We’re back from our trip, and while it was relatively stressful at times, overall it was a very nice time. My son got to meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Stitch, as well as a handful of other characters, and along the way, we made a stop at Tropicana Field to see the Devil Rays play the Toronto Blue Jays. We sat just outside the new picnic area that the new managing partner had installed this year and overall, it was a nice park for being indoors. My wife loved the fact that it was air conditioned and with the Devil Rays second to last to their Florida brethren Marlins in attendance, it made for decent family experience because it wasn’t too crowded. I was impressed with the fans that were there, even if it was a pretty sparse crowd. My family left early and I moved up to around the third base line after that and had a pretty good view of the rest of the game.
Just a couple of things of note, there’s no upper deck in right field but the upper deck along the first base line goes way up. It’s pretty assymetrical. Reed Johnson opened up the game with a homerun on the second pitch and then he homered again in the ninth to cap off a career day. This is worth noting because I picked up Johnson for my fantasy because I’m short on runs and Johnson was my best option at the time. I rewarded him by dropping him this week in favor of a hot Matt Kemp out in LA.
The Tigers play three in Chicago against the White Sox starting today. Nate Robertson kicks things off against Freddy Garcia and hopefully the Tigers can set the stage by winning tonight. A sweep would be huge and would give us a 5 1/2 game lead, although even if we drop two of three, we’ll still be in first place. Neither the White Sox nor the Tigers have been playing great, so it seems like whoever can pick themselves up first will go a long way towards gaining ground in the division.
I’m going to stand by what I said in my column about Todd Jones being the closer. I know he blew Friday night’s game, but that’s going to happen regardless of who we have in there. Mariano Rivera has two losses and one blown save, and Todd Jones has two blown saves and three losses, although on Friday he had one of each. It happens to the best and worst closers and all I was trying to say was, I’d rather have Jones coming in where a couple of hits won’t hurt him versus bringing him in with runners on in a key situation in one of the later innings.
And I did write this with the assumption that we were stuck with Jones. I argued against spending $5 million per on him when it happened and while he hasn’t been “horrible” this year, he hasn’t yet warranted the salary.