Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New hitting coach Derek Shelton says Tampa Bay Rays' hitting problems aren't as bad as they seem

The view from the stands, the couch and the computer screen is apparently clear: It's Derek Shelton's fault.

All of it.

The first-year hitting coach's alleged inadequacies are the reason for the Rays' extended offensive slump, as well as the sluggish economy, the traffic, the weather, the poor service at the local restaurant and your significant other's headache.

First, you should know Shelton, who has lived in the bay area a dozen years, is glad Rays fans now care so much. Second, you should know he doesn't really care what's being said about him.

"If they want to blame me, that's fine," Shelton says. "I'd rather they blame me than (the players)."

The way Shelton sees it, things are not nearly as bad as they appear from the outside.

He considers the ongoing lack of offense another of those "funks" teams — all teams — go through during a 162-game season.

He is concerned at how much the Rays strike out (924 times, first in the AL, third in MLB), but not as much since they also walk a lot (482, first in MLB).

And though having the team hit .251 (23rd in MLB) and six players under .240 isn't good, Shelton said batting average isn't as good a gauge as on-base percentage, runs created (and scored) and slugging percentage. Also, working good at-bats, getting deeper into opposing bullpens, etc.

He points to the Rays ranking third in the majors with 578 runs (4.98 per game). And, oh yeah, being second with 70 wins.

"As long as we win, I'm not really concerned about it," Shelton said. "If we win 1-0 from here on out, I'm happy."

And how much does manager Joe Maddon blame Shelton for the lack of offense?

"Zero, zilch, nada, negative, negative 10," Maddon said. "That is so wrong.

"Absolutely everybody was very pleased in the beginning of the year when we were kicking butt, we were scoring, we were driving in runs at a ridiculous pace. And all of a sudden we stopped doing that, and so all the stuff he was teaching at the beginning of the year that was working, now he's forgotten all that? Was that all wrong? Of course not. … We, individually, have to do better."

New hitting coach Derek Shelton says Tampa Bay Rays' hitting problems aren't as bad as they seem 08/14/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”