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THE GOOD: Even though the lead in the East is down to 1.5, the Rays are still very much in the driver’s seat. The lead in the loss column is 2 and the Rays hold the tie-breaker. In order for the Rays to lose the division, they need to lose 3 more games than the Red Sox this week and their last 3 games are at home against the Yankees. In other words, if the Rays go 4-4, the Red Sox have to go 6-1. And don’t think the Yankees won’t enjoy playing spoiler against the Sox…The odds of the Rays winning the Division according to Baseball Prospectus is now 72.3%…The Yankees Tragic number is 1.
THE BAD: We sure hope the Rays don’t lose the division by 1 game as the Rays just gave away a game yesterday. We thought the afternoon clinching game on Saturday would help a little. Let the Rays celebrate for a few hours and they could still get a decent night’s sleep prior to getaway day. After all, there is still a division to win with only a week to play. Every game is important. But apparently they went too far as the team played as if they were hungover yesterday, managing only 5 hits and committing 2 errors. And keep in mind the difference between winning the division and being the Wild Card. The Wild Card team starts on the road and likely has to beat both the Angels and the Red Sox without home field advatage in order to get to the World Series. Also, the Rays finish the season this week with 8 games in 7 days on the road. If they are the Wild Card, they will come home next Sunday and have to fly out to Anaheim the next morning…The Red Sox magic number to clinch at least a wild card is 1.
THE TELLING: The Rays finished the regular season with an attendance of 1,811,986, second only to the inaugural season in 1998 (2.5 million). Over the course of the season the Rays had 8 sellouts (including Sunday), matching the total number of sellouts from the first 10 years.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Oops. We all know the Tampa Tribune is in bed with the Yankees and barely knew the Rays existed prior to this season. But if Joe Henderson is going to write a piece on how the success of the team starts with Andrew Friedman, then they probably should make sure that the picture running with the story is actually of Friedman, and not Matt Silverman (that is Silverman on the left in the photo, not Friedman). [Update: The picture has since been removed. Here is the picture] [Tampa Tribune]
- We are going to try and get in a Live Blog-A-Baloo for David Price’s first major league start tonight. No promises as the calendar is pretty full. But by 7:00 we will probably need a drink or 10 anyhow. So be sure to check back. [Rays Index Live Blog-A-Baloo Of The Week]
- Et tu, Chalk? Yes! David Chalk of Bugs and Cranks goes Mohawk, with video! We love that he does this while decked out in Devil Rays gear at a Supercuts. [Bugs and Cranks]
- David Price will make his first major league start on today in Baltimore and Mitch Talbot will make his first start tomorrow in the second game of the double-header. Matt Garza will be skipped in the rotation this time through to give his arm some extra rest. He will next pitch on Saturday. [Rays Report]
- Troy Percival will not be available tonight or tomorrow after receiving another shot for his back. [St. Pete Times]
- David Price hopes tonight’s start will convince the Rays to include him on the postseason roster. [Lakeland Ledger]
- Covering All The Bases isn’t ready to sing the Rays praises just yet, saying that “enough is enough.” Then again, she might just be taking out her frustration of losing Nomah to Mia. [Covering the Bases]
- The Big Lead, after poo-pooing the Rays all season, has finally decided that they will “officially exclude [himself] from the people that continue to doubt this team.” [The Big Lead]
- Joe Torre sent Joe Maddon a fax congratulating him on “winning a tough division.” [Tampa Tribune]
- The Sports Frappe gives their “Sports Douche of the Week” award to Tampa Bay Rays fans, slamming their lack of support, saying: “Their soft fans showed their excitement for this year’s Cinderella season by attending in lackluster numbers, somewhere around 13,000 per game.”…Of course the Rays actually drew more 22,000 per game. But hey, who wants to be bothered by actual facts. The only thing Douchy about that post is the background color on the The Sports Frappe. [The Sports Frappe]