The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are the most pathetic group of sniveling crybabies in all of professional sports.

Joe Maddon Whiner LineSince the ill-fated idea of placing a Major League Baseball team in the Tampa Bay area was conceived, the Devil Rays have never stopped whining.

“We don’t like our stadium!” Suck it up, and try selling some tickets for once.

“We’re a small market team!” I love this argument. Judging solely by population, Boston is the 10th largest market in the country; and Tampa Bay has the 18th largest market size. So much for the “big market” crap. Boston has used the area surrounding it to increase its market size: their AAA team is an hour away in Pawtucket, RI; and their AA team is two hours away in Portland, ME. Tampa Bay could use a similar strategy and place an AAA team in Orlando and an AA team on the Gulf Coast. But what have they done instead? They have teams in Durham, NC, and Montgomery, AL. Great going, geniuses.

But playing for the Devil Rays means that you never run out of excuses, and this sorry story continues today with a day/night doubleheader that the Devil Rays didn’t want to play.

Ben Zobrist, a typical overrated blowhard on the Devil Rays’ roster who’s doing his best to get Red Sox pitchers to aim a couple fastballs in the vicinity of his head today, led the charge against the doubleheader. He fed false stories to the media about the Red Sox wanting the doubleheader scheduled today to get rid of Pedroia bobbleheads, spent the rest of his time on the phone with MLB Player’s Union rep Tony Clark (crying, surely), then claimed that the Red Sox are forcing this doubleheader on the Devil Rays.

Zobrist left Fenway Park yesterday telling lies to the media that today’s doubleheader wasn’t official. It finally took a call MLB last night to say “Hey moron, you will be playing baseball on Thursday afternoon.”

The reasons why the Devil Rays don’t want to play tomorrow are because rescheduling the game to another time when they are in Boston means taking away a critical late season off-day for the Red Sox. Additionally, the Devil Rays starting rotation is so depleted right now that they would rather see Cesar Ramos get skipped in the rotation.

What isn’t mentioned is that the Devil Rays have two young pitchers in Durham who haven’t lost a game yet. The most impressive starter is Mike Montgomery, a 25 year old top prospect who pitched 8 /13 innings of no hit baseball in his last start on Saturday, 4/26 (he was pulled from the game). The other starter is Merrill Kelly, a 26 year old who is currently 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA.

Hey Devil Rays, don’t want to toss Cesar Ramos in the hill? Then you’re free to use either of those prospects. One of those prospects could be in Boston right now, but it was your choice to recall Erik Bedard from Durham instead of one of them. Choices have consequences, and having a depleted starting rotation when heading into an unscheduled doubleheader could be one of those consequences.

But instead of being honest about their strategy – to screw the Red Sox out of an off-day, and not use prospects to start games because they want to keep them in the minors long enough to get an extra option year on those players – the Devil Rays whined that the Red Sox are forcing them to play a doubleheader tomorrow because Boston is evvvviiilllll!!!

Yes, it’s going to rain this afternoon and the both teams might not be able to play the first game of the doubleheader anyway. But nobody knows what the weather will be like for the days the Devil Rays wanted to use for a reschedule, and it’s the responsibility of the Red Sox to play 81 games at home. The Red Sox are accepting that responsibility by doing everything possible to get this game played.

One team here is acting like a group of adults, and it’s not the one from St. Petersburg. The Devil Rays should just shut the hell up and play some baseball.