Sunday, June 25, 2006

For Devil Rays: Madden Should Be One Night Stand

Not to sound risque, but the Tampa Bay Devil Rays should make manager, Joe Madden, a one night stand. With a record of 35-47, the Rays are heading towards another season of 90 or more losses. Madden justifies the log by pointing to all the injuries sustain by starters, Jorge Cantu, Rocco Baldelli, Aubrey Huff, also Julio Logo. Nevertheless with his roster in tack, Madden continues to rest his starters while playing reserves, Tomas Perez, Damon Hollins, and Greg Norton . Perez is batting .174 and shouldn't even be in the major leagues. Hollins, meanwhile, is a some-what reliable reserve but nothing more. Norton is wasting a roster spot which should be given to outfielder, Delmon Young. When the Rays hired Madden, the organization was under the impression the team would imitate the aggressive base running style of mentor, Mike Scioscia, but the Rays predictably bunt with runners on first, and they rarely execute the hit and run. To make matters worse, the Rays organization continues to leave its best players on the farm. Young should have been brought up from triple AAA last year after deservingly hitting over .300. He was left to sulk at Durham which led to him getting a fifty game suspension for throwing a bat at an umpire. Young should have promoted so he can learn from major league role models rather than men he doesn't perceive as equals. The Florida Marlins promoted most of their prospects, and the team is far more competitive than the Rays. Last year, former manager, Lou Pinella, inspired Tampa Bay to go balls out after the All Star break. The club responded by playing over 500 baseball that translated into 72-wins. With a healthy Baldelli and more experience players, the Devil Rays will be hard pressed to improve on last year's mediocre performance.

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