St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

McRae looks to future when he leaves Yan in


© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 9, 2001

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Hal McRae can feel your pain.

He knows there are those who shudder and shake their heads every time he brings struggling closer Esteban Yan into a game. He knows there are people who wonder whether he knows what he's doing, just as when he seemingly has different standards in determining when to remove starting pitchers, or how he tolerates more mistakes from some than others.

But McRae has his reasons.

And they're pretty hard to quibble with.

"I don't want to be associated with a horse---- club all my life," McRae said. "That's not my intent. I don't want instead of winning, say, 60-some games, to win 70-some games. I want to win 90-some games.

"I've been a part of winning all my life. My intent is not to keep my head above water. And my intent is not to have a decent club, but an exceptional club. Players that can get us there are the kind of players we have to concentrate on."

Yan is one of the guys who McRae thinks has the potential to be an impact player, someone who is young enough, and talented enough, to make a difference when it matters.

"Long term, I think he's going to work out. Short term? Who knows? I think we've got to think longer term than short. It's disappointing to lose, but in the long view we've got too far to go to be worried about one game," McRae said.

"A concern to me is players who can get you out of the cellar, and I think he's one player that can get us out. Although he's inconsistent and although he's blown a lot of saves, I would prefer to go about it that way than to try and win a game here and there with someone who's not going to get you out of the cellar.

"And then in two or three years you're right back where you where. I don't think that's the best way to do it."

COLLECT CALL-UPS? It seemed surprising when the Rays added just three players to the roster last week, declining to call up promising prospects such as Jason Conti, Jason Smith, Delvin James and Cedrick Bowers.

Chief operating officer John McHale Jr. said the decision was made for several reasons, including, but not primarily, concerns about the financial ramifications both in terms of current pay and service time accrued.

"Those issues did not play a direct role in those decisions but they color everything we do to a greater extent or a lesser extent," McHale said. "We have a bunch of players with very little experience, and in that situation it didn't make sense to simply bring up and carry additional players who were not going to get innings or at-bats or the opportunity to audition in the big-league environment when we're still trying to do that with players we have."

NO MINOR MATTER: Triple-A manager Bill Evers had positive reports on Conti, the outfielder acquired from Arizona in the Albie Lopez deal, and Smith, the shortstop who came over from the Cubs.

Conti has the speed and defensive smoothness to play centerfield, an arm as strong as Jose Guillen's and "some pop in his bat."

Smith has good hands and range, and has "some sting" in his bat.

"I liked what I saw, without a doubt," Evers said.

ALBIE OKAY: Despite the dubious honor of giving up Barry Bonds' 60th homer Thursday, Lopez is enjoying life in Arizona -- and in a pennant race.

"It's everything I expected," Lopez said. "Every game counts, every inning. A win is such a high and a loss is such a low. Everything is so meaningful. Over there (in Tampa Bay), I felt like we were playing like we were going to get better one day. Here, we have to win now. We don't have time for anything else."

OFFENSIVE MATERIAL: Jason Tyner and Brent Abernathy were lying on the ground in pain after colliding in pursuit of a fly ball Monday in Seattle as Safeco Field officials showed at least four replays of the incident. "That was tasteless," Tyner said. "Kind of low class."

HOO-RAYS: Pitcher Josh Beckett, who made a stunning debut for the Marlins last week, was the second pick of the 1999 draft, right after the Rays chose Josh Hamilton. ... The U.S. champion Apopka Little League team will be honored before the Sept. 16 game. ... The Rays are also billing that game New Year's Eve 5762, noting the Sept. 17 start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. ... McHale and managing general partner Vince Naimoli will represent the team at the quarterly owners meeting Tuesday in Milwaukee.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

  • Bustin' loose
  • What they're saying
  • Hambrick gets early attention
  • NFL Game Day: Week 1
  • Bucs chat
  • Leaf might fight for his salary
  • Rice enjoys life atop the food chain
  • Monte and Clyde
  • Bucs sideline
  • High profile: Brad Johnson

  • Rays
  • After loss, McRae pleads for better pitching
  • With Flaherty hurt, Rays call up Hoover
  • McRae looks to future when he leaves Yan in
  • Astros make pitch for playoffs
  • Rays tales

  • College football
  • Big-time Bulls
  • Rix growing up fast
  • UM waits out rain, Rutgers
  • UF starts slow, then romps late
  • College football this week on TV
  • FSU sideline
  • Glamour games backfire on UAB
  • Florida fans: 'Bring on the Hillbillies'
  • Better aerodynamics work for wideouts
  • UF sideline
  • Early TD silences Florida's faithful
  • Rain went away but not before it delayed game
  • College football around the state
  • USF sideline
  • Bulls have multi-record outing

  • Sports Etc.
  • Venus wins Open as Serena unravels
  • Highs and lows
  • Almonte's future looking very green
  • Baseball this week on TV
  • Tampa Bay waiting for classic field
  • Diallo to announce decision
  • Sampras already feels like a winner
  • Hewitt won't have many fans in Open final
  • Lightning training camp
  • Lightning: 10 questions entering camp
  • Tortorella expects a conditioned team
  • Swim meet briefs
  • Second-place finishes lift Gator girls to win
  • Hudson pulls out another late win
  • Outdoors calendar
  • Get a chart, learn tides, catch fish
  • Around Pinellas
  • Hurricanes, Warhawks duel at Zone Challenge
  • Tournament insider
  • Around Pinellas

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts