Click on above images to be taken to full standings, box scores or schedule…

THE GOOD: After every game (well most games), we take a few moments to celebrate “the good”, to dwell on “the bad” and reflect on what we learned (“the telling”). Once that is done, that game is over and we move on to the next game. Now? There is no next game. There is no “good”. We don’t want to hear about what a great season it was. We don’t want to hear about how the Rays exceeded all expectations. None of that matters today. There are no excuses. There are no silver linings. Maybe in a couple of days we will be able to reflect on what happened in 2008, but not today. Today is about replaying that last pitch in our minds over and over until it is permanently burned into our synapses. We don’t want to forget that moment. For that is the moment that will drive the Rays to be better.

THE BAD: It would have been nice if the Rays had shown up for the World Series and not the Devil Rays. It would have been nice if the Rays got to play in a World Series with decent umpiring*. It would have been nice if the Rays would have been able to play game 3 before their bed time. It would have been nice if the Rays could have played 9 innings in game 5, uninterrupted and without a monsoon. We would have liked to see that series. We don’t know if the Rays would have won, but we would have liked their chances. The Phillies are a good team. They are not this good.

THE OTHER BAD: We don’t have a big problem with Jason Bartlett trying to score with 2 outs in the 7th in a tie game. He probably has a better chance of scoring on the single than waiting for the next batter to get a base hit. We do have a big problem with JP Howell hitting in the 7th with 1 out and a runner on first. Joe Maddon still has 5 pitchers available including David Price and Edwin Jackson both of whom could work more than one inning. (OK, Jackson is a giant turd, but he would have been available in a 12th or 13th inning). And why let Howell hit if Maddon is just going to pull Howell after one hit in the bottom of the 7th?…Speaking of “Why”. Why the hell is BJ Upton swinging at the first pitch in the 8th inning. A first pitch with no outs and a runner on first. A first pitch in the 8th inning down 1 run. A first pitch that was not in Upton’s power zone. A first pitch to a hitter that saw 4.1 pitches per plate appearances this season. Then again, Upton, one of the fastest players in baseball, grounded into 16 double plays this season. Of the 20 players that stole more than 25 bases this season, only Alex Rios (22) grounded into more.

THE TELLING: Clearly the answer is Deadspin. We will now set out to become the Editor of Deadspin prior to the 2010 season. During the last two even-numbered years, the World Series champion was the favorite team of the editor of Deadspin. 2010 World Series Champions: Tampa Bay Rays.

*We have no idea if more calls went for or against the Rays. Obviously the calls against the Rays stand out more to us, but at times it seemed that the umpires were having more of an impact than either team

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32 Comments

  1. Jordi says:

    Funny, I thought the Deadspin connection as well. Great job, Cork. Time to drink one or two or 10 for the 2008 Rays.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    2008 Rays = 1999 Bucs?

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  3. Hate the rays says:

    Maybe you'll all grow a spine by next year. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.

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  4. Cork's Pop says:

    Suck it up, son, and start being positive. This is a great team that had a less-than-great Series. I thought games 1,2 and 5 were world-class.

    I personally didn't like the try for home with two out and an infield hit, but without TRYING many, many times throughout this wonderful, memorable year that these young, well-paid athletes gave us, we wouldn't have gotten where we did and enjoyed most of it - like beating the Yankees and Red Sox.

    One of my big peeves is people saying that the second place team in a world championship is a "loser". They lost a game to a champion. Go figure.

    Umpires, they're human and hopefully make equalizing mistakes for both teams. You've been one, so tell us what you REALLY think.

    I guess without controversy you would have fewer readers, but maybe their level of discourse would be more intelligent and "erudite". See there, I too can use a reference from my favorite movie, except from Michael J. Fox, instead of Martin Sheen.

    Congratulations to the Phillies who showed old town grit. "Worthy victory", to quote Godfrey Chaucer in "Knight's Tale". Now there is a movie that teaches us something positive about sports.

    "Speaking of sports", I'm sure Howard would say, let's keep it a "Field of Dreams". Speaking of Dreams, what happened to my 7-2 dream?

    What'll next year ....

    Happy Halloween!

    Much love, Dad

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  5. Hazleton Jason says:

    ehhhhh-

    Cork last year, you posted a blog during one of the Red Sox series about wanting to kick the dog, and yelling at the wife, and not wanting to eat- that's how I feel today- I tihnk a re-ppost of that is a needed thing today

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  6. The Professor says:

    AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    /banging head on desk, over and over

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  7. DirtbagFan says:

    My poor wife had to hear me go on about Upton's GIDP for 2 hours last night....
    He HAS to know that Crawford is going to steal second at some point during his at bat, but instead of giving him a chance to he swings at fist pitch, of course settin up the perfect 6-4-3 doubleplay... infuriating.
    And even earlier in the game: In the bottom of the 6th he was nowhere to be found during either of the Phillies first 2 hits (the one in deep right center, and the one that Aki couldn't get to).
    People keep saying that we hold Upton to a higher standard cuz he's just sooo talented-- guess what- if he doesn't use his freakin' brain, learn how to focus, and remember the basics of baseball he can take that talent and sign a monster contract somewhere else.

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  8. DirtbagFan says:

    Ummmm.... I have to confess- I think it was all my fault!

    A few weeks ago when you posted the pick of the hottie that Evan Longoria has been "hangin' out" with I commented in the comments section that she wasn't an 0 for 4 girl (meaning after a night with her you go 0 for 4 the next day) but that she was so hot that she was more like an 0 for 17 girl.

    Guess what Evan did to start the World Series.
    0 for 17... ahhh, sorry.
    CRAP! I HATE MYSELF!

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  9. Hazleton Jason says:

    Was it something I said??? =(
    My wife was so good lasyt night, knew all the right things to say! I carried on and on about Upton's GIDP, the fact that Maddon allowed Bradford to pitch to Feliz with a man 3rd base, and you knew Feliz was going to get contact... I hated that decision, I wanted them to try and get the K and not let Bradford serve up a single...

    I was so happy Baldelli hit the tying homer tho, I felt so good for him in that moment...

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  10. DirtbagFan says:

    Cork,

    I hate to hijack your board, but I wanted to express my true thankfulness to you for all the hard work that you put behind RI.
    If it weren't for you/RI during the hard times (aka "the Devil years")I'd never have become the fanatic that I am today. I can only imagine the time and energy that you must put behind your research and writing. Know that it is appreciated.

    Let me tell you; after trying it myself (Rays The Stakes), running a blog isn't easy. So once again thank you very much (even if you didn't use my "good,bad,telling" write-up that I did while you were in Hawaii).

    One suggestion for the offseason: you should get the countdown clock in the sidebar counting down until spring training asap. I need a light at the end of the tunnel.

    -James Smith (Dirtbag Fan)

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  11. rz says:

    Mets whine much?

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  12. DirtbagFan says:

    p.s. you're still gonna have to put up with me during the entire off-season.

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  13. Clayton says:

    I completely agree about the GIDP. Aki's drop, the fact that the Wizard of Zo squared that ball up and it went straight to Shaggy, and Barty getting thrown out at home were each painful experiences. Any chance we can hang the Bartlett adventure on Tom Foley? The replay showed me that he was not running full speed, but he was also not looking behind him, meaning that he would have been depending on Foley to communicate the urgency of the situation. Also, anyone thinking about Perez stealing 3rd with Hinske up? It was a dare to be great situation and I don't think they were expecting it? Lastly, it pissed me off that the ump had to interject himself into the last at bat of the year and that Fox wouldn't even show us a replay to see if Hinske went around. Fitting, but infuriating. It hurts that our two strengths all year, defense and the bullpen, were the reason we lost this series. I hope there is no lasting damage to the players' confidence on either front.

    But, truth be told, I am still celebrating an improbable, exhilarating and altogether enjoyable year. Looking forward to some hot stove coverage from the Index and the quickly approaching report date.

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  14. Chris in Raleigh NC says:

    Want to second dirtbagfan's comments, Cork. Great job this year (and previous ones). Look forward to summarizing comments.

    Let's face it, it was a crummy World Series from a lot of perspectives (but that's MLB's fault).

    Also seems to me that Maddon's strengths all season turned into weaknesses in the final venue. Nevertheless, we'll all remember that the Rays (and a bunch of ex-Bulls) were there and that they were the American League Champions. Lots of cool things coming up in the off season. Take a break. Have a beer. Revel in what was accomplished. Pat yourself on the back.

    And your Dad's not the only one who's had to watch The American President way too many times.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    congrats to the rays for a great season...you guys will be good for years to come

    but this is Philadelphia's time..HOW SWEET IT IS!!!!!!!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    What no World Series Trophy, like one of the two shiney ones in Boston. Oh, don't hang your heads. You won the pennant. They going to have a parade in St. Pete?

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  17. anon likes little boys says:

    i don't know anon. you guys going to have a parade for winning the wild card?

    and those two trophies dont mean shit in 2008.

    lot of fucking nerve coming on here today after what our boys did to your overrrated team.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Red Sox would of beat the Sillies !
    ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Brett Meyers already said he would not of pitched in Boston
    sillies had more playoff experience than rays

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  19. The Professor says:

    thanks to everybody for all the kind words. it does mean a lot knowing that this isn't all some maniacal obsession. i love doing this and glad some people can enjoy it with me.

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  20. Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

    ahhh shucks. too bad those losers in beanie town didnt get a chance. maybe next time try beating a team in your own friggin league if you want to win the World Series

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  21. Brett Walsh says:

    Sorrow is nothing but worn out joy. But yeah, B.J. should've waited. Thank you so much for this blog.

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  22. MikeD says:

    Bitter Bosties:

    Red Sox are no longer defending WS champs

    Red Sox are no longer defending AL champs

    Red Sox are no longer defending AL East champs

    See ya in spring training, and thanks again, Cork. Fabulous job, and I got my Fat Catcher shirt today - I'll wear it all winter, and think of Upton's idiotic GIDP.

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  23. PTownFan says:

    The "Guest Blog" by Cork's Pop is terrific. There wasn't a single loser on the field last night when Hinske swung at that last pitch. What a season. I don't regret a minute.

    I join in the kudos about the Blog. I can't imagine the hours it must take to provide such a consistently good time for all your readers. Well done.

    Soup's a-simmerin' on the Hot Stove already.

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  24. DirtbagFan says:

    Today we vent,
    tomorrow we reflect...

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  25. Hazleton Jason says:

    AHHHHHHH- here it is...

    THE QUOTE on why we saw the DEVIL Rays and not our Rays in the world series...
    by Rocco Baldelli

    Before the Series, the conventional wisdom was that the Phillies might be stale from their extended layoff after an easy win over Los Angeles in the NLCS. In hindsight, was it possible that the Rays paid an even bigger price for their seven-game marathon against Boston in the ALCS? Did the ordeal sap their emotions in a way that can't be measured?

    "I don't know if it took anything out of us," Baldelli said. "But everything around that Boston series was built up as bigger than this. That was kind of a crazy series, and then there was kind of a lull where we were just working out and showing up. Things weren't as built up for the World Series as that series. It was definitely a tamer atmosphere."

    they let up, beating Boston was good enough--- FOR ALL OF US... You dont know how many times I've seen well we beat the Sox so...

    F*** that SH**- You play to win it ALL, I hope this is lesson learned from everyone. This should hurt all of you a little more... AL champs is a great season, but NOT GOOD ENOUGH- I am out for BLOOD from now on, I want to beat everyone- thoroughly, I want the Rays to winn the East by 10 games and destroy everything in the way... It has to be that way!

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  26. DirtbagFan says:

    Ironically enough that's very similar to what happened with the Phillies as they headed into their world series v. the Blue Jays

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  27. Anonymous says:

    http://withleather.uproxx.com/?p=11231

    Keep it classy Philly.

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  28. kingbad says:

    Hey, great season, great 2/3 of a postseason, and nothing but upside. Rays will come back next season stronger, smarter, more experienced; the Red Sox will just be a year older, and the Yankees will be just as stupid as ever. Thank you, God, for making all those Steinbrenners. Philly just played a better series, but isn't a better team. In 2009, 9=1!!!

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