Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yes, America - The Rays Are Just One Game From the World Series...

Yes, America. It looks like the Tampa Bay Rays are just one win from making into their first ever World Series after having excatly zero winning seasons in their existence until this year.

I always knew the Rays would be close or finish slightly above .500; however, if anyone says they expected them to win 97 games and be one step away from the World Series, I would suggest you start playing the Lottery.

The Rays bushwhacked the Red Sox in Game Four of the ALCS, 13-4. There was not much to be said for last night if you're a Boston fan -- Wakefield got his arse kicked, despite having 16 days of rest and Tampa outplayed them.

For everyone that's shocked -- don't be. Being an Oriole fan, I have seen enough of the Rays to contend they are for real. I thought the Red Sox would come back and mount a challenge, but now they are looking lost on the mound and the plate (especially David Ortiz, Ellsbury, and ugh -- Varitek), while the Rays look young, energized and not stressed at all.

Homers by Willy Aybar, Carl Crawford (who was 5 for 5) -- and yes, Longoria -- again, led Tampa to victory. They had an offensive onslaught that the Red Sox have not been able to match, and Andy Sonnastine's golden arm led them to victory.

It was weird seeing a quiet Fenway, and it looks like despite the grea job Francona has done managing Boston, they are just no match -- literally -- for the Rays.

If there's any solace in seeing the Rays in the series after all theor losing for the past decade, it gives teams like the Orioles, Pirates, Royals, Nationals and Reds hope. You need a little bit of luck, but a whole lot of planning, great management and a commitment to development to get to the next level.

Another case study: the Brewers.

Money can help solve and cover up some problems (ala the Yankees); however, you need a plan and you need to stick with it, no matter how tough or rough the road may be.

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