Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"I wasn't sure if they were saying 'boo' or 'Dukes"'

Look, I could go into all of the reasons why I haven't written an article on my Rays blog in over a month. Instead I will issue a generic statement with a certain percentage of contriticity...

I would like to explain away my inactions and actions over the past few weeks.

I am seriously contemplating things in my life. AS you may or may not know, I am currently unemployed. I wanted to take some time with my family and reflect over my thoughts of pursuing a writing career (not like this part-time writing, I've been doing). Well, some things fell out of what should have been a great period of my writing career.

I had some family members disown me (as well as threaten my life) over the fact that my brother Dru's name was mentioned on TV and on the internet - they still won't accept him, even though he's dead. Funny how brother in Tampa wants to have all the perks until his bigoted mind gets reminded why I was a Devil Rays blogger to begin with. All in all, I felt very stifled as a writer as my littler "Big Bro" with the Leo attitude issues had to hover over me. I stayed with him and his girlfriend in a one bedroom apartment (my 6'6" ass slept on the couch) and he drove me around as I didn't rent a car (NEVER again). So after arriving superearly on Day one and getting the scenic tour, I was late to the field twice of my final 3 days since he didn't want to get there too early. He also had a penchant for leaving as the games were ending (when most journalists get post game interviews). So, a great time tainted.

I will not deny that I in fact did not untry to forcibly not unwrite what was never unwritten. I also got my Online personna AND true self fully engaged in an internet flamewar with (randomly enough) a group of people that hate Jay Mariotti and only seek to incite wars of words and slander. Of course I am an idiot for arguing with anonymous haters over the internet about anything non-sports related but I always wanted a "hate club" of my own. They fully tried to embarass me and I thought it was funny for a bit until they brought my wife Jessica into it (and other personal stuff that was "magically" located with the power of the internet). Jes didn't care, and I don't really either since it's all true but I wanted to make an example out of some haters. They go out of their way to bash Jay Mariotti (whom I have no opinion of), when I think it takes less energy to change the station, page, website... These guys don't just drink haterade, they own stock in Preperation H(ate). Don't argue with noseeums on the web... got it - lesson learned. I got better things to do (or SHOULD) and no one is going to make the internet a better place unless they lead by example...

So I fully accept responsibility for whatever you think it is and just simply change the subject.

I am going to grab this writing demon inside of me and pin him to the seat in front of the keyboard over the next few days and get back into a rhythm... thanks for having me back from my "sabatical"!

Ooooh! How 'bout I sum it up like this: I went on a bender, then checked in at a posh rehab in Palm Springs... no, let's make it Sedona, AZ since I was actually there in the past month (haven't been to Palm Springs since February). Now I'm back (and everyone knows you're a no one in the "real world" until you've been to rehab - some say it takes several visits to become someone...)

WHAT is this about?

The Devil Rays are right on pace where they should be... The team is still young, pieces are interchanging and it's laying the foundation for the future core. BJ Upton continues to blossom as a stud of the future and Delmon Young has been steadily trudging through his rookie year and seems to be gearing to go on some tears during the warmer months of baseball.

I do have to admit, May is usually the boringest month of baseball. The season gears up during June when teams start to make moves. April is the cleansing, May is illusion, June is when we know what flavors we're working with. That being typed, isn't it FANTASTIC to see the Yankees in last place? I don't care that the Rays are tied for last... I see it like this, YOU are last Yankees, HA HA! When you spend 8 times as much as the team you're tied with, you lose!

If you trade A-Rod's contract to the Rays for nothing (doubling the Rays payroll), THEN the Yankees only have 3 1/2 times the team salary of the Rays...

The funny thing is, the Devil Rays are poised to make a move to pull away with their schedule lightening up while the Yankees have a couple rough patches coming up. I guess it all comes down to who gets their pitching staff in order first...

The other thing is Elijah Dukes. The marital issues and family history and everything else aside. I still maintain that he is an incredible baseball player that has a quality shot (no pun intended) at being a true star. But I fear that he may only see that happen in Tampa. I think if he gets in more trouble, the team will have to part ways. I don't think he pans out in another city (a la Gary Sheffield). I think his BEST chance is in Tampa/St Pete. He has to rise above the things he can't control (his past). No better place to do that than in the belly of the beast. So it all comes down to... how great does he want to be?

And if you don't think Elijah Dukes is good for Delmon Young and vice versa, you're crazy. What's best is how good both of those guys being around will help BJ Upton. The core elements are there. Crawford, Kazmir, the draft is coming, so another top-flight player is coming, there's arms in the minors on their way and the budget isn't draining the franchise. The direction they have chosen is wise. I'm actually more worried about how they maintain the dream once the winning occurs. How do they keep on top once the talent gets there? You do know that the Braves were VERY bad once upon a time...

I still maintain that patience is needed. But these ain't your older brother's (pun intended) Devil Rays...

Saturday, May 19, 2007


You thought I left, huh?

(Shakes head) Uh-uh... not... even... close

Manny Stiles is here to stay for the whole ride. Just had to take some time for family matters, then some personal matters and the Suns early interupted playoff run.

On top of that, things are getting a little re-arranged around here... watch out!