Dayn Perry of in the midst of a series of Top 10 lists and his latest is “ Ten days of Top 10s: Teams who could surprise“. Coming in at #9 are those lovable losers, our very own Bad News Bears Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Now this isn’t quite the same as Aaron Goldstein predicting the Rays to win the World Series last year (seriously) but it is something.

Our first thought was glee, as it is not often that we read love for the Rays. But then we looked a little closer. It would be one thing if he wrote an article about two teams that could surprise, but how much does it mean when he picks one third of the teams in baseball as teams that “could surprise”? Is this the equivalent of picking every double-digit seed to win their first game in the NCAA tournament and bragging when one or two actually come through?

Let’s look a little closer…

First let’s eliminate teams that everybody expects to at least contend for the playoffs.

  • New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim near Disney Land, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants.

That is 16 teams. One of those teams is actually on Perry’s list (Phillies). Philadelphia finished 3 games back in the wild card race in 2006, so how would they be a surprise in 2007? We are throwing up the BS flag on that one.

There are 30 teams in baseball. 16 teams are legitimate playoff contenders to begin the season and therefore can’t be considered a potential surprise. That leaves 14 teams that could potentially surprise. But which teams? Dayn Perry attempts to answer that question by narrowing the remaining 14 teams down to 10 (or 9 if you eliminate Philadelphia as not surprising). Way to go out on a limb with those bold predictions! In other words, he is saying that if you are not a legitimate contender, it would be a surprise if you do contend. Deep.

But wait! Look a little closer. He is not even saying that a team needs to contend to be a surprise. In the case of the Rays, they will “surprise” if they win 71 games. Another of his “could surprise” teams, the Baltimore Orioles would be a surprise if they finish third in the AL East. Bold predictions indeed!

So is Dayn Perry really making any grand statement with this article? We envision that Dayn Perry is one of those guys that brags about winning his office pool and then you find out he submitted 20 different brackets. As Rays fans should we get excited about being one of Dayn Perry’s teams that could surprise? Of course not, unless you consider that the Rays were not one of the four teams left off the list. Hey, that’s something.

Ten days of Top 10s: Teams who could surprise


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  1. LargeBill says:

    Not to defend the article, but the Devil Rays could be a surprise team without actually making the playoffs. Last year, I picked the Marlins and the Tigers to do much better than people were predicting. Now sure only one of them made the playoffs, but most people will admit both teams outplayed predictions. A teams expected level performance does have to be taken into consideration when deciding what level of success would be considered surprising.


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