Well, well, well… Look At Who Has The Best Record In Baseball…
It’s not the New York Yankees…
Or the Philadelphia Phillies.
It’s not the St. Louis Cardinals….
And it’s definitely not the Boston Red Sox.
It is however, the Tampa Bay Rays. And through the first month of the 2010 baseball season, they are the only team winning at greater than a 70% clip. Sitting in 1st place in the AL East with a 18-7 record, the Rays are one of the hottest teams in baseball. And again, they are proving that talent trumps money spent, and I enjoy that about their team.
With a roster that is full of multi-skilled players, the Rays play with a high amount of confidence and no longer look like the lowly cellar dwellers that they were during the early part of the decade. The team is a great mix of speed, power, and contact hitting – and that is even with some of their better hitters slumping early in the season. Their confidence is solid, and once all of their players are clicking on all cylinders, they should become even more successful.
While I am a Marlins fan first and foremost, I watch a lot of Rays games as well. My cable company(yes, cable) carries two Florida sports channels so I get to see a ton of games from both teams. Thank goodness for picture-in-picture viewing!!! And while just 3-4 years ago, I was tuning into the Rays to see their opposition play, times have clearly changed. Evan Longoria is extremely fun to watch. Carl Crawford and BJ Upton are dynamic on both offense and defense. Matt Garza is great on the mound. And so on and so on…
Congratulations to the Rays on an incredible start to their 2010 season!!!
Posted in Random Baseball Thoughts
Tagged 2010 baseball season, AL East, american league, baseball, baseball cards, ben zobrist, bj upton, carl crawford, David Price, evan longoria, jason bartlett, joe madden, rays, tampa bay rays, tampa rays
Just barely past the half way mark of the 2009 baseball season and the Toronto Blue Jays sit 1 game above .500 and in 4th place in the AL East. And while this division is extremely competitive, it’s very curious as to why the Blue Jays would be making news now. Especially when it’s news about tearing apart the nucleus of their team.
First it was the Roy Halladay rumors that broke earlier in the week. From The St. Louis Dispatch to ESPN to The Toronto Star to Fox Sports – all of these media outlets ran with the story that the Blue Jays would listen to trade offers for the ace of their rotation. Halladay has been one of the best pitchers this decade and should rank in the Top 5 in everyone’s active pitcher lists. Why would the Blue Jays, who are a 6-game win streak away from heading back to the top of the division, even put that kind of news out there? As a player in that locker room, no one should feel safe if they’re considering moving their most valuable piece.
And then today news hit that former stud closer, BJ Ryan, has been released. While Ryan was not meeting the standards this season that he had set in prior years, he was still due roughly $15 million dollars over the next year and a half so the Jays cut him a check and let him walk. I would love to be in his shoes – he is now able to sign with anyone he wants and can literally pick where he would like to go and not have his contract terms limit his options. In 2005 Ryan notched 36 saves. A year later in ’06 he rang up 38, and in 2008 another 32. You’ve got to believe that there will be a ton of teams ready to gamble to see if BJ can return to a very recent form in which he was one of the game’s best closers.
Right now I feel sorry for the Blue Jays fans that are out there. With 77 baseball games left in the regular season the team is well within reach of making it to the playoffs but it appears that their management team does not think that it will happen.
Toronto, I feel your pain…
Posted in Random Baseball Thoughts
Tagged AL East, american league, American League East, baseball, baseball cards, baseball fans, bj ryan, blue jays, blue jays fans, closer, cy young, cy young award, pitcher, pitching rotation, playoffs, relief pithcer, reliever, Roy Halladay, starting pitcher, toronto blue jays, toronto fans
I am not a Yankee fan, although I do enjoy watching several of their players. I love the sport of baseball; and I have for 25+ years now…
What the Yankees are doing is remarkable, and if I were a Yankee fan I would be thrilled with the product that they are putting on the field for us to watch. Already with one of the most talented line-ups in all of baseball, what the Yankees have done in the last 20 +/- days should make any baseball fan drool… Just imagine if your team added C.C. Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeira to the line-up of your favorite team. For the non-Yankee fan and even the Yankee-hater, you would have to be pretty impressed by the talent being brought to your locker room to help bring more trophies to your team.
With a new ballpark opening in the Spring of 2009, the responsibility of the Yankee’s management is to put the best product on the field that they can. Hell, that goes for all GM’s across the league. It’s just that the Yanks are willing to spend with no limit to get that done. You can’t really blame them for that. If the Florida Marlins or Kansas City Royals had the same kind of money, they would certainly follow suit and bring in the high-demand guys too.
As we all know, just because the Yankees are spending the most money it does not guarantee wins or World Series appearances. Games still have to be played, and 162 games per season leaves a ton of room and time for anything to happen. Look at last year, how many players on the Yankee roster made more than the entire starting line-up for the Tampa Bay Rays?? 8-10 is not a bad guess…
So, while I sit back and wait for the season to start, I will not cast my vote yet for which team I think will escape out of the American League East this year. What I will say is that I expect the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays to field the best team that they possibly can with the resources they have. If New York and Boston feel that their best chance is to bring in top-level free agents to get the job done than so be it. And if the Rays feel that their minor league teams are the best places to find players to help them win, then I am good with that too. I do expect that the Yankees will be more competitive this season, and I don’t expect much of a drop-off, if any, from the Rays or Red Sox.
It should be very entertaining in the AL East in 2009 and with the additions of Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira more and more eyes will be watching!!! I’m ready for April!!!
Posted in Random Baseball Thoughts
Tagged AJ Burnett, AL East, Ameriacan League, American League East, boston red sox, Burnett, C.C. Sabathia, highest paid, mark teixeira, new york yankees, rays, red sox, sabathia, tampa bay rays, tampa rays, teixeira, world series, yankees