Sunday, August 24, 2008

Enough Already

There was a time - oh, back in April and May - when I thought the Tampa Rays were kind of cute. This lowly little team of young players, who had a horrible record in 2007, and suddenly were showing signs of life. I thought it was neat that we would some competition this year in the AL East from somebody besides the Yankees. And they played with heart and enthusiasm - full of cuties like Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena (above). I thought 2008 looked like a fun year in the AL East.

When I was at the Trop in June, I still thought it was fun. Their fans were having their first taste of a being in first place. They weren't sure how to act - some were obnoxious (one TB fan commented that these clearly used to be NYY fans until they moved to Florida), some were unsure how to act, some were just excited that their team was playing so well. But it was also the first time I suspected that the team wasn't going to fall apart, wasn't going to fold. They played hard, they played well. They swept the three game series - they were clearly a force to be reckoned with at home. Still, it was the RAYS!

I NEVER would have guessed that they would still be holding their own in baseball's toughest division in August. I NEVER would have imagined they would hold a 5 1/2 game lead over us on August 24th. I would NEVER have thought that the Yankees and Red Sox both might lose the division - that even the wild card race looked iffy. The Rays have won 8 of their last 10 games, and are on the verge of sweeping the Chicago White Sox in Chicago! They must be stopped!

Yes, "there is still a lot of baseball left to be played this year." The Rays close out with a tough schedule, which includes six games vs. Toronto, six games vs. NYY, six games vs. the Red Sox, and 3 games vs. the Minnesota Twins. But the Sox are going to have to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself - we've got to win when they're losing, and keep pace with them. We can't afford to fall any farther behind.

Suddenly, the Rays aren't so cute anymore.

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