I just finished watching the Tampa Bay Rays lose their last game of the 2014 season.

Rays 2014 season total: 77 wins85 losses

It’s been a bad one. Rays fans have seen worse, though. Back in the Devil Rays era, a losing season like this was a sadly common occurrence. No one expected it for this year and this group of Rays. As a matter of fact, I’m holding in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers* a Tampa Bay Times Sports section insert from 20 March of this year. In big bold font on the front it says, “Trophy Case – The Rays have done all they can to make their title argument.” It’s accompanied by a big mock World Series trophy with the Rays players on the little flags and “World Champions – 2014 – The Tampa Bay Rays” on the base plate.

Hmm… some really wishful thinking on the part of the Times sports writers, evidently. The Rays did NOT have what it takes to make it even to the playoffs this season. They do have some valid excuses, though. They lost their ace pitcher in a trade. They lost numerous key players to injury. Some key players did not perform at the levels expected of them. Et cetera. Excuses don’t win championships. Whatever went awry, whatever plans didn’t pan out, whatever players had issues of one type or another; I’m confident that, under the continued leadership of Joe Maddon, all will be analyzed and solutions will be discovered and implemented.

Maybe that pretty trophy will end up in the Rays’ trophy case in 2015.

We’ll see…

The cold and dark winter is nearly upon us now, but the spring will come… and with it a renewed, refreshed, and ready Rays organization. Can’t hardly wait to hear that “Play ball!”

Later…

~Eric

*This phrase about the formerly nicotine-stained fingers was a trademark phrase used by a favorite talk radio host of mine from many years ago toward the end of his career. His on-air name was Bob Lassiter. I pretty much stopped listening to talk radio after he retired. There will never be another like him.

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About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

5 responses »

  1. PsiCop says:

    If you think you had it bad down in Florida, it’s been vastly worse up here in New England. The Red Sox are a disaster of Biblical proportions. Their season wasn’t just a train wreck … it was an entire train station and rail yard destroyed by a thermonuclear explosion.

    The icing on the cake, as it were, is the poor return on so many trades at the deadline. Yeah, they got Cespedes for Lester, and he was OK … but he doesn’t want to stay and I don’t expect he will. The rest of their acquisitions … well, let’s just say one of the highlights was Allen Craig with his .120 batting average.

    I have no idea what’s been going on in the clubhouse all year, but it can’t be good. I expect in a couple of weeks the Boston Globe will publish another sorry expose (akin to the one they famously published 3 years ago) describing infighting, bad attitudes, laziness, pathological apathy, and general who-the-fuck-cares-we’re-millionaires-anyway-so-why-bother-playing-well bullshit.

    Oh wait … John Henry bought the Globe, so they won’t be doing that. Hopefully, some other paper, maybe the Boston Herald, will get to it.

    And once we read that expose, we will again be treated to an explanation of all the ridiculous shit that was going on all year, to which the Boston sports media were privy all that time, but refused to acknowledge while the season was underway and while there was a chance revealing their whiney bullshit might actually get them to grow up already and play well for a change.

    (Yes, the Boston sports media have long been complicit with the Red Sox, and with every other team in Beantown that sucks wind. The Celtics leap to mind in that regard. And the Patriots have been declining over the last few years too … something else those compliant reporters refuse to acknowledge.)

    • Well, if I remember correctly, you predicted the BoSox would suck pretty badly this season. Isn’t it a Boston tradition to tank the season following a championship?

      Look at the bright side… In 2015, Boston won’t have to see #2 for the Yanks vacuuming up everything sent his way. 😉

      • PsiCop says:

        Actually, I think I predicted they’d have around a .500 season. They ended nowhere near that (71-91, to be precise).

        And I’m also pretty sure post-WS seasons weren’t that bad. Let’s look it up, and go by just the more recent WS wins:

        2005 record: 95-67 (tied with the Stinkees, lost the tie-breaker for the divison)
        2008 record: 95-67 (2 games back from your own Rays)

        Both seasons they were the AL wild card. In 2005 they lost the ALDS in 2 to the Chisox. In 2008 they lost the ALCS to the Rays.

        Honestly, both those seasons were FAR better than this one, in which they ended up last in their division, 4th from last in the AL, and I think 6th from last in the MLB overall. I especially think reaching game 7 of the ALCS in 2008 wasn’t that bad a result (even if it seemed disappointing compared with having just won the WS).

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