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Sarfate Thought Pena Was Stealing Signs

Posted May 1, 2008 by Aaron Knox

Updated Apr 30, 2008 at 11:32 PM

By CARTER GADDIS

BALTIMORE—The post-game explanation of the Dennis Sarfate-Carlos Pena yelling match in the eighth? Apparently, Sarfate thought Pena was trying to sneak a peek at C Ramon Hernandez’s pitch signs. Sarfate wouldn’t comment on that, but several Rays and Orioles players said that was what they heard when Sarfate begin to chirp at Pena and Pena took a step toward the mound to make sure Sarfate heard every word of his retort very distinctly.

Here’s Pena’s post-game comment on Sarfate’s impression that he was stealing signs.

“That’s the only thing I can think of that maybe he was complaining about, but it’s totally untrue,” Pena said. “To begin with, to look at the catcher’s signs and still be ready to hit a 95-mph fastball, that’s kind of tough to do. ... Not only do you have to look at the sign, you have to know their sequence, and then you have to turn around and look at the ball and try and hit it.”

Pena said he didn’t even know what Sarfate was yelling about. He just heard the pitcher yelling at him, so he yelled back.

Meanwhile, the Rays finished the month of April 14-12, their first winning April ever. At 15-12, they’re tied for second place in the AL East. That puts them on pace to go 90-72. Not bad, but probably not good enough—still—to make a legitimate run at the division title or even a wildcard spot. But hey, it sure beats the alternative. Which is exactly what the Rays have gone through the first 10 years of their existence.

So (and here’s where we could use some feedback), is it time to start considering this team a legitimate threat to make some noise in the division? Or is it still ridiculously early to buy into what’s going on? OR ... is this merely a sign of the gradual growth the Stuart Sternberg regime has promised since taking over before the ‘06 season? Let us know what you think.

Oh, and by the way ... if Andy Sonnanstine is bumped from the rotation when Scott Kazmir comes back on Sunday, I’ll eat Marc Lancaster’s Blackberry.

Reader Comments

Por (David Augustine Rodriguez) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

It is great that the Rays are Doing well at the beginning of the season. One big concern I am having is that when they are winning during a game lets say the Rays are in the lead against Boston 5-2 until the last innings, they are not consisten to remain in the lead and fall. The Rays need a good closer wHO can stop the power hitters in order to win the game.
Example: The dodgers had Eric Gagne and Bob O’brien who stopped hitters.

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Por (Matt) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

David,

Have you been to any games this year or looked at the stats of Troy Percival? 9 IP, .33 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, and 5 of 5 in save chances. I know he is an older pitcher but he seems to be keeping the bullpen in order.

I’m happy to see these Rays being competative. The time is now for people to start buying the tickets instead of the Yankees and Red Sox.

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Por (John S.) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I really see it as a gradual progression of what Stu and the guys have been building.  It is still early, but you have to like the lineup.  It could use an all-around RF, but overall it’s pretty solid, including the pitching.  One thing I’d like to see is the local media covering the team with a bit less drama, where every loss is the end of the world and each win is the next coming of Jesus.  I understand that’s not the world we live in, but it’s a wish of mine. The guys are playing well, they’re going to win some dramatically and lose some UGLY, same as every team in the league. They don’t need to win the World Series for me to be proud to be a Rays fan.  GO RAYS!!!!

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Por (Patrick Ruddock) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

The Rays have a shot at boston in 2009, but not this year. They can finish second and drive the dagger in to the hearts of all new york fans who think the rays are easy wins, and that they will be playing baseball come october.

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Por (BJ Richards) on May 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Patrick Ruddock, you’re an idiot. No one up here thinks the Rays are easy wins, nor have we for YEARS. You see, up here, we actually know something about baseball. We don’t make broad sweeping generalizations about entire groups of fans the way morons like you do.

The Rays are young, and stacked. But you’re only setting yourself up for more disappointment if you think they can even pretend to think about winning the division before 2010, 2011 maybe.

Try learning a bit more about the sport, and the people who watch it, before spreading your pathetic diahrrea of the keyboard.

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Por (Mark) on May 02, 2008 (Suggest removal)

John S. states the Rays neeed an all-around RF, true, it sure would be nice to have Josh Hamilton, but Friedman thru
his arrogance and inexperience gave him away with nothing in return, and never has been called out for it in the media.
Also, Maddon needs to let Gomes play everyday regardless of lefty/righty situations.Gross and Haynes have a tough time hitting the ball out of the infield.

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