BY: John Mamola
It has been hard times coming as of late for the Tampa Bay Rays as they find themselves at eight games under .500 for the first time since the final days of the 2007 Devil Rays season. A combination of injuries to key personal and a lack of timely hitting has caused some to believe that the season could possibly be over before it truly even starts.
MLB Network analyst Joe Magrane, who used to work as a television broadcaster for the organization, believes it is still too early to call it a wrap for the year. However Magrane has noticed that the stars of the Rays seem to have lost their mental edge as he told WDAE’s ‘The Sports Page” on Wednesday.
“I certainly didn’t think at this point that he (Evan Longoria) would be tied in RBI’s with Ryan Hanigan and James Loney,” said Magrane. “I just think that he (Longoria) really lengthens out the rest of the lineup. I think the way things are going, much like David Price, is trying to put a lot of things on his back and put extra pressure. He really wants to be the leader of the team, and of course you do it through the long course of the season through actions.”
The MLB Network analyst believes Longoria has shown signs of frustration on the field and is not letting the game “come to him” by swinging at bad pitches in his at bats. A former pitcher himself for ten seasons in major league baseball, Magrane is also noticing the slow pace of David Price on the mound for Tampa Bay.
“I think the pitching position provides a lot of leadership from that standpoint (pacing). It always has the team feeling like they’re in charge, and I’m really hoping that David is a Cy Young Award winner and he has to be better than this,” said Magrane. “My only concern is I’ve seen this kind of malaise leaked back from last year to this year, and I’m waiting for him to turn the corner and start dominating again.”
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