In fact, they’re really good and (I can’t believe I’m saying this), maybe the best team in baseball?! Three months ago when people started taking notice, including that terrific Sports Illustrated “Bizarro-world” cover, it was a nice story about a great turnaround of a lame franchise and everyone questioned when the bubble would burst. Yet here they still are, the Tampa Bay Rays on the day after Labor Day, with the best overall record in baseball, the best home record in baseball, the best record in August, and six games up on the Red Sox in the loss column. And this is without two of their best players, Carl Crawford and probable AL Rookie of the Year Evan Longoria, out for most of last month along with their closer, Troy Percival. Hell, they haven’t lost a series since before the All Star break, and no one’s even having a career year.
This team has excellent starting pitching, good defense, and clutch hitting. They’ve gone from worst to first in the toughest division in baseball, and it looks like they’re going to ride this wave all the way into the playoffs. Even as my Twins fight down the stretch for their postseason lives, it’s hard not to root for such an amazing and unpredictable turn of events. Go Rays! (unless you’re playing Minnesota…)