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How legit are the Tampa Bay Rays? Latest: Game winning hit for Gross, Rays in 1st place (reply #47)


SeriesFinale

They're three games over 500 and in first place at the latest point in a season in their franchise history (and you think we've had it bad the last 20 years). One week ago, they were 8-11 but just swept the Blue Jays and the Red Sox, topped off by James Shields outdueling a 13-K performance by Josh Beckett yesterday. They made a trade, albeit not a big splash, to improve the current team during the season for the first time that I can recall them doing perhaps ever when they dealt for Gabe Gross. Longoria's looking good, Pena's not on fire but hasn't regressed nearly as much as many expected, and Crawford and Upton are still both solid. All this before Scott Kazmir has joined the team yet.

It's very early. And mst teams can reel off a 6 game win streak at least once during a season. Is that all this is? Or do the Rays have a chance to make the playoffs in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees?

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Realistically, I think they have to be gunning for a respectable, .500-ish 3rd place finish. (I have to say, though, that I would be absolutely overjoyed if they managed to win that division. Probably not gonna happen, though.)
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They're a good young team with a ton of talent. But, I don't think that they can realistically expect to hang with Boston/NYY. They're actually a lot like the Brewers, but I think the Brewers have a much better chance of winning their division.
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I don't think the Rays will be able to keep it up this year, but next year look out AL East. Kazmir, Shields, Price, Garza, Niemann...wow. They have an insane collection of good young pitchers at or near the majors.
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Big Rays fan. Probably my favorite team in the AL. I still don't think they can challenge the Red Sox or Yanks but could finish 3rd and I kind of look at them the way the Brewers were 2-3 years ago. Gotta love that talented young pitching staff and they have the bats to score some runs. I always try to watch them if they are on ESPN playing the Sox or Yanks which has already happened a couple times this season.

Formerly BrewCrewIn2004

 

@IgnitorKid

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I don't know about that. More like Mets>Rays=Phillies, IMO.

 

The Rays have a better pitching staff than the Phillies though and their offense could be on par with the Phillies or just a little bit less. The Mets are an inconsistent team though maybe Santana later in the year will give them the consistency that they would need.

The Rays look like the 2005 Brewers if you want to compare the Brewers and the Rays. I bet they will finish with a near similar record as the Brewers did that year.
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I don't like how old the Mets are in certain areas -- I think they'll be fortunate to get a full season from Delgado, who knows what Pedro can offer, and if (I know, just random speculation) Santana misses any significant time, the Mets are in trouble.

 

I'd agree with sbryl, though, that the Rays would not be the best team in the NL East. It'd be close, but I think both the Phils & Mets are a tick better as they stand today.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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They might well be as good as TOR, but I still feel they are too young to win 81.

 

What about when Cliff Floyd comes back? He's old!

 

 

Vin Scully said it best during a Dodgers broadcast last week:

"This isn't a young man's game; this isn't an old man's game; this is a strong man's game."

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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I noticed awhile back that the Royals had released Ben Hendrickson, who was subsequently picked up by the Devil Rays. They'll always be the last stop on the road to the independent leagues to me.

 

And yes, I'm going to continue to call them the Devil Rays.

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Don't forget about Jake McGee and Wade Davis... McGee is a guy who throws 97-99 consistantly and has a big curveball and a sharp breaking slider.. Wade Davis has been compared to AJ Burnett a little bit and has great control.. Also they have a young outfielder by the name of Desmond Jennings who is the second coming of Carl Crawford, great speed and makes good contact and a good defensive outfielder.. Also theres Reid Brignac whos one of the top shortstop prospects in the minors who plays good defense and has 30 homer power.. Hes also a left handed hitter..

 

The point is the Rays are a serious threat maybe not this year but next year they will be a major player and will IMO win the division.. They are stackedd

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"Because random team name changes are silly. Just ask a Marquette Gold fan. "

 

So I take it you still refer to the Angels as the California Angels then.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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They have a legitimate shot at 3rd place.

 

I think you're right on here. They will obviously be stronger when Kazmir gets back and up to speed. Carlos Pena is a masher. I think baseball could benefit all around with a team like them (or the Marlins, or the Orioles) making a late-season charge.
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