Thursday, May 9, 2019

Something from Nothing (or More Fun with the Rays)

Look...any other year, the fact that a Rays team is sticking at first place and not moving would infuriate me, a Yankee fan. I mean, they've had a stranglehold on this division since the very beginning, and have only gotten stronger as the season has progressed.

But...once again, this Rays team has become so unpredictable and fun that I can't quite hate them. I mean, why else would I give them such a fun custom like that Yandy Diaz one? That's a goofy-as-hell one that'd normally be reserved for a fun team.

The Rays...have two concrete marquee stars, by the webster definition. Kevin Kiermaier is their moral leader at the plate, and Blake Snell is their young fireballer. That's...honestly all they need in terms of star power. I mean, honestly they don't even really need to worry about using stars to draw fans, because nobody really goes to Rays games to begin with,'s really just those two and a bunch of misfits who are all breakout out at once.

I mean, you do have people that used to be fairly big names, like Avisail Garcia, but...everyone else has gotta be baffling to the common baseball fan. Like, they'd be going to Rays games and saying 'who is this Ji-Man Choi guy that the fans seem to love?', and 'what is this utility infield guy Yandy Diaz doing as the DH', or 'How the hell did Charlie Morton get out of Houston?' and such. So many different baseball personalities that A.) shouldn't be doing well, and B.) shouldn't be on the same Tampa roster, are killing it right now, and it's gotta baffle the average sports fan.

Hell, the sports fans that DO know statistics and things should also be baffled. No major league stat from 2016 to 2018 could have prepared people for the start Tyler Glasnow is having. Nobody would have pegged Brandon Lowe as one of the year's top rookie contenders. And...okay, maybe some people would have predicted Tommy Pham to be good this year, but maybe not this good.

The fact that the Rays can build a contending team like this with little-to-no star power...impresses the hell out of me. The most impressive thing is that the 2nd place AL East team is also taking this strategy...but forcibly. Nobody forced the Rays to be this low-budget...but they're doing it anyway, and it's working. More power to them.

Coming Tomorrow- A pitcher from the most satisfyingly-good first place team in ages.

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