Before we go too far in slamming Ron Washington’s bullpen management . . .

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. . . We should probably remember that the Rangers got shut out last night.  It’s something that, in a rush to make clever jokes about Neftali Feliz’s whereabouts, I sort of forgot this morning.  Yes, you’d hope that a pennant winning manager would make better decisions when down 2-0 in the eighth inning on the road — and you have to worry that he may commit further malpractice as the series wears on — but ultimately he could have put Jeff Russel or Tom Henke in there and it wouldn’t have made any difference.  The Rangers were beat because they couldn’t do jack against Matt Cain. Not because of who got the call from the bullpen.

See the video below: after the game the Rangers all agreed. Washington, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz all talked about the bats.  Hamilton’s constant refrain of “not getting the job done” could maybe be construed as an oblique comment on the relief corps, but that’s probably a reach.  They all know they have to hit to win, and last night they didn’t hit.

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The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.