If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Think of RI as “Tampa Bay Rays 101.”

However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that many of our wishes came true. Many did not. If we can get a couple of more this year, the Rays might just win it all.

Without further ado…

On the eleventh day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, 11 POSTSEASON WINS…

Buster Olney of ESPN.com recently ranked the Rays as the number one team in his first power rankings for the 2012 season.

That’s crazy! Right?

Or is it? OK, we still need to see what the Rays do at first base and DH before we have any confidence in the offense.And you guys know us. We never feel good about anything.

But, here is the thing: on paper, the 2012 Tampa Bay Rays are the best incarnation yet. And if all the key players stay healthy. And if Andrew Friedman somehow duct tapes together another bullpen, and if the Rays can get some offense from 1B and DH, this team is going to be good. Really good.

This team is not ready to be the favorites to win the World Series. But they might be the best team in the AL East. And with this pitching staff, they are good enough to dominate in October.

We’re getting downright giddy for the 2012 season. Who is with us?

 
 

13 Comments

  1. Dave L says:

    I dont pay to be an insider so I couldn’t get past the first paragraph. So maybe I missed the part about where they lowered the pitching mound and its a fantasy piece about its 1967 all over again and hitting be damned.

    Or maybe its about how each team would rank if they landed Fielder, then im buying it maybe.

    #1 in power rankings means pushing near a 100 win season and I just dont see it with our bats.

    Please everyone conspire to hide this from the man who holds the Rays purse strings, could give him just enough cover to stand pat on only needing a punter, errr I mean a couple of arms in the bullpen to take us to the promised land of November baseball

  2. LoLJFH says:

    I want (and hope) we do very well. 100 seems steep, tho. I fear, as we are now, and if we brought back Damon and Kotchman, we are 1 key injury away from an 85-86 win season, otherwise maybe 92 wins. I fear lack of depth for this team and if we lose a Longo or a Zobrist for example, for any amount of time, we may have an issue scoring. We have one of the best rotations and pens in baseball now but “as is” we are built to hold teams to small crooked numbers hoping we can outscore them. We lose a significant position player and that could be a daunting task (and still might be if offense continues 2012 as 2011).
    IF Marc Tompkin is right and we did offer Coco Crisp a contract then there is a signal the FO is looking to do something significant in the coming weeks. Either way, I still think mid-90′s is more realistic especially with upgrades Toronto and Baltimore are making as well.

  3. Brianknowsbest says:

    we won 91 last year with neiman, price, and davis not living up to expectations and our offense being about as bad as it could be. If moore, price and davis/ neimann out peform last year, than I think 100 is well in reach. I cant imagine that the Yankees can peice meal their rotation again, and their lineup is getting old. The redsox starting pitching isnt all that impressive either. The division is weaker than it has been in years. 100 is well in reach, comeon boys, take it.!

    • LoLJFH says:

      6 of the Sept wins were when Red Sox were tanking and an additional 3 were when Yankees “mailed it in” at the end of the season in the final series. If Sux hadn’t tanked and Yanks hand’t rolled over that last weekend (come on, they played mostly bench warmers), we are an 87 win team. Still not bad for what we had and not starting a debate on organization, just looking at it realistically. From that standpoint, I don’t see a noticeable improvement to 100. Maybe Shields comes back down and Price has a career year, they cancel each other out. Anyone thinking Matt Moore is Dwight Gooden (right now) is crazy and needs to temper expectations – that kid will struggle at times and not be 15-7.

  4. Matt says:

    Let’s everyone remember we got a career year out of Shields last year. That won’t happen again.

  5. pete says:

    Great pitching beats great hitting every single day. I think this is the year we take home that ring. People are obsessed with offense. Offensive levels have been falling back to earth and last year league wide they were at 1992 levels.

    Everyone is assuming that we’re not going to plug the holes we have at 1st and DH and i think that the front office knows that this could be the year. Trades are still going to happen and plenty of free agents remain unemployed.

    Texas still scares me but this will be the year we take them down and take the American League crown from their dead hands.

  6. Mike says:

    46 days till pitchers and catchers report! Bring back Chuck Pena and trade a pitcher for a couple of bats and we are going to be playing deep into October once again. My tickets are renewed and my cowbell is ready.

  7. angrybuddha says:

    I love the annual “11 postseason wins” Raysmas post. The rest of the discussion be damned! :-)

    [But seriously, it's a stretch to call us #1. I prefer to be the underdog.]

    • Sarah says:

      I agree. Rays have done best when written off at beginning of the year. We need to sneak up on people while the rest of the world obsesses over the Red Sox and Yankees. Let’s hope no other national sports analysts pick us — it brings bad karma.

  8. Drew says:

    Why can’t this be us?

    “…the Nats’ local TV revenue is about to increase dramatically.

    That revenue, reported to be $29 million a year, soon will “double, triple or more,” according to a major-league source. The Nats are due to “reset” their contract with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network to ensure that their rights fee is still market value. If no deal can be reached with the Orioles, the larger stake-holder in MASN, the case will go to arbitration.”

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