If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and what they will do, and why. Unlike most team blogs, we do not very often tell you what the Tampa Bay Rays should do. However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans.
On the sixth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, SIX months with at least 14 wins…
The Rays have the talent and the potential to be a playoff-caliber team. But if they are going to make a run at the playoffs that need to play better and they need to do it on a more consistent basis. In 2008 the Rays will have months with 27*, 29, 26, 25, 28 and 26 games. For our wish to come true, the best record the Rays would have to post in any one month would be 14-11 (July). Three games over .500 should be a number the Rays can achieve.
Here is a breakdown of the 2007 Tampa Bay Devil Rays record by month.
Now let’s imagine a scenario in which the Rays won just three more games in April, May, June and September (Let’s pretend July did not happen). That is just three more wins each month. That is three wins over the course of four and half weeks. One extra win every eight or nine games. One game in which the bullpen doesn’t blow a 3-run lead in the 8th and 9th innings. One more game in which the team gets home the tying run from second base with one out in the 8th. One more game in which the starting pitcher does not surrender four runs in the first inning. Just three more wins in each of those months.
We are not convinced yet that the Rays are ready to be a playoff team, but 84 wins is not out of the realm of possibilities, and an 84-win team will be playing meaningful games in September. That is all a fan can ever ask for from their team…meaningful games in September.
*The Rays have 1 game scheduled in March
On the sixth day of Raysmas, all Rays fans want is SIX months with at least 14 wins, and…
FIVE players with at least 25 home runs [Day 5]
FOUR winning records against AL East foes [Day 4]
THREE AL All-Stars [Day 3]
TWO new pitchers in the rotation by the all-star break [Day 2]
ONE Evan Longoria in the opening day lineup [Day 1]