The Rays are gonna get a playoff spot this year with barely any stars, a ton of injuries, only one real trusted starter, and a bunch of assholes on the bullpen. There's some teams actually trying and making progress, and the Rays are just gonna walk right in despite having a really flawed team.
I honestly think Kevin Cash is comparable to somebody like Bill Belichick at this point. There were years where the Patriots rocketed into the playoffs despite not really having the team, but with the way Belichick managed them it was kind of a foregone conclusion. And that's where we're at with Cash, because Cash doesn't need a particularly good version of this Rays team to work his way into a wild card spot. He just got Wander Franco off the IL, he engineered an 11-0 victory against the Blue Jays last week, and he's procured his team a fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
The only issue is that the Rays are currently holding onto the third wild card spot, and the next few series' are against competitive teams like the Astros, Guardians, Blue Jays and Astros again. And while the Orioles, who are the next closest wild card competitors, do have only a slightly easier schedule leading up to the end of the regular season, the pressure of not getting beaten to a postseason spot by the ORIOLES of all people is sure to be mounting in Tampa right now.
And, like usual, the people being relied upon are flukey, low-budget journeyman guys who are all getting hot at the same time. Harold Ramirez is the poster child for this. He was alright last year in Cleveland, but right now for the Rays, Ramirez is hitting .306 with 108 hits and 54 RBIs. Lots of unsung guys like Ramirez, Jose Siri, Christian Bethancourt and [ugh] Jason Adam are succeeding for this team right now, and the only veterans who are holding things together for this team are relatively inconsequential ones like Yandy Diaz and Manuel Margot. I know the Rays are trying to establish themselves with people like Franco and Arozarena, but with Lowe and Kiermaier both injured during a playoff run, it's kind of a half-hearted effort.
I mean, because it's the Rays, they're probably still gonna make the playoffs and probably go pretty far just by how well they can pull momentum out of nowhere. I just wish they'd act like some of the other teams and build their franchise with actual stars rather that low-budget, controllable guys. That may not happen til Cash leaves, but it'll perhaps make me like them more.
Coming Tomorrow- Dumb but lovable third baseman for a team trying to hang onto a postseason spot themselves.
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