Rays Have Unfinished Business
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THE GOOD: New York Roadkills. According to EatMyShorts.com, the chances of the Yankees choking on the Rays' champagne is now 100%...Champagne hangovers...With the Rays magic number to clinch the AL East now at 6, the odds of winning the division, according to Baseball Prospectus is now 86.2%.
THE BAD: Reason #705 that the Rays need to win the AL East: The Rays are about to embark on a roadtrip to end the season in which they will play 8 games in 7 days. The last thing the Rays need to do is fly home next Sunday night, and just have to turn around and fly to Los Angeles the next day. That would not be good for business. That would not be good for anybody...Did you see Andy Sonnanstine's and Ben Zobrist's mohawks? In a word, Scary...
THE TELLING: The Red Sox magic number to clinch at least a wild card is 2 (over the Yankees).
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA...
- BJ Upton was a late-inning defensive substitute yesterday, playing center field. He is expected back in the lineup today and judging by his appearance in center yesterday, we expect he will be back there today, despite speculation that he might be moved to right field to take pressure of his sore quad. [MLB]
- Jason Bartlett was named the Rays' MVP by the local baseball writers. [Rays Report]
- The "Running Man" was a nice touch. [Her Rays]
- Listen. We love stats. We love all kinds of stats. We love playing with stats and inventing new ones. But with stats comes a certain caution that must be taken. Stats are great for showing trends, but no single stat in any sport or in any line of business will tell the whole story. Rake Blog says the Rays were lucky this season because their run-differential was not as great as their record...If all else were equal than we would be more than happy to agree. But there is a situation in which a team can have a better record than their run-differential. It starts with a great bullpen. The Rays bullpen is so good, that they are able to win more close games than an average team would be expected to win. The Rays are 29-18 in 1-run games. The 11-games over .500 record is tied for the best in baseball and shows just how strong the Rays bullpen has been this season. On the other hand, the Red Sox, who are playing below their run-differential are 19-22 in 1-run games. And before somebody starts yelling about how lucky the Rays are that all their relievers are pitching above their career marks, ask yourselves what is more likely...That 7 relief pitchers would all just happen to improve in the same season by chance OR 7 relief pitchers finally found a very good pitching coach that worked on their mechanics and approach and a great manager that figured out how to best use each pitcher and put them in situations where they are more likely to succeed...Yeah, must be luck. [Rake Blog]
- Marc Lancaster takes a look at some looming playoff roster decisions...We will have more on this tomorrow. [Tampa Tribune]
- A back-handed "congrats" from a Red Sox blogger. [Sox & Dawgs]
- Purple Row would like to see the Rockies trade Matt Holliday to the Rays for Edwin Jackson "and a lot of other stuff." At this point we wouldn't even give up Jackson, by himself, for the 1-year rental. [Purple Row]