Friday, July 31, 2009

Trade Deadline Rant to begin in 3...2....1...

Alright, perhaps the solution to my problem is to stop listening to talk radio. I’m sure that will keep my blood pressure lower. Forgive me this rant for I am normally a pretty laid back guy. Some might even say a little too laid back, but when I listen to some of the radio hosts and their callers it get’s under my skin.

Yesterday I actually yelled at my radio - loudly. It’s not something I’m proud of and I’m glad I was in the call by myself. Perhaps I should hook my Sirius back up for some nice commercial free music.

So what’s prompting these out of character explosions of emotion? Well Rays fans of course. It’s the trading deadline. The Rays are currently on the outside looking in as far as the playoff races go. That means “Rays Fan” (I.e. the ones who thought they traded Aubrey Huff for Aki!) get to bitch and moan about the team.

All day I’ve heard, from both the radio hosts and the callers, that the Rays have to make a move or the season is done. The problem is - the Rays already made their deadline deal. His name is Pat Burrell. They just did it January instead of July.

Once they inked the deal Stu Sternberg and the rest of nDRO made it clear that they were maxed out in the payroll department. According to a St Pete Times article from April the Rays have raised their payroll over 160% in the last two seasons.

If you had told me in 2007 that the Rays would bump their payroll to $62 million by 2009 I would have laughed at you and then asked what city they had moved to. Let’s get it through everyone’s head that they are maxed out.

I’ve written about it before, if the Rays shell out big money on free agents they can’t afford to make mistakes. I hesitate to call the Burrell signing a failure as of right now. I will say it’s not working out, but you can’t call it a failure until it’s over. Who’s to say Burrell doesn’t bang out 15-20 home runs over the next two months and leads the Rays to an amazing comeback?

What I’m trying to say is that yelling about something that you knew was going to happen is pointless. If I tell you for 8 months that I’m not getting you a pony for Christmas and I don’t get you a pony, why would yell at me?

All I’ve heard for the last 5 or 6 years is “we want the Rays to be competitive”. Well guess what, they are competitive! They are eight games over .500 and still in the hunt for the wild card. Now all I hear is that they’re not willing to spend enough to go the extra step. I suppose that’s easy to say when you’re not the one writing the check, but let’s be realistic. Small market teams like the Rays are always more likely to be sellers than buyers for the big names on the market.

Could they have offered Cleveland more than Boston did for Victor Martinez? Without a doubt. Guess what happens if they do. Carl Crawford gets traded or his option isn’t picked up in the off-season. So then you’re looking at losing whatever prospects they traded and Crawford for Martinez and his $7 Million option for next season.

Also, this organization is built on sustained competitiveness. They didn’t sell out the franchise last year when they were leading the division and they didn’t do it this year when they’re 4.5 games out of the wild card.

The Rays spent 10 years stockpiling their young talent, and it seems this team is more than willing to actually have these guys play for them. That’s in contrast to teams like the Red Sox or Mets who only seem to develop talent in order to trade it for established players.

There are weaknesses on this team (cough, cough Navarro), but not worth making a trade that could have sever repercussions somewhere down the line. The boys in the front office have proven that they know what they’re doing so stop whining at the moves they do or do not make. Seriously, stop it! Go out and cheer for your team instead.

So everyone in the TBA just relax. Sometimes the best deal is the one you don’t make.

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