Listen to Tampa Bay sports radio all day and you’ll hear everyone completely writing off the Rays season. Hosts have even been saying they’re so happy they don’t have to talk Rays anymore and can just settle into football.
Hell, the esteemed curator of this site called the team’s “time of death” many games ago.
But there were the Rays jumping up and down in a swarming celebration in the outfield after today’s series win and extra-inning, walkoff against Toronto.
What were they so happy about? After all, the team has no shot to make up 9 1/2 games on the Yankees to grab a Wild Card spot. A cerebral Joe Maddon team must realize that.
Sure, it’s probably wise to expect nothing from the Rays the rest of the way, other than the usual diet of great starting pitching, anemic hitting and the occasional stretch that makes you wonder what could have been if there was more pop in the lineup.
But maybe that’s part of the problem with the fanbase and the market. Everyone’s collectively given up when baseball history is littered with playoff drives far more impressive than what the Rays have to pull off, especially after not selling off at the trade deadline.
It’s August 4.
This is probably what happens when you get used to winning, but it’s also evidence of fans way to eager to throw in the towel, which is sadly very contagious for a town and a team that can’t afford that.
As for today’s win, Joe still is somewhat stunned that the Jays walked Johnny Damon in the 11th to pitch to Evan Longoria. What a slap in the face. How far he’s fallen.
The legend of Desmond Jennings rolls on, and it was great to see Bossman motor around the bases to set up the win.
But don’t get too excited. The season’s over.