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At this point, there’s probably no need for me to recap the last couple of Rays games for you. Let’s just say it’s not been the best trip the team’s ever taken to the Big Apple. How’s that for understatement?

This is no ordinary series. This is a head-to-head match with the Rays’ (current) most important rival in a somewhat heated pennant race. Those Damn Yankees. I use the word “somewhat” because by all rights, these games should be more closely contested than they are. Both pitching and hitting are under the microscope, and rightly so, as neither department is performing like they should and like we all know they can.

It’s just plain frustrating, period.

Chances are good *knock on wood* that the Rays will see post-season action. *spit in palm* And I suppose it’s better that we’re in one of those down cycles now, rather than when October and the playoffs roll around. Doesn’t make this fan thing any easier watching a team not even get close to being in the same zip code as its potential. On both sides of the ball, so to speak.

I’m not a statistician kind of baseball fan – the closest I came to statistics in college was walking through the business school on my way to my favorite watering hole.  And I’m sure there are numbers that would help make this situation appear a little less dire and a bit less depressing. Me -- I’m one of those about the basics kind of girl – get the ball from the pitchers’ mound over the plate in the strike zone. Hit the ball solidly when it’s your turn at bat. Catch and/or field the ball when it’s hit in your direction. Yes, I know it’s more complicated than this very simple Charlie Brown/Peanuts version of the game. And there are outside factors to consider – exceedingly human umpires and sly acting jobs by opponents (seriously – is there a drama coach on that Yankee bench next to Joe Girardi?) are two things that come to mind.

But a solid execution of the basics would be a good place to start in getting both team and fans alike (yes, I’m talking about myself here – your mileage may vary) out of this slump.

Pitch. Hit. Field. The basics. Let’s go, gents.




Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.