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May 19, 2008 at 5:24 am ET
‘Kudos & Wet Willies,’ break up the Rays edition

Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘Kudos & Wet Willies,’ praising the best performances and heaping scorn upon the worst.

Kudos to …

  • The Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays are on the list again. Not only are they still winning, but they followed the lead of the perennially low-budget Florida Marlins by ponying up the money to sign one of their key stars, pitcher Scott Kazmir, to a four-year contract worth $28.5 million. I will believe the Rays will be in the race at the end when I see it, but you have to admit these are not the same old hapless Rays.
  • Lance Berkman: The switch-hitting slugger is hitting .399 with 16 homers and 44 RBI for the surprising Astros. With Berkman and Chipper Jones (an amazing .412) carrying on like this, the ‘can someone hit .400?’ whispers have started.
  • Brandon Webb:Will the Arizona ace ever lose a game? He is 9-0, and there is all sorts of speculation on his chances to win 30 — yes, 30 — games. Too bad the guy pitches in Arizona, where most of the baseball world hardly ever gets to see him.
  • Josh Hamilton: The Texas outfielder is having an amazing season.
  • Alfonso Soriano: Soriano can be selfish, and he whines if he isn’t hitting leadoff. But, boy, can he hit leadoff. Soriano was 15-for-28 (.536 BA) with seven home runs in 6 games before Sunday.

Wet Willies to …

  • Goose Gossage: The Hall of Fame closer spent lots of time last week blasting Joba Chamberlain for showing emotion. Goose needs to get over himself and realize it’s not the 1970s anymore.
  • Jason Giambi: This ‘Wet Willie’ isn’t for Giambi’s hitting this season, which has been putrid enough to deserve one. It’s for him putting the picture of his needle pock-marked butt in a thong in my head. Yuck!
  • The Freetown Youth Athletic League: In case you hadn’t heard, this is the league that suspended a Little League player because his mom actually WORKED AT HER JOB instead of doing the concession stand at a game. Way to go, idiots! Yep, the kid had to be punished since, you know, he couldn’t convince his mom that his game was more important than her making a living.
  • Jason Isringhausen: Isringhausen is on the disabled list after lacerating his pitching hand while slapping a television. Maybe it’s just as well for the Cardinals, since batters have been hitting Izzy (1-5, 8.00 ERA) even harder than he hit the TV.
  • Ryan Howard: What is going on with the big fella? He was hitting only .184 heading into Sunday’s action and has already struck out more than 60 times. He doesn’t look anything like the menacing figure who swatted 105 home runs combined in his first two full seasons.
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3 Responses to “‘Kudos & Wet Willies,’ break up the Rays edition”
  1. just wanted to take a minor exception to the notion that the Rays are following the Marlins lead. The Kazmir-deal is only the latest of a several long-term deals that the Rays have given to young players. Longoria, Shields and Pena have already been locked up long-term in the past few months. If anything, Marlins are following the Rays and even then, they have a ways to go as one deal hardly compares to four.

  2. “Brandon Webb:Will the Arizona ace ever lose a game? He is 9-0, and there is all sorts of speculation on his chances to win 30 — yes, 30 — games. Too bad the guy pitches in Arizona, where most of the baseball world hardly ever gets to see him. ”

    Too bad most people in Arizona won’t see him either. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/attendance
    The Giants and Braves have better attendance numbers.

  3. Ed Valentine says:

    Prof, I guess I overlooked those prior signings by the Rays. They are doing what the Indians did several years ago, and it is a good move.

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