistician had him with 17 total bases last night. I don't know how that happened on one for three hitting. That "one" hit was four bases, the home run. To be fair, I'm publishing some stats on Longo. I hope there are some sports fans out there that will set me right (if I'm wrong) and dispute what I just wrote, leaving a comment in the space below provided.

Fan EloRater

Fine Details  · Last updated Aug 29, 2014 9:17AM
All-Time Rank (among batters): #388. Bob Watson… #389. Carl Crawford… #390. Frank White… #391. EVAN LONGORIA… #392. Josh Hamilton… #393. Ray Lankford… #394. Bobby Bonilla… 

Standard Batting

More Stats

 Glossary  · Show Minors Stats  · SHARE  · Embed  · CSV  · Export  · PRE  · LINK  · ?

2008 ★22TBRAL1225084486712231227857046122.272.343.531.87412723886084*5/D6AS,MVP-11,RoY-1
2009 ★23TBRAL157671584100164440331139072140.281.364.526.8891333072780711*5/DAS,MVP-19,GG,SS
2010 ★24TBRAL151661574961694652210415572124.294.372.507.87914329115501012*5AS,MVP-6,GG
7 Yrs93140053497539950222121796204210423816.272.352.496.84813217331053814659
162 Game Avg.16269760994165392311087274142.272.352.496.8481323021870810

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Baseball Is Back

Welcome to this blog. It's soon going to be spring again when baseball is king. I don't know about you, but I can't wait.

I live in Florida and fully intend to see some spring training games come the last of February and the entire month of March. I just hope Brian Cashman gets off his butt and finds some pitching because I've got a bad feeling that Andy Pettit isn't coming back.

If he fails to fill the big hole left by all-star Andy, the Yankees won't make it to the playoffs, let alone to the World Series.

And what about Jeeter. I always said "so goes jeeter, so goes the Yankees." He faltered a bit last year, 2010, and hit only a measly (for him) .270 and is, in fact, a step slower. If he has a great year the Yankees will win something, but without the pitching it's going to be a long season.

My hopes are high, however, and I sincerely hope yours are, too. I like our chances with or without a superstar pitcher like Philadelphia got when they signed Cliff Lee. They look to beat everyone, what with their four fantastic starters in Lee, No-Hit Holliday, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Brad Lidge.

If the Yankees had gotten just one of those pitchers the past year to shore up their depleated pitching roster, they would be in much better shape, especially because injuries will plague them this year again because their pitchers are not young chicks. Don White

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