Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Big Bet

Following the success of the 2008 season, I must admit I expected more from this team out of the gate.  Really, I didn't think there was a way the Rays wouldn't dominate the AL East again. 

It was all in front of them:

  • The New York Yankees high-priced talent wouldn't gel.
  • The Boston Red Sox didn't really upgrade from the team that the Rays handled last year.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays lost one of their best pitchers to the Yankees and didn't make huge improvements.
  • The Baltimore Orioles are still playing with old Rays retreads
Despite my expectations, the Rays came out of the gate slow.  Right now, they've only won two series.  Both of those were against the Red Sox.  The Yankees are still playing winning ball. Toronto looks like world beaters. And the Rays don't have an answer for the Orioles.

Matty from St. Petersburg says it's time to face facts.  This team isn't as good as they were this year and it's too hard for American League teams to repeat success from one year to the next.  I disagree.  I think we're transitioning to a new era in baseball where teams with an organizational plan can make noise year after year.  I don't believe the Rays played over their head last year.  I believe they're a good team that needs to come out of a funk.

As a great Tampa Bay Buccaneer coach once said, I believe the future is so bright I have to wear shades.  And because of that, I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  I have placed a wager with Matty on the outcome of the season.  I say the Rays will finish no lower than 3rd in the AL East.  Matty says the Rays will finish 4th or 5th.

The prize?  The loser has to take the winner to a Buccaneers home game next season.   Matty is already eyeing up the New York Jets game on December 13th. 

Joining the Dream!

Right now (Yankees/Red Sox game not decided as of this writing), the Rays are 2 1/2 games out from 3rd place.  They control their own destiny with the 2 game set in New York this week.  

As the season goes along, I'll keep you updated on the status of the bet.  But, I want to know who you agree with.  Leave a comment below and tell me whether I made a fool's bet or should I be ready to watch Josh Freeman tear up the Ray Jay in November.

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