Around 4pm today came the news that Mark Lowe was off to the disabled list with a herniated disc (not long, just 15 days), and Shawn Kelley would be brought back up to replace him. Good for Kelley, boo for Lowe. About an hour and a half later I woke up from a far-too-long nap to find out that Milton Bradley is reportedly taking some time out to get his affairs in order, and has asked for the team’s help in doing so. They have responded in kind. If this is the Real Deal, I am very proud of our organization for stepping up and working with Bradley, taking the reigns where no other club apparently has. I wish Bradley well and am eager to see him back in the lineup as soon as he gets his noggin screwed on straight. I am in the pro-Bradley camp, and I know a lot of others who are as well. We’re not as vocal as those looking to ride the drama train, but we do exist.
I have an 80-question midterm tomorrow, so my game watching this evening was peppered with studying. Matt Garza spent an awkward amount of time messing around on the pitcher’s mound rather than throwing pitches, kicking dirt out of his cleats in a sort of over-acting fashion and taking his sweet time throwing. And spitting. Lots of spitting. It wasn’t until the 4th inning of the game when, with Casey Kotchman on base after a double, Franklin Gutierrez booted one over the right field wall. Ken Griffey Jr then proceeded to hit a ground rule double with one out, his second of the season. I heard that there was a four-minute team meeting between Bradley and just the guys earlier today…pep talk? Plea for help? Death threats? We’ll never know, but it was a nice coincidence…for a few precious moments…
The Rays responded in the 5th inning by taking two runs of their own from Cliff Lee. Honestly, Matt Garza didn’t have a lot of trouble with us this evening. Even Gutz’s homer was barely over the wall, bouncing off the top of it and then back onto the grass in right field. Ryan Langerhans hit a single and then stole second in the 7th inning. I think that tonight’s broadcast is the first time I’ve ever actually seen both Ryan Langerhans and Josh Wilson. With their hats on and infrequent appearances on the field, I wasn’t too sure what either of them looked like up close; I’ve only been able to recognize them from a distance. They look oddly familiar yet oddly foreign.
I got distracted by reading for a bit and had to turn down the sound on the TV, but when I looked up in the 8th inning, Tampa was ahead by 3 runs. A quick check on GameDay showed that Tampa had small-balled Cliff Lee. Also, Jack Wilson left the game in the 4th with some sort of hamstring issue. And Sean White was coming in to join the fray. Lee’s day was done at 113 pitches with 83 for strikes, 10 hits, 5 runs, and no walks. Sean White promptly gave up a walk to Dioner Navarro, then a run, and I went back to reading.
Despite another attempted rally against Grant Balfour, we lost this game.
This was released earlier this evening. I don’t know whether to be sad or happy. Maybe sad for me, happy for him. He obviously enjoys the game just as much as it looks like he does, and 11 years is a good long career in sports, really. He may not have been a “star” per se, but he was at least well-liked by a lot of fans. Not every baseball player can say that. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet, which is more than I can say about his playing style. *zing!*