The major league All-Star game will proceed without the Tampa Bay Rays.
Without any arguments for their players, either.
Oh, relief pitcher Alex Colome made it to the game with 19 saves this season. And Evan Longoria, hitting .289 with 19 homers, was eliminated in the voting for the final slot. Hey, you could even get a debate going in the name of second-baseman Logan Forsythe, who is hitting .285.
But, really, after that, all arguments are closed. No one is even close to being an all-star. Which shows you that it wasn’t much of a surprise that the Rays finished on a 3-22 swoon. The Rays are bad, well, because they deserve to be bad.
Start with the pitching, where Chris Archer is 4-12 and Drew Smyly is 2-10 and Blake Snell is 1-4. By those standards, Matt Moore (5-6) and Jake Odorizzi (3-5) don’t look that bad.
Then there is the team’s catching, where Hank Conger has an average of .194 and Curt Casali has an average of .169.
How about the infield? Logan Morrison has been better lately, but he’s still at .236. Brad Miller has shown some pop, but he’s at .241. Backup shortstop Tim Beckham is at .170.
The outfield isn’t much better. Desmond Jennings is at .202 and Steven Souza is at .251 and is tied for eighth with 92 strikeouts. Kevin Kiermaier has played in only 38 games because of injury, but he’s hitting .236. Reserve Jaff Dacker is hitting .138 and Taylor Motter .188.
Also, the Rays don’t particularly play good defense, they don’t particularly run bases well and they aren’t particularly athletic.
In other words, the Rays slide (from 31-32) isn’t a surprise. It will be a surprise if the Rays manage to right themselves in the second half.