Baseball from the Shyster's point of view.
I expect the Rays to be a strong contender for the next 4-5 years while they have financial control over all their young talent. However next year will be slight struggle as they will have off-season distractions they've never had before, relievers have pithced more innings than ever before and may not be as effective next August plus the whole living up to expectations will make next year a challenge. Will they be competitive next year? - Yes. Will they make the playoffs next year? - Maybe. Will they be in the World Series again in the next four to five year? - At least one more I suspect. But then again - how many WS did those talented Tribes teams from the '90s play in? Or the Braves with Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux?
Weren't we saying similar things about the Tribe just a year ago, when they blew the 3-1 ALCS lead over Boston? ("this isn't the last we've heard from this team") There are some obvious differences, but the Rays also play in the AL East; even if things go right they'll have a tough time just making the playoffs.
Well, for what it's worth, I don't think we have heard the last of the Tribe either, and wouldn't be surprised if they made the playoffs next year.The point is that, unlike some playoff teams that catch lightning in a bottle like the Rockies, the Rays, and to a lesser extent, last year's Indians, seem to have a strong foundation in place. Sure, nothing is ever certain and the competition is tough, but when you have strong young talent at key positions and a couple of good arms, you're ahead of the game.
That's true. My main point was just that it's really, really hard for a team to make it to the World Series, even if they're really, really talented. So many things have to go right, especially when you're sharing a division with the Yankees and Red Sox.BTW, I hope you're right about the Tribe. I just don't see how they fill some of these holes without spending some money, and I don't think they'll do it. [/reflexively negative Cleveland fan]
APBA Guy-The consensus here is that the Rays will most likely not make the WS next year, because doing so is inherently difficult and doing so in the East is moreso. While we've seen their talent on the field one thing that struck me was their mistakes during the series. They played tight, took chances that were low percentage plays, etc..Part of that was the experience of the WS, easier for Philly to handle since their key guys were older and more seasoned. But how much of the Rays problem was perhaps an advanced scouting issue? Small payroll teams are also short staffed in these off-field areas. This will contribute to their difficulty in returning to the WS. Finally, who will emerge on that team with the competitive fire to match Jeter's and Varitek's and lead them to another postseason? Those guys are Captains as much for their desire to win as for their ability to play.
For that matter, didn't we all say the same thing about the Tigers?It's the rare World Series when the consensus is that one of the two teams was exceptionally lucky to be there and probably won't be there again for a long time.
The Rays certainly have the strong potential to be good for a long time, with the usual caveats about young pitching and exploding elbows and whatnot. My hope, as someone who watched a lot of those guys trying to dodge Wool E. Bull's go-kart in Durham, is that they will stay healthy and interested, and do well enough to stay on the national stage for a good long while. They're exciting to watch and I think baseball needs to develop some more storylines besides Yankees-Red Sox and Cursed Cubs if they want to expand their viewing audience.
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