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Devil's in the details
October 19, 2008 9:44 PM   Subscribe

Tampa Bay Rays beat Red Sox, head to World Series - The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began the 2008 season having never made the playoffs and or finishing the season above .500. Motivated by skipper Joe Madden's mathematically questionable slogan "9 = 8" ("9 players going hard for 9 innings means 1 of 8 playoff spots") but not considered a competitor for the AL East top spot by most fans and analysts, the Rays used their new name, uniforms and confidence to slowly emerge as one of the best teams in baseball this year.

They battled low attendance and injuries while leading the AL East early, but lost seven in a row before the All Star break to fall a half game behind the defending World Series Champion Red Sox in the East. The young team rebounded on the back of leading Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Longoria and finished the season 97-65, an unbelievable turnaround for a club that had gone 66-96 the previous year. In the ALDS they took down the White Sox 3-1 and faced the Red Sox in the ALCS, where the Rays broke the LCS record for most home runs (15). Things were looking pretty good for the Rays in Game 5 of the ALCS, up 3-1 in the series to Boston and 7-0 in the game and only 9 outs needed to clinch when the Red Sox made the biggest comeback in baseball postseason history in the last 79 years to beat the Rays 8-7. The Sox also won Game 6 4-2, forcing a Game 7. Would this be another comeback for the Sox, who was 26-11 all time in postseason elimination games and had come back from 3-0 in 2004 and 3-1 in 2007? Not this year, as Matt Garza and team held off Red Sox Nation and heads to the World Series to face the Phillies. All of this, of course, raises the question -- "Are teams with better graphic design more successful?" (1998-2000 logo, 2001-2007 logo, 2008 logo)
posted by null terminated (115 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Go Rays!
posted by brain cloud at 9:50 PM on October 19, 2008


I'd love to say something articulate and interesting here but instead GO RAYS.
posted by penduluum at 10:00 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


but not considered a competitor for the AL East top spot by most fans and analysts,

IIRC, some of the stats projection programs had the Rays possibly making the playoffs.
posted by drezdn at 10:01 PM on October 19, 2008


Ugh, expansion team.
posted by orthogonality at 10:09 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


More cowbell! From worst to first. They got to the big show by going thru two recent World Champions. Awesome. Some say TB broke their curse. I say smart drafting reaps great rewards. The Phillies are stacked too. This should be a fun WS.
posted by robot at 10:09 PM on October 19, 2008


As a currently depressed Red Sox fan recovering from another near heart attack, I'm glad that it was the Rays that beat us and not another team, after watching this series they deserve to be there.
posted by lilkeith07 at 10:19 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


As a Sox fan, congratulations Rays. You forgot to inevitably collapse like you were supposed to sometime shortly after the all-star game. (The cowbells are the worst idea ever, though. I hope you sell earplugs too.) Well played and a fun series.

Don't weep for the Sox. We're in fine shape for next year, when we will surely go all the way.
posted by Camofrog at 10:23 PM on October 19, 2008


And the Rays give everyone a nasty sunburn!

*cowbell*
posted by dirigibleman at 10:28 PM on October 19, 2008


I thought it was "9 more wins from pitching, 9 more wins from batting, 9 more wins from defense", but whatever: anyone who can convince a city that 9=8 is my manager of the year anyway.

The new logo itself is nice enough, and the uniforms are classy if boring... but I liked the old green alternates myself. I'm a bit tired of red and blue being the colors for about 90 percent of all baseball franchises. Give me Rockies purple or Giants orange any day, if only for variety's sake.

Also, I do sort of hate Tampa for cowardly losing the "Devil" (under pressure, it is said, from the Christian Right.)

But overriding all that, I love underdogs, so sign me up for more cowbell I guess.
posted by rokusan at 10:51 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Are teams with better graphic design more successful?"

No.

See that that other expansion team, who had their best success with their worst logo/uniforms in 2001.

I know I said "variety is good" above, but come on. Purple and teal pinstripes? Too much.
posted by rokusan at 10:58 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Boston Red Sox 2008 payroll: $133,440,037
Tampa Bay Rays 2008 payroll: $43,820,598

Awesome. The Rays are proving that moneyball and a good farm system can compete. Go Rays.
posted by clearly at 11:00 PM on October 19, 2008


The problem, of course, will come next season, when they can no longer afford to keep their free agents and they all get bought up by the Yankees.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:01 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Odds of a Rays-Phillies World Series back on Opening Day: something like 4200-to-1.
posted by rokusan at 11:05 PM on October 19, 2008


The problem, of course, will come next season, when they can no longer afford to keep their free agents

That's several years away: this is a very young team.

And if they continue to draft, trade and develop well, they can reload and contend with each new wave of talent, anyway. See Minnesota for a good example of this, or Pittsburgh for a bad one.
posted by rokusan at 11:07 PM on October 19, 2008


As a currently depressed Red Sox fan recovering from another near heart attack.

The Red Sox won the World Series twice in the past 5 years: 2004 and 2007
The Celtics won the NBA Championship: 2008
The Patriots won the Superbowl three times in the past 8 years: 2001 2003 and 2004

I am having a hard time digging up any sympathy for Boston fans.
posted by clearly at 11:08 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nate Silver was one of the only people expecting the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to win 90 games this year (they won 97). He's also predicting an electoral landslide for Barack Obama.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:18 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Current teams that have never won a pennant:
-Seattle Mariners (1977)
-Texas Rangers (formerly Washington Senators pt 2) (1961)
-Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos (1969)
posted by milkrate at 11:21 PM on October 19, 2008


Red Sox 4-evah!
posted by oncogenesis at 11:25 PM on October 19, 2008


I can't complain. The last three games gave me a good reminder of exactly what it is to be a Red Sox fan. And also why I still hate the Yankees anyway.
posted by grounded at 11:39 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where are the Cubans, the Japanese? No, this is the U.S.A. Series.
posted by sluglicker at 11:43 PM on October 19, 2008


Too bad the Sox couldn't complete the come back.

Beat the Phillies.
posted by D_I at 11:44 PM on October 19, 2008


I'm still crying over my damn Cubbies.

Congrats to Philly and Tampa fans, though. Should be a good series.
posted by jnaps at 11:49 PM on October 19, 2008


It came down to a lineup that inexplicably didn't work Garza properly: he was relying on a FB something like 70-80% of the time, yet the Sox kept getting fooled by a nasty curve. Why not just work the count, wait on a FB in your zone, then unload?

The Sox in the past few years became a team where JD Drew battles off strike 3 before either pulling a walk, or driving a nice line drive into the gap to score two and keep the inning alive. Instead, he watched strike 3 go by, and even though the Sox were still one swing from tying it in the 9th, it just felt dead. Ah well- we won last year, and the Rays along with the Cubs were the only teams with any right to win it all, given their actual and Pythagorean performance in the regular season. Just pushing it to game 7 was fun, and reminded the Sox for next year that yes, they are never truly out. They were all game just one good swing from winning this game.

I still think Francona's poor mgmt of Beckett and the bullpen in Game 2 was the real difference: if he pulls Beckett earlier when he knows he has nothing and doesn't keep him in for the stealing outs/ get him the 5IP, the Sox take Game 2 and go back to Fenway up 2-0 instead of tied 1-1. I think if that happens, the Sox win handily. Alas...
posted by hincandenza at 11:51 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by andreaazure at 12:06 AM on October 20, 2008


Where are the Cubans, the Japanese? No, this is the U.S.A. Series.

No, this is a series between businesses that are US-based. The players are international.

Tampa second baseman Aki Iwamura was born in Ehime, Japan, and Phillies outfielder So Taguchi was a pretty big star in that country before moving to the USA, too. Rays' catcher Michel Hernandez is a native of Havana.

They moved to the USA for job opportunities, that's all. So would any Italian or Chinese who had the skill set and desire to do so.
posted by rokusan at 12:27 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's just not cricket.
posted by Abiezer at 12:28 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ugh, expansion team.

14 of the 30 teams are expansion teams. Of the original 16, only 9 are in the cities they were in in 1901.

So, yeah, ya gotta problem with expansion?
posted by dw at 12:32 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Where are the Cubans, the Japanese? No, this is the U.S.A. Series.

Where is the original snark? No, this is the same tired canard dragged out in every single solitary baseball thread.
posted by dw at 12:33 AM on October 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Go Rays. Glad we in Seattle could ship you whatever magic we may have briefly had.
posted by maxwelton at 12:33 AM on October 20, 2008


Current teams that have never won a pennant:
-Seattle Mariners (1977)


I have to quote Rudy Giuliani on this one...

Noun(Pennant), Verb(robbed), 9/11.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:38 AM on October 20, 2008


meh
posted by Xurando at 2:35 AM on October 20, 2008


It came down to a lineup that inexplicably didn't work Garza properly: he was relying on a FB something like 70-80% of the time

Looked like about 65 percent of the time, which is about average. Garza's fastball is erratic at its worse, and at its best has significant late movement, it's one of the better moving fastballs in the game today. So it's not enough to just sit on it: you already know it's coming 2/3 of the time, but that's not enough. Which is why he's great.

(I like Garza. He looks like Schneider the janitor from whatever that sitcom was called.)
posted by rokusan at 2:55 AM on October 20, 2008


Good riddance to the Boston Yankees.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:07 AM on October 20, 2008


I would like congratulate the thousands and thousands of Tampa Bay Rays fans that have shown up game-after-game, year-after-year to cheer for their home team. Far too many Tampa fans have suffered far too long, and their loyalty to their team is now (finally and justly!) being richly rewarded.

Congratulations again!
A Chicago Cubs fan
posted by belvidere at 4:04 AM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


"National Grid reported an unexpected power surge across the New England region last night at approximately 11:45. Company spokesman Watt Supdok said there was a sharp drop in demand, ending an unusually high level of electrical use for that time of night. 'Fortunately, the system was able to absorb the surge with no problem,' Supdok said.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:09 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Red Sox won the World Series twice in the past 5 years: 2004 and 2007
The Celtics won the NBA Championship: 2008
The Patriots won the Superbowl three times in the past 8 years: 2001 2003 and 2004

I am having a hard time digging up any sympathy for Boston fans.



Go Bruins! (nada since 1972)
posted by Gungho at 4:18 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Your favorite baseball team and their "better graphic design" sucks, pally. (/bostonian)
posted by not_on_display at 4:23 AM on October 20, 2008


OK, maybe it is the lack of sleep talking but as a Boston fan, I watched some good baseball and the Rays played a nice series. I thought we had em with the bases loaded in the 8th, but they shut us down.

At least the NY football Giants won yesterday.

Go Rays!
posted by genefinder at 4:34 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd rather have seen the Sox do it, but as long as the Rays can beat Philly, I'll back 'em. Philadelphia is a beautiful city, with many fine qualities and, I'm sure, decent people. Their sports fans are, however, some of the most classless bums with whom I've ever come into contact. May they feel no joy evermore.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:44 AM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


As a lifelong Red Sox fan, all I can say is:
.
posted by rdone at 5:12 AM on October 20, 2008


Go Bruins! (nada since 1972)

Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls 'round?
When the snow melts away
Do the Cubbies still play in their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League.
posted by eriko at 5:19 AM on October 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


Go Phillies.
posted by fixedgear at 5:26 AM on October 20, 2008


milkrate: "Current teams that have never won a pennant:
-Seattle Mariners (1977)
-Texas Rangers (formerly Washington Senators pt 2) (1961)
-Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos (1969)
"

Somehow that doesn't cheer up this Pirates fan one bit since the chances of ever winning a pennant in the future seem to be vanishingly small.
posted by octothorpe at 5:28 AM on October 20, 2008


YEAH PHILS!!

And congratulations to the Rays -- this promises to be a fantastic series.
posted by kalimac at 5:49 AM on October 20, 2008


"The problem, of course, will come next season, when they can no longer afford to keep their free agents and they all get bought up by the Yankees."

I don't get this. There is no cap in baseball. What is to stop the rays from spending like the Dodgers, Yankees, or the Red Co.... I mean red sox?

BTW Awesomely done Rays!!!! I personally love seeing the worlds worst baseball fans tea, come oh so close but no cigar!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:52 AM on October 20, 2008


As a Rays fan I just want to put it out there that I agree that the cowbells are awful and loud and entirely dumb. That's me reaching across the aisle to Sox fans (also: congratulations on a great season and an exciting series) and everybody else with ears. I hate those fucking cowbells. It couldn't be more distracting and annoying if they were replaced with laser pointers, or boomboxes that only play Venga Bus.
posted by penduluum at 5:56 AM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


I would like congratulate the thousands and thousands of Tampa Bay Rays fans that have shown up game-after-game, year-after-year to cheer for their home team.

I suppose "thousands and thousands" may be technically correct, but let's be real about fan loyalty.

2008 attendance per game...
Red Sox: 37,632 (104% capacity)
Rays: 22,259 (52.8% capacity)

2007 attendance per game...
Red Sox: 36,675 (101.4% capacity)
Devil Rays: 17,148 (40.7% capacity)

2006 attendance per game...
Red Sox: 36,182 (100% capacity)
Devil Rays: 16,901 (38.6% capacity)

(Source: ESPN)

That said, congratulations to the Devil Rays. As a Masshole, I don't really know whom to root for at this point, although perhaps my distaste for domed parks (and in particular domed parks with ludicrous mini-golf-like ground rules concerning catwalks) could be the deciding factor. Or those stupid cowbells.
posted by letourneau at 6:00 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


People are just going nuts here. I don't blame them since the city as a whole hasn't had a championship in 25 years (see graphic attached to article).

This is the second time the local team has won the pennant right after I moved to a new city and it's pretty awesome. Although I gotta warn you, Philly, the Yankees didn't win the series the year I moved there.
posted by piratebowling at 6:13 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


@letourneau:

My post was...uhm...sarcastic. There were so few fans at most games in Tropicana Field this year that you could probably hear individual people coughing--and that's during the exciting moments.
posted by belvidere at 6:14 AM on October 20, 2008


a new icon, a bright yellow sunburst invoking the magnificence of life in the Sunshine State.

Obviously written by someone who never lived there.
posted by Foosnark at 6:17 AM on October 20, 2008


I appreciate the helpful Wikipedia note: "Not to be confused with Eva Longoria."
posted by smackfu at 6:27 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


As a Sox fan, I don't want to shit in a perfectly good baseball thread (good on the Rays, they deserve this), but I can't resist:

Sarah Palin on the Rays and Red Sox [YT]
posted by xthlc at 6:28 AM on October 20, 2008


The Rays deserved to win. The Red Sox played inexcusably bad baseball for two of those games. And I don't buy the excuse that having Mike Lowell out of the lineup suddenly turns them into the Kansas City Royals.

So, good for you Rays. But I hope the Phillies shellack you and then the Phanatic pees on your graves. Not because you beat the Red Sox, but because Florida is still the South.

And the Phillies are my National League team because my wife grew up in suburban Philadelphia.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:32 AM on October 20, 2008


My post was...uhm...sarcastic.

D'oh! The Cubs reference should have tipped me off, obviously.

There were so few fans at most games in Tropicana Field this year that you could probably hear individual people coughing...

As well as the heckler with Kevlar lungs.
posted by letourneau at 6:39 AM on October 20, 2008


I'm normally a die-hard NL guy, but I'll back Hitler against the Phillies.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:47 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, a hearty tip o' the cap to the Rays from this Sox fan. Great team, great series. If the Sox had not been forced to run the corpses of Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, Josh Beckett and Mike Timlin out there it might have been a different story. Oh well, as one of the Sports Guys readers noted, the 2008 Red Sox just lost to the 2010 Red Sox.

Also, their graphic design was better last year with the forest green and white -- this new style is so bland. Matt Garza also needs to get control of that disgusting spitting thing he does. I know everyone in baseball spits, but it's like a constant stream with that guy.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:50 AM on October 20, 2008


I'm still crying over my damn Cubbies.

And I'm still crying over my damn Mets.

That being said this could prove to be a very exciting World Series. I love that the 2000's have seen several franchises win their first pennant (Diamondbacks, Angels, Astros, Rockies and now the Rays) and several franchises end long championship droughts (Red Sox & White Sox and to a lesser extent the Angels and Cardinals).

This year we have one of the oldest franchises in baseball in the Phillies who have somehow managed to only win one championship since forming in 1883, and that was 28 years ago. On the other side one of the newest franchises in baseball playing for their first title. Both teams have a lot of home-grown talent and depth and not too many weaknesses.

As an NL fan I guess I'm pulling for the Phillies although the Rays have so many parallels to the 1969 Mets it's hard not to root for them. I'll be content with either of these teams winning.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:59 AM on October 20, 2008


Number of wins in seven seasons prior to winning their first pennant:

Rays: 444
Mets: 394

As a Mets fan (who wants the Phillies crushed, anyway), how can I not root for the Amazin' Rays (hmmm...I smell a theme song).

As for this nonsense about a devil name curse, it certainly hasn't hurt the NJ Devils and their 3 Stanley Cup championships.
posted by ericbop at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2008


Under the current MLB contract, teams have a little more time to hold onto their players before free agency.

The basic outline is that for the first three years in the majors, the team can pay the player whatever they want as long as it's at least league minimum (though usually they'll pay star players more to keep them happy, and this doesn't include bonuses the players originally got for signing with the team). The next three years, the player is eligible for arbitration, but still doesn't become a free agent unless the team chooses not to resign the player. So, most players are under their team's control for up to six years in the majors.

There are slightly more complex rules (like super two status and what not), but it's roughly six years, not counting time spent in the minor leagues.
posted by drezdn at 7:19 AM on October 20, 2008


Obviously written by someone who never lived there.

"... a bright yellow sunburst invoking the fact that in the Tampa Bay area for 9 months of the year, the Sun floats at an estimated altitude of just 16 feet above sea level, squatting with undisguised loathing just above the heads of Floridian citizens, melting or incinerating all who possess the brazen audacity to step outside, blinding any who are ignorant enough to look up."
posted by penduluum at 7:23 AM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Rays' entire payroll is less than that of the left-hand side of the Yankmees' infield.

That being said, GO PHILS!
posted by VicNebulous at 7:28 AM on October 20, 2008


As a Red Sox fan, I congratulate the Rays.

I miss Manny.
posted by emd3737 at 7:34 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is the most polite and gracious baseball discussion that has ever existed on the internet. Or anywhere in the universe, after about 1925.
posted by penduluum at 7:36 AM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm a Sox fan, but I was rooting for the Angels. Oh well. Go Rays!
posted by lunit at 7:37 AM on October 20, 2008


Mastercheddaar writes "I don't get this. There is no cap in baseball. What is to stop the rays from spending like the Dodgers, Yankees, or the Red Co.... I mean red sox? "

Money?
posted by Mitheral at 7:38 AM on October 20, 2008


If I were a Boston person I'd be slightly worried about the visit of the Broncos tonight. What with the Knicks (yay!) winning at the Boston Garden on Friday (albeit a pre-season game) and the Sox going out yesterday...
posted by i_cola at 7:38 AM on October 20, 2008


Another lifelong Boston fan tipping his cap to the Rays. They played better ball, plain and simple. (The Sox also have to learn that you can't play as the scrappy come-from-behind underdogs when you're the defending champs, but that's for another discussion.)

Now if Tampa takes the Series, I hope they enjoy the new wave of pink-hatted cowbell-wielding fans that'll come their way on the bandwagon of victory. Because they will come.
posted by Spatch at 7:44 AM on October 20, 2008


I'm actually looking forward to the World Series, now that it's going to be contested between a couple of second-tier teams. I have a soft spot for non-dynastic teams that don't feel they are entitled to a WS appearance. The down side will be having to stare at god-awful Tropicana Field. Seriously...if you absolutely must play in air-conditioning, at least build a respectable dome. And retractable, for both of those days when it isn't raining.
And I never want to hear you bitch about ever having to play November ball outdoors anywhere like Chicago, NY, Boston, etc.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:52 AM on October 20, 2008


I had the misfortune to cover the entire 2005 Rays season and it was one of the most miserable events of my life. 4k-5k fans showing up to watch the Rays implode in the fifth night-in-and-night-out. It was awful. It cured me of sports photography for good.

To witness a team be remade in 2 seasons due to a new owner doing the right things and even-handed management by Maddon (who's a class act) has been inspirational.

Furthermore, to see a team with not even half the payroll beat the Red Sox and shut their stupid fans mouths is, well, let's just say I slept with a shit-eating grin on my face last night. The Tampa Bay area is made up of transplants from all over the NE and too listen to the bandwagon fans shoot their mouth off is enough to make one want to commit acts of violence.

GO RAYS!
posted by photoslob at 8:07 AM on October 20, 2008


The Rays can win the World Series, so long as Florida goes Democrat in the election.
posted by papercake at 8:14 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Papercake - I live in St. Pete where the Rays play and I'm currently looking out my window at no less than 6 Obama yard signs to one lonely McCain sign. My hope is that Central FL will push Obama over the edge while celebrating a Rays WS victory!
posted by photoslob at 8:20 AM on October 20, 2008


Tampa was a "home game" for the Yankees when the Rays sucked. There were always more cheers for the Yankees when they played there. Now suddenly everyone in Tampa is a Rays fan? Please.

Good thing the Yankees have another second "home field": Camden Yards.
posted by Zambrano at 8:28 AM on October 20, 2008


I remember going to some Devil Rays games in 2001 and 2002 and it felt like going to watch a semi-pro team. I showed up two hours before the game, got tickets right behind home plate (for like $18), and the paid attendance at a day game (or 4pm start for the old folks) was something like 3300. Also, the field seems regulation size on TV, but in person, the whole stadium just seems small and cold and sterile. I hope the win the World Series and build a proper baseball stadium.
posted by mattbucher at 8:32 AM on October 20, 2008


Also the turf looks like someone spilled something on it.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:42 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


"skipper Joe Madden"

I love that guy who parodies his Tough Actin Tinactin commercials.

"leading Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Longoria"

No idea how she manages that while never missing a shoot for her Housewives sitcom.

So... many... similar name jokes....

As a non-native residing in Boston, I'm so glad "we"1 didn't win. Now I can enjoy the brief respite before people start foaming at the mouth regarding the Pates2. Good job the team with the higher payroll didn't win this one.

1 Sorry, I didn't see you out on the field. What's your jersey number?
2 The team name is pronounces Pate-ree-ots, with a long "a." It's not Paht-ree-ots.
posted by Eideteker at 8:54 AM on October 20, 2008


There is no cap in baseball. What is to stop the rays from spending like the Dodgers, Yankees, or the Red Co.... I mean red sox?

There's no cap to how many houses I can buy either, but that doesn't mean I can spend like the McCains.
posted by turaho at 9:05 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Die-hard Sox fan, but like everyone else, I have to give it to the Rays for playing better ball. Good on ya, boys.

That said, I don't have much at stake between the Phillies and the Rays, and in that situation, a long, storied history and absence of an ass-ugly joyless, domed stadium will win out every time. So I'm rooting for the Phillies, but congratulations, Rays.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:15 AM on October 20, 2008


I don't get this. There is no cap in baseball. What is to stop the rays from spending like the Dodgers, Yankees, or the Red Co.... I mean red sox?

Cash money madness. Look at this list of MLB payrolls by team. The top payrolls are heavily skewed toward teams that play in large markets. The Yanks, the Mets, and the Red Sox (just to name a few) have their own TV networks that are like money faucets. Their games sell out regularly.

It's very hard for a team like Tampa Bay to pay crazy salaries when only ~22k people come to each home game (and that's almost a 33% leap from last year). The Yanks have averages in the 50k range for several years.
posted by mkultra at 9:15 AM on October 20, 2008


If it couldn't be the Cubs, then let's go Rays! Like many others, I was sure once they lost game six that Red Sox would come back, go through and win the whole damn thing. It wouldn't eat me up too much if that happened, but I'm happy the fairytale continues.

But Jeez! Lose the cowbells already! If you want to emulate animals in the swiss alps, carry a flask of brandy around or something.

I can see it right now, the same idiot that wrote that press release (new name, uniform link in the original post) went out and bought 10,000 cowbells. "Wednesday Nite is Cowbell Nite - The First 10,000 fans into Tropicana Field will receive a free navy and light blue cowbell!" Took him a freakin' month of Wednesdays to get rid of the damn things.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 9:16 AM on October 20, 2008


Oh, and as a Yanks fan- go Rays! I love that the most interesting teams currently in the MLB play in Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati.
posted by mkultra at 9:16 AM on October 20, 2008


The team name is pronounces Pate-ree-ots, with a long "a." It's not Paht-ree-ots.

It's a good thing you're not a Montreal hockey fan, then, or else the "Canadiens / Habs" nickname incongruity might drive you to apopleptic fits.

Anyway, as a transplant, you probably don't remember that the Patriots are called the Patsies when they have a rotten season. Also, the nickname has to be pronounced "Pahts" because Bostonians will avoid the long A sound whenever they can.

And while we're on the subject of name pedantry, why not stroll into a Causeway Street bar come basketball season and inform the regulars that "Celtics" should be pronounced with a hard C? They love to hear that.
posted by Spatch at 9:17 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's awfully considerate of the Rays to wear those caps warning spectators about the highly contagious tuberculosis that's infected the whole team team, but I can't help thinking the safety of the public would be better served by surgical masks.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:18 AM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


I hope they enjoy the new wave of pink-hatted cowbell-wielding fans that'll come their way on the bandwagon of victory. Because they will come.

Ehh, maybe. They still weren't bringing in 30k on a regular basis towards the end of the regular season. Moreover, we can draw on history here by looking at the Florida Marlins' home attendance. Following their 1997 WS victory, attendance went way, way down. It just seems like Florida will never really embrace pro ball.

On the other hand, the Marlins and Rays have very different organizational goals. After each series win, the Marlins systematically dismantled their team, shed their expensive contracts and invested in youth. It could be that fans don't embrace the Marlins because, like a minor league team, they've come to realize that victory actually drives their favorite players away. Moreover, Tampa's team this year has a lot of interesting stories and personalities, and win or lose, most of them will be back next year, so Tampa could well gain and hold the fan base it deserves.

Side note: David Price! My god! I guess he's ready for prime time!

I'm a huge fan of baseball who happens to hail from New England, as did my father and his. I couldn't stop being a Red Sox fan under any circumstance. Still, I don't think I've ever been happier to see another team make the series. It's a damn shame it had to come at Boston's expense, especially when they came so close to doing it AGAIN. At the end of the day, Tampa played much, much better baseball for about 40 innings in the series, so there's no reason why Boston ought to have won. My hat is off to them, and I look forward to the many years of great games that are sure to come.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:24 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


As a life-long Sox fan (back when "Red Sox Nation" meant MA, NH, and parts of CT and RI), can I just say that the honest, un-grudging congratulations offered to the Rays by disappointed Sox fans (here and elsewhere) makes me proud. True fans know good baseball when they see it, and know when they've been beaten by a better team (and/or by themselves). It's also a delightful counterpoint to the "Red Sox fans are cocky, drunken Massholes" bias that's been circulating since 2004, and has been especially vehement from Angels fans this year. The Boston Red Sox of Boston went as far as they could with what they had, and the Rays went even further. (Personally, I blame Varitek and his ridiculous "C." Pretty sure you have to be batting over .060 before you get to wear flair.)

Also, what Gungho said about the Bruins. Bring back Don Cherry!
posted by turducken at 9:24 AM on October 20, 2008


"Celtics" should be pronounced with a hard C? They love to hear that.

See! That's what I'm always saying. My ancestors in Ireland were not Selts, the were CELTS, dammit.

I also like to pronounce place names correctly. Wor-ces-ter. Le-o-minster. And it's Con-CORD, not "conquered."
posted by Eideteker at 9:35 AM on October 20, 2008


I also like to pronounce place names correctly. Wor-ces-ter.

FAIL. (But don't get me started on Calais, ME.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:41 AM on October 20, 2008


Watched the game from here in Colombia last night; how terribly exciting. I remember when the Bucs went all the way, which at that time was a totally unexpected move from an eternal underdog team. And then the Lightning taking the Cup, similar situation. And now the Rays, not only making it to the playoffs, but making it to the World Series? It seems like Tampa can't make it to the Championship in any other way.

The Big Sombrero used to be full of fans for the other team, same with the Ice Palace (and the Thunderdome aka the Trop before that). Damn transplants who come to enjoy our sunshine and yet can't give up supporting their old team. But after those championships, suddenly you had a lot more support for the home team. I can only hope that happens for the Rays. Sounds like it's happening already. It's about time.
posted by mosessis at 9:42 AM on October 20, 2008


Moreover, Tampa's team this year has a lot of interesting stories and personalities, and win or lose, most of them will be back next year, so Tampa could well gain and hold the fan base it deserves.

Your point about the Marlins is well-made. I can't remember the last time someone made a mention of their World Series victory that didn't involve the "Back To The Future II predicted it!" urban legend.

But I do think Tampa's team has enough personality this year to keep fan momentum high until April, and if enough players return (which I can't see not happening) the fan base can't but increase. New fans may come due to local loyalty, but they'll stay for their favorite players... once they have the chance to find a favorite, at least. But I'm also pretty certain this newfound popularity is sure to attract some bandwagonners, too. Won't it?

Frankly, they can have the pink hats...
posted by Spatch at 9:43 AM on October 20, 2008


My hope is that Central FL will push Obama over the edge while celebrating a Rays WS victory!

No, reliably Democratic Philly will go Democratic - and so will my formerly red suburb - while we pop the champagne corks and parade on Broad Street.
posted by fixedgear at 10:03 AM on October 20, 2008


I'm normally a die-hard NL guy, but I'll back Hitler against the Phillies.

Commentary like this is why we throw batteries at Santa.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:20 AM on October 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


The Mets are out so it's all academic to me, but I gotta pull for an old-school team, so go Phils!
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. I always try to pull for one of the original 16, so Go Phillies!
2. I'm originally from a Philly suburb, so Go Phillies!
3. I talked a lot of shit at a Yankees-Rays game last year, so Go Phillies!
posted by grubi at 10:46 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


There seem to be a lot of AL fans in here so I will excuse you for not knowing. But as a fan of another NL East club, who also has lived in Philadelphia I can tell you that the Phillies and their fans are a cancer on the face of baseball. No one deserves to go home empty handed more then they do, no one.
posted by BobbyDigital at 10:50 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


So it's Tuberculosis vs. Face Cancer?

Play ball!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2008


And I'm still crying over my damn Mets.

You and me both, pal. And of course jonmc.

This is the most polite and gracious baseball discussion that has ever existed on the internet. Or anywhere in the universe, after about 1925.

When the Senators dropped the Series after having a 3-1 lead in games. You got Walter Johnson on the mound and Goose Goslin, Joe Harris, and Sam Rice in the lineup, you're supposed to win. Of course, fuckin' Peckinpaugh making eight errors at short didn't help. Don't get me started.
/ex-Senators fan, though not actually around in 1925

I also like to pronounce place names correctly. Wor-ces-ter.

FAIL. (But don't get me started on Calais, ME.)


My pretentious wrong pronunciation is better than your pretentious wrong pronunciation!
posted by languagehat at 11:09 AM on October 20, 2008


Also, as an NL fan since moving to NYC in 1981, I will be rooting for the Phils. Sorry, plucky cowbell-waving Rays fans.
posted by languagehat at 11:10 AM on October 20, 2008


See! That's what I'm always saying. My ancestors in Ireland were not Selts, the were CELTS, dammit.

I also like to pronounce place names correctly. Wor-ces-ter. Le-o-minster. And it's Con-CORD, not "conquered."


That's it. Get the hell out.
posted by billypilgrim at 11:12 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, renouncing their allegiance to Satan is working out well for them.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:55 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will be rooting for Philadelphia, since whenever the Rays play north of the border they bring about an unfortunate in-brain revival of that horrible Ray J Johnson bit.

My pretentious wrong pronunciation is better than your pretentious wrong pronunciation!

1. The Celtics (adjective as proper noun, plural, across tank top) is correctly pronounced with a soft C. Not so with "the Celtic peoples" and "the Celts."
2. Calais, Maine is correctly pronounced "callous." Calais, France is a tad less awful.
3. The pronunciation of Worcester as "wor-ces-ter" is incorrect regardless of the newness of one's England.

posted by Sys Rq at 12:03 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Congratulations to Tampa Bay, etc, but we're the ones who did throw it away. TB is going to the world series because the better team threw it all away, which is OK, sports work like that. We threw away Game 2, and finished the job last night. (two words for Maddon fans: Game 5)

Also, I love Big Papi, but he needs to go. Thank you, really, gold watch, a statue in front of Faneuil Hall, everything, but he needs to go. He clearly has developed some more serious problems than they're telling us; he just doesn't see the ball clearly anymore, for some reasons. Last night he tried to hit balls that didn't make any sense. I'm sure Beckett's physical problems will go away. Big Papi's, I dont know. Old Big Papi would have demolished Tampa Bay last night. Demolished them. We need another Pedroia, Big Papi not really.

Now I'm rooting for the Phillies simply because I deeply dislike that big fucking barn in St. Petersburg.

Also, a big fuck you to that guy with dreadlocks who ran off to California -- good riddance.
posted by matteo at 12:43 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


(oh, and I hope Manny is picked up by the Yankees, then in New York he can proceed to win as much as Johnny Damon has won there)
posted by matteo at 12:46 PM on October 20, 2008


(oh, and I hope Manny is picked up by the Yankees,

No. The Mets.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on October 20, 2008


matteo: Also, a big fuck you to that guy with dreadlocks who ran off to California -- good riddance.

Until the Dodgers got swept, I was rooting for Boston to beat the Rays just so I could see Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez team up to deny the BoSox the pennant.
posted by mkultra at 1:10 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


the Phillies and their fans are a cancer on the face of baseball. No one deserves to go home empty handed more then they do, no one

We multiply at an abnormal rate, refuse to die, and co-opt other systems into supporting us? Eh. Well, regardless, come to Philly and say that so that we can beat you up properly.
posted by desuetude at 1:14 PM on October 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


I love Nate Silver.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 1:27 PM on October 20, 2008


As for that,will Tampa fans be pissed if those of us with an obsessive appreciation of proper meter continue to call them the Devil Rays? It just flows off the tongue so much better. Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Tampa Bay Rays just sounds weird to me, although I do like that Baseball has such a preponderance of semi-nonsensical team names with an actual meaning to the city at hand, and generally not with any violent or threatening imagery attached. "Rays" works well in that regard.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2008



I'm sorry, but any team/town that can't sell out an LCS game doesn't deserve a franchise, let alone a trip to the World Series.

Fightin' Phils in 6!
posted by VicNebulous at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


E-A-G-L--oh wait... I mean, go Phils!

(if they don't win someone is getting pelted with batteries)
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:11 PM on October 20, 2008


I was rooting for Boston to beat the Rays just so I could see Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez team up to deny the BoSox the pennant.

Nitpicky correction: the Dodgers would have had to win the pennant in order to GET to the World Series. (But favorited anyway, great mental image there.)
posted by rokusan at 4:38 PM on October 20, 2008


I jinxed it, didn't I?
posted by penduluum at 5:19 PM on October 20, 2008


rokusan, I was all ready to pound mkultra for forgetting the part where the Phillies pummeled the Dodgers...until I read the first part of the original comment, which included the line "Until the Dodgers got swept..."
posted by desuetude at 6:57 AM on October 21, 2008


Wow... tough crowd ;)
posted by mkultra at 8:59 AM on October 21, 2008


2. Calais, Maine is correctly pronounced "callous." Calais, France is a tad less awful.

Damn. I was hoping that it would be pronounced like in that LL Cool J song.

Talks for a new baseball stadium for Tampa Bay stalled midway through this season. With any luck, the recent success of the team could revive it (as I'll admit that drawings for the proposed Rays Ballpark are a welcome antidote to the forced nostalgia that most of the newer ballparks have OD'd upon).
posted by stannate at 4:40 PM on October 21, 2008


I'm sorry, but any team/town that can't sell out an LCS game doesn't deserve a franchise, let alone a trip to the World Series.

Boo to you. I can be a fan, listen to the radio, and watch the games that are on free TV, even if I only go to 1-2 games a year. Not everyone is rich.

We all know that athletes are overpaid. Those not going to pro games might be the best sports fans of all. We should all spend our money on high school baseball games instead.

Phillies in 5. Brad Lidge gets 3 saves (1 blown) and MVP award.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:57 AM on October 22, 2008


Close mgrimm! Hamels got MVP, although I think Lidge deserved it... phucking phenomenal p(h)itching in that last inning.

Phils In Phive Motherphuckers!
posted by synaesthetichaze at 7:27 PM on October 29, 2008


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