The Rays lost Game 2 of their ALDS matchup with the Rangers this afternoon in Tampa and face elimination Saturday in Texas. But it wasn’t all fire and brimstone at Tropicana Field.
In the eighth inning, as impending free agent Carl Crawford stepped to the plate, a large section of Rays fans began chanting “CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD.”
Crawford grounded out on the first pitch of his at-bat. But, as he took his place in left field for the top of the ninth inning, the chants started again. “CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD.” It filled the stadium and could be heard clearly through the TBS telecast.
Rays fans get a lot of guff because of their early-exits from important games and the perennially low attendance numbers at The Trop, but Thursday’s chant showed a great deal of intelligence and consciousness on the part of the fanbase.
Unless the Rays squeak out two wins in Texas, Thursday’s game was probably the last Crawford will ever play as a member of the home team in Tampa. The 29-year-old batted .307/.356/.495 with 19 homers and 47 stolen bases in 600 at-bats during the regular season while showing excellent range in the outfield. He will be courted this offseason by baseball’s biggest spenders.
This is happening, people.
Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.
Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.
Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.
Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.
It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.
I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.