Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 20, 2008
BASEBALL: Treasure Beyond Price

Well, the nation last night got its formal introduction to David Price, and barring injury we're going to see a lot more of the man who is generally regarded as the best pitching prospect in baseball - Price's pennant-clinching ninth inning probably cements him a key, K-Rod-in-2002 type role in the Rays' pen in the World Series, and he left veterans like Mark Kotsay and Jason Varitek (granted, not exactly Ruth and Gehrig at this stage of their careers) looking sadly overmatched.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:25 AM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I can't stand it: another Vanderbilt man actually doing well at competitive sports. We didn't allow that sort of thing in my time there, I can tell ya's!

Love this Rays team. It reminds me a lot of the 80's Mets, with their athleticism, youth and pitching. There are so many story lines on this team; it's hard not to pull for a guy like Carlos Pena; and of course they have Cliffy now.

Plus maybe they can beat the Phillies, which would be extra nice.

Posted by: dd at October 20, 2008 10:58 AM

How dare David Price close out the ALCS for the Rays! He has no playoff experience! Only a crafty veteran is permitted such an honor! ;-)

Posted by: JE at October 20, 2008 11:01 AM

It's a great day to be a Yankee fan. Thanks, Rays.

Posted by: MVH at October 20, 2008 12:45 PM

While I'm happy for the Ray's, as I feel the players fully deserve this (although, I do think guys like Johnny Gomes don't, as he's a complete punk), I honestly believe the Ray's fan base is one of the most undeserving recipients of a good team in quite awhile. They packed the house last night, but I'd wager that nearly 70% of the Ray's fans in attendance couldn't have told you the Ray's starting rotation when the season started and probably just became Ray's fans when they got to the playoffs.

The fact that they weren't even coming close to selling out home games during the season, while they were leading the division nearly the whole time, is an absolute tragedy.

If baseball wants to continue to nurture this team and help them grow, they'll push to get them out of St. Pete as soon as possible and into a market where they can expand their payroll. Otherwise, after the talent runs dry and the Yankees and Red Sox, and other larger market teams, pick them dry, they'll have to go another 10 years of basement shopping before they can stockpile enough talent to make another run.

Posted by: Agent W at October 20, 2008 2:04 PM

@MVH: It's a great day to be a Yankees fan? Why? Because the Red Sox, who have won two World Series in the last four years, were eliminated? The same Red Sox with a solid core that looks to be back in the playoffs while the Yankees are under the leadership of an owner who apparently only paid attention to his father in the early 80s?

Posted by: Dan at October 20, 2008 2:11 PM

Thanks, MVH - you've almost made my day...

It's now a "great day to be a Yankee fan" when the Red Sox fall short of the World Series. For years and years, I've heard Yankee fans mock Red Sox fans as pathetic losers every time Sox fans were happy to see the Yankees eliminated. By that standard, Yankee fans are now conceding pathetic loser-hood. Well done! We knew it all along, of course, but the additional validation is fun to see. Thank you, MVH - you've brought a smile to my face today...

Posted by: Lyford at October 20, 2008 2:19 PM

We'll see about David Price. Remember Bob Welch striking out Reggie Jackson in the World Series?

Posted by: Magrooder at October 20, 2008 2:19 PM

Despite battling a drinking problem, Welch won 211 major league games against 146 losses, including a 27-6 Cy Young season, and pitched as a rotation starter for 7 more division winners and two world champions. Price could do much worse than Bob Welch's career.

Posted by: Crank at October 20, 2008 2:29 PM

Don't be so quick to knock Rays fans Agent W. Contrary to the belief that Casey sold the Mets, they were terrible losers, and a poor draw until 1970, AFTER they won. And if you look at the Yankee attendance records, even the '98 team did not pull in the crowds they do now.

So congratulations to a really likable team, with a manager that really seems deserving (as is Francona). If the team stays good, expect attendance to be good too. Florida is a tough place for spectator sports.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 20, 2008 2:46 PM

If the Rays don't draw next season after winning the pennant, I'll be ready to start knocking their fan base. Traditionally - unless you hold Marlins-style fire sales - it's the year after you win that you draw the fans, especially for a team that's never finished anywhere near contention.

Posted by: Crank at October 20, 2008 2:53 PM

Yeah, it's difficult to draw well when you have no season ticket base, and that usually has to wait until you've proven something. I don't expect the Rays to draw like the Yankees, but I would expect a surge next season.

Posted by: Jerry at October 20, 2008 3:05 PM

To continue with attendance issues, I remember when Red Barber started doing Yankee TV games. He was fired for trying to get the cameras to pan on the LESS than 1,000 people at Yankee Stadium. There will be a surge since they will indeed not have a fire sale. Too many of the really good young players have long term contracts.

Money is good, brains is good, brains and money is excellent, but I'll take good pitching and defense over anything else.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 20, 2008 4:14 PM

Welch won 211 major league games...including a 27-6 Cy Young season

If you mention Welch's Cy Young, aren't you contractually obligated to mention that it was undeserved? He pitched 9 2/3 more innings than Clemens, but allowed 31 more runs and struck out 82 fewer batters. He pitched well, but he won the award because of what his teammates did, not what he did. If you look just at pitching performances, the idea that Welch won that Cy over Clemens is preposterous.

(Yes, this has nothing to do with the issue at hand, but it's irritated me for the last 18 years...)

Posted by: Lyford at October 20, 2008 4:55 PM

Lyford, I agree with every word of that and have since 1990. But if I was a Rays fan and you told me Price would win a Cy someday but not actually deserve it, I would not be that unhappy.

Posted by: Crank at October 20, 2008 4:59 PM

The Rays fanbase could use improvement, but I attribute that to the way that their early years were squandered on short term solution roster composition. It was the same sort of insult that the Mets played upon their fans in the early 60's, going with lead-footed sluggers and everyone's pitching rejects, instead of building around young players that the local kids could follow over the years. Jose Canceso, Greg Vaughn, Ben Grieve, Vinnie Castilla, anyone? Even when you end up with Fred McGriff, what have you really done to establish your team? Not until Rocco and Carl Crawford was there a face to the franchise, and by that time the Rays were no longer news in Tampa/St Pete.

Just remembered something: a number of years ago the Devil Rays had Bobble head nights scheduled for two of their upcoming "stars," Jason Tyner (THAT Jason Tyner) and Toby Hall. In both cases, by the time the date for the Night rolled around the players were back at AAA.

C'mon Rays!

Posted by: dd at October 20, 2008 5:17 PM

Lyford,

That was probably the first and last time any comment of mine will be reposted on another blog. For the record, I never think of Red Sox fans as "pathetic losers" for hoping the Yankees lose. In fact, I would be disappointed if it was any other way. The rivalry is an opportunity for fans of both teams to bust each other's chops, and it would be downright disturbing for me to see a Red Sox fan actually "rooting" for the Yankees in the playoffs and vice versa.

Now, I may consider Red Sox fans for being pathetic losers for being Red Sox fans in the first place, but that's another story. :)

Posted by: MVH at October 21, 2008 9:14 AM

Crank,

I misunderestimated Bob Welch; he had one exceptional year and a very good career.

Lyford, Dave Stewart should have won the Cy Young that year. He OWNED Clemens, especially in the playoffs

Posted by: Magrooder at October 21, 2008 9:05 PM
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