Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Deja vu all over again!

Photo: St. Petersburg Times
Last night had to be the sweetest win ever! Again. The Rays regained sole possession of the AL East lead and could clinch a wildcard berth as soon as Friday. The Magic Number(s) are 12 (AL East Title) and 6 (Wild Card). Rays fans, tonight's game is huge. Find a rally cap and a Sports Bar.
No ABs for PTown's pro last night, but plenty of other pretty pearls.
  • Sonny was sonsational. He may be on the bubble for the starting rotation with Price now up. And major trade bait once the season is over. I hope the PTBs decide to "dance with the one that brought ya". 13 consecutive innings vs. Josh Beckett without an earned run. John Romano (St. Pete Times) says Sonnanstine Has The Right Stuff For The Rays. I couldn't agree more.
  • Josh Beckett took a no-no into the 5th and a 2 hitter into the 7th last night. At that point it hit me. I didn't have my lucky Rays cap on. I won it making Player of The Game Picks in the TBSNRadio510 Forum. A quick sprint to the closet worked. Swear to God... I put the thing on and 30 seconds later, Pena went yard and we had a 1-1 tie.
  • The Rays mojo is full of that kind of supernatural touchy feely stuff . It all started with Joe Maddon's comment about "good face". It's been a love/hate relationship with Joe's hunches ever since, but lately... well... check the standings.
  • The latest lucky charm is the fauxhawk mohawk. I credit Jonny with planting the seed for that one. His current hairdo started two years ago with a curly hawk with a long tail that one sportswriter said looked more like the rear end of a donkey or something to that effect. Next day it was gone. All of it. Maybe he can grow a faux in the next 12 days.
  • Navarro cemented the momentum shift with a H-U-G-E gun down of Jacoby Elsbury at 2B in the 8th.
  • Hard to believe for all the clutch hitting he's done this season, but Navi had his first walk off of 2008 last night. Bartlett hit a bloop single to lead off the 9th and get the winning run aboard. Pena drew a walk, moving Bartlett into scoring position. Longo K'd and Floyd took a slider square on the recently repaired right knee to load 'em up and make it seem even easier for Navi. Senior Septiembre drilled Masterson's 2-2 fastball to hop the wall and man love broke out all across America.

I envy those fans who win tickets to a game and a chat with their favorite player. If it were me, I honestly don't know how I could pick just one from this team. Every single one of these guys has contributed. They've picked each other up. They've played unfamiliar positions without complaint. They've handled the rare but necessary attitude adjustments with extraordinary class. Usually player to player without headlines. I hope the Rays set aside convention and pick 25 + MVPs at the end of this incredible season.

There is more riding on tonight's game than just a series win, or sole possession of 1st place in the AL East. It's about momentum, and tie breakers, should the Rays and Sox have equally strong finishes.

Grab a rally cap Rays fans. Hop on board The Magic Bus.

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