I was just reading an article on Fox Sports called, Division Picks: Champs Have Tough Task, which is all about the anticipated rankings for MLB this year. I read it, expecting to see the same old crap about the AL East about how the Yankees and Red Sox will battle it out all year long for the 1 / 2 spots with the Rays, Blue Jays, and Orioles duking it out to stay out of the cellar. If they are lucky, the Rays might contend for the wild card…yada yada yada and they will crap all over my beloved Tampa Bay Rays. I didn’t even want to read the article but there was a part of me that was optimistic. Maybe…just maybe…this guy will recognize that:
- The Rays have advanced to the postseason in three of the last four seasons.
- They advanced to the World Series (yes, they lost but still…they were there!) in 2008.
- They have won two division champsionships in the last four seasons.
- They won one AL wild card in the last four seasons.
Don’t they deserve some kind of acknowledgement?
Not to mention our line-up consists of names like:
- David Price
- Matt Moore
- James Shields
- Evan Longoria
- BJ Upton
- Carlos Pena
- Desmond Jennings (Did you hear about his 3-HR game the other day? One of those was even a Grand Slam!)
So yes, I say those boys in blue from Tampa Bay deserve some recognition and the AL East is NOT about those damn Yankees and Red Sox. At least, not anymore, and not for at least the last four years.
So I read the article and I was pleased. Mr. Ringolsby said (about the AL East):
“The Tampa Bay Rays have become baseball’s poster boy for parity.
There are no gimmicks for the Rays. They rely on the old-time approach, combining statistical research with player evaluations. And they have shown that even on a tight budget, a team can enjoy success.
The Rays have advanced to the postseason in three of the last four seasons — the same as the big-budget AL East-rival New York Yankees. They have both won two division titles in that stretch, and claimed one wild card.
The Boston Red Sox, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back seasons without a postseason appearance. They are in upheaval after a management housecleaning in the wake of last year’s fiasco. And things haven’t gone well this spring. There has been tension between manager Bobby Valentine and general manager Ben Cherington, who was overruled by team president Larry Lucchino on the hiring of Valentine.”
AL East forecast: Tampa Bay, New York Yankees, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore.
Yayyy! Tampa Bay!!! Tampa! Bay! Tampa! Bay! Tampa! Bay!
Booo!!! to the other guys. 😛