Rays win their 8th straight; How do they do it?
Is there a better manager/GM tandem in baseball than Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman? Considering the Rays have the third lowest payroll in baseball, isn’t it almost unfathomable that they keep winning? Just think of the players this team has lost over the years, yet it seems they never miss a beat. This past offseason they traded James Shields and Wade Davis for a bunch of prospects. They lost B.J. Upton to free agency, and parted ways with Carlos Pena for a second time in his career.
Now while their pitching has taken a step back, the Rays offense has taken off and actually ranks top ten in most categories. Evan Longoria is healthy and his numbers prove that he is still one of the best hitting third baseman in baseball. Guys like Desmond Jennings, James Loney, Ben Zobrist and Will Myers, who they acquired in the aforementioned trade, has made this a formidable lineup.
David Price, who won the CY Young last year, started this season in nightmare mode before being placed on the DL. Price missed 6 weeks and has recently returned looking as dominant as last year. Alex Cobb was off to a great start before taking a line drive to the skull, and has yet to return due to a severe concussion. Matt Moore got off to a great start before slowly coming back to earth, but just won his 13th game today.
Keep in mind the Rays play in the American League East—unequivocally the best division in baseball.
Everyone has been focused on the Red Sox resurgence and the Yankees ability to withstand their injuries. The Rays truly are the Rodney Dangerfield of baseball—they get no respect.
If I weren’t already a Yankees fan, I would gladly adopt the Rays as my favorite team. It really is a damn shame that they only draw 17,000 fans per home game (second to last in MLB). They deserve a better fan base.
More cannot be said for what the Rays front office does year in, year out. It truly is remarkable the way they have drafted over the years, and now replenish their team in a variety of ways.
Look out Red Sox—here come the Rays—again!