An awful few days around the Bay Area By Rich Herrera @RbirichBy Rich Herrera

It has been one of the roughest stretches for Bay Area sports fans over the last few days. We have seen our local teams have bad runs and losing seasons. We have seen mangers and head coaches come and go. We have seen GM’s hired and fired. But I don’t remember when we had the imperfect storm of all of these happening all at the same time. Man it feels like I just got punched in the face by Mike Tyson wearing brass knuckles. The Bucs were awful on Sunday and the only thing that makes it worse is that they lost to one of the worst teams in the league. The Rays lost their GM and Skipper, thank goodness DJ kitty still has 3 years left on his deal. The Gators well they are the Gators and most Florida fans have moved on already. The Noles have another player in trouble with the Law. Thank goodness the NHL season is still young and Bolts have a winning record. Honesty I feel like we should encase Jon Cooper in bubble wrap to ensure his safety.

The Bucs are a mess right now and are in huge trouble with their fans. They have been beaten down a few times this year and the games they don’t get blown out in they can not find a way to finish games that they were competitive in. The offense is offensive right now. There is no passing game unless they are playing catch up. The running game hasn’t produced. Mike Glennon has been the QB for the past few weeks but has he convinced anyone that he is the future. You really can’t pin anything on him because he has had little to no help from his offensive line this year. The defense hasn’t put much pressure on on anyone. When the one thing you can point to is the punter who is having a heck of a year, you know things are bad. Lovie Smith has had a lot of questions tossed his way and not many answers. The team still commit silly fouls, and doesn’t make game changing plays. The defense doesn’t make stops when teams are driving for game winning field goals. One Buc fan told me his worst nightmare is that the Bucs will play just well enough to win a few meaningless games and keep them from getting a top draft pick. Ouch!!

Rays fans are used to watching players leave via a free agency or being traded because Tampa Bay can’t afford them. But to watch the team lose its leadership because of money rocks the Rays Republic down to its foundation. Players might come and go, but Rays fans could always count on Andrew Friedman being the smartest kid in the room. Come spring training we could always lean on Joe Maddon to figure a way to make some cast offs and never was players into a team that would torture the mighty Yankees and Red Sox. Many teams have tried to woo Friedman away over the years.
But once Magic Johnson and the Dodgers came calling and opened up their checkbook it was an easy decision for Andrew. Seven million a year and all the resources in the world would be impossible to turn down. Joe Maddon has been the face of the franchise since the Rays became a winner. Make chicken salad from you know what year after year would be tough for anyone. The one thing I have never understood is how some of the fans around here didn’t appreciate what he did year in and year out. The fact that some of the fans around here actually hated him makes me scratch my head. All managers are hired to fired one day and Maddon no matter what he accomplished was no different. So those of you who always knocked him let me know how this is going to work out for you. Now that we have added Andrew and Joe to the list of former Rays. With so many players and now a GM and manager that have left the club, maybe now we can get our head out of the stand and get working on a solution for the long term future of our baseball team.

Florida Gators … I don’t have enough time or space on this blog

The Noles and Jimbo Fisher have to figure something out. Are they there to win games or build men into leaders. Most schools try to both. Jimbo and his team have won and been a great football team no doubt about it. But off the field there have been way to many headlines in the news section of the paper instead of the sports page. We have seen teams winning games year after year only to see it all fall apart because they looked the other way when their players behavior off the field was not as important as their play on Saturday. I hope I am wrong but time will tell.

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