That is the title of the latest column from John Romano of the St. Pete Times.
One bat. That’s all it will take.
One bat. And I like the Rays better than the Yankees or Red Sox.
One bat. And I think Tampa Bay is back in the World Series in 2012.
Romano does say that this is “overly simplified” and “probably overly optimistic.”
Actually, we think he is spot-on. But unfortunately, it is also all-too-familiar, and unlikely to be fixed.
The Rays were one bat away from returning to the World Series in 2009. The team realized this and added Pat Burrell.
The Rays were still one bat away in 2010 when they tried to trade Burrell for Milton Bradley and signed Hank Blalock to a minor league deal.
Both Burrell and Blalock were eventually released.
And last year of course, it was Manny Ramirez. And we all know how well that turned out.
The Rays are always “just one bat away.” The problem is, the Rays aren’t going to spend the money, or the resources (e.g. starting pitchers), to go out and get a proven bat that doesn’t come with some major flaws.
And so, the Rays will continue to be inconsistent offensively. And next year, we can all sit back and talk about how the Rays are still “just one bat away.”