The D-Rays have averaged a pretty pathetic 63.5 wins since 2002 inclusive. Nearly every season they lose 100 games. That is truly abysmal, any which way you decide to look at it. Previous issues included youth, inexperience, a dearth of pitching depth and a general lack of veteran talent. So, the focal point of what I am trying to say, I suppose, is that them being in first place is, like Ron Bergundy, kind of a big deal.
How did they do it? Well, while struggling through the inept years, the D-Rays have nevertheless held on to their youth, indeed they are the third youngest team in the Majors
They have however added game experience to their squad by riding those young bucks through the tough times, through the 63 win seasons, to the point where Carl Crawford is truly a terrifying player. Edwin Jackson is suddenly putting it all together. James Shields is one of the most feared pitchers in the AL.
Even the older, veteran 'parts' they added are working out. Former Red Sox Eric Hinske is amongst the AL leaders in all the power categories.
They have managed to put together a tough, talented, young team with a huge, huge upside potential.
On top of all that, the Rays were recently voted baseball's best-value team to go see, in terms of Joe Punter having a night at the ball park
ST. PETERSBURG -- According to an ESPN survey of more than 40,000 fans, the Rays rank first in the Major Leagues in the affordability category.Some of the more entertaining offers available when you go see the Rays play are:
- Cars carrying four or more people park for free.
- College students can get select tickets for just $5 for Friday-night games.
- Most Friday home games feature dollar hot dogs.
- Tickets are as low as $9 for most games.
And the product is pretty damn good.
All this leads to the battle for the top of the AL East, starting tonight at Fenway Park, as Boston take on Tampa for three nights, with the AL East lead at stake. Not a New York Yankee or a Toronto Blue Jay in sight.