So if he says there are advantages to having a small payroll, we are willing to listen…
How do the Rays hang with two of Major League Baseball’s juggernauts? Aside from drafting well and developing terrific young pitching, perhaps they’re able to remain competitive, in part, because of the us-against-the-world attitude that their small-market status cultivates. Though Tampa (sic) won the American League pennant in 2008 and the AL East championship last year, Rays players said they remain unburdened by the same level of pressure that their counterparts in big-money, big-media markets might feel.
“It can be advantageous,” Girardi said of managing a team with a low payroll. “You go out there, and the guys are loose. But [Tampa] (sic again) has a little bit more experience than what my club had. The club I had hadn’t been to the playoffs and didn’t really know what it took. This club does.”
We don’t know. The Rays know every game is important. Does Girardi really think that kids in their early 20s are “loose” when they go into Fenway Park or Replica Yankee Stadium? Maybe. But if they are, it is because that is the atmosphere Joe Maddon creates. And we find it hard to believe that they don’t feel as much pressuse because they make less money.