© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 8, 2001
As the Rays continue to challenge the 1962 Mets for the worst record in baseball history, let's not forget to add manager Hal McRae to the list of responsible parties.
No doubt player performance has been awful, but McRae and his decisionmaking skills have contributed to the fall.
Specifically, I cite his refusal to remove a relief pitcher before a game is out of hand. Esteban Yan's last performance was a classic example. Watching McRae stand in the dugout, night after night with his mouth open and tongue hanging out, is not what this team needs. Since Day 1, this team has needed a spark plug at the helm.
McRae may have been a decent player. His managerial skills, however, fall flat.
-- Steve Thomas, New Port Richey
I was watching the Rays game Friday night on TV and could not believe what I just saw. The Rays, just about the worst team in the history of the game, made another great bonehead move by their supposed manager.
You would think this team would try to win any game by any means. But in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied 3-3, first base was occupied by Jason Tyner with no outs. The batter was Ben Grieve.
I would think the logical move would be to bunt Tyner to second for a chance to score by the team's two most-productive hitters (Greg Vaughn and Fred McGriff). I forget, this is the Rays and McRae.
Well, Hal let Ben hit away: one out, then two outs, then three outs.
I say unbelievable and await another loss, inching closer to the Mets' '62 record. I don't know the outcome because I was too disgusted to watch the end of it, so I say good night, Rays.
-- M. Herbert, Kenneth City
Hal McRae is starting to sound rather Casey Stengal-ish, but not quite Yogi Berra-ish. With a 25-59 record as of July 4, he stated, "We need to win more ballgames." Duh!
And as far as new clubhouse rules go, perhaps he could benefit from a feng shui consultant or maybe even sending the boys to bed with no television.
-- David Lubin, Tampa
When are the baseball commissioner and the head of the umpires going to wake up to the fact that the umpires are "dumping" on the Rays? (Or are they as blind as their minions?)
-- Dom DiGeronimo, Largo
Have the Buccaneers moved out of town like the Baltimore Colts in the night? I haven't been able to find anything in your newspaper regarding the Bucs lately!
I find your coverage of the Buccaneers and the NFL during off-season to be very lackluster. It seems to me that the Bucs are poised to go all the way this year and many of us avid fans are hungry for some news regarding this team. Also, I'm sure I can speak for others when I say that I'd like to know more about what is going on in the league, especially other NFC Central teams.
-- Steve Madascy, Largo