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Monday September 14, 2009 8:47 pm

The Tampa Bay Rays have proved nothing




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Editorial, MLB

Troy Percival

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays dropped their 11th straight game, one of the longest losing streaks for any team in 2009. These are the same Tampa Bay Rays whose bandwagon everybody jumped on after a successful run to the World Series last year. The Rays took those fans for a ride this year, and many thought that the team would be a force to be reckoned with; that their minuscule payroll would be able to match the Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees. Boy, were those people wrong.

The Rays of ’09 are just another name in the bunch. Sure, the Rays aren’t going to lose 90 games this year like they had every season prior to 2008, but they’re certainly not the same team that they were a year ago. With neighbors like the Red Sox and Yankees in their division, 90 wins will never be good enough, and the Rays certainly aren’t going to win 90 games this year. If they continue at the pace they’ve had for the past month or so, they’ll be lucky to finish with a second .500 season.

Most people agree that the Rays won last season because of years of bad finishes and subsequent good drafts and trades. But realistically, how long did people think their success could last? Yes, they’ve got players like Evan Longoria and David Price doing good things, but those players’ contracts will eventually rise to a level that Tampa can’t afford. Just ask Scott Kazmir, whom the Rays traded earlier this season to the Los Angeles Angels. Kazmir left Tampa as their all-time wins and strikeout leader. If Tampa thought that they could continue on as one of the heavy-hitters in the American League, why would they even consider letting go of their best pitcher for a pair of prospects?

The 2009 season has not at all gone how the Rays would have hoped. They haven’t managed to build on the success from last year, and injuries to guys like Troy Percival and more recently Carlos Pena are definitely bad signs. Either way, they have definitely proven that the dream team story from 2008 was the exception, and not the rule.

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