On the one hand, it is hard to believe that it has been five years since the 2008 team started its miraculous run. But on the other hand, it is even more difficult to believe that Elliot Johnson was the last player remaining from that season’s opening day roster.

Below is a look at the opening day rosters since 2008. Players in grey are still with the club.

There is a slight catch. Ben Zobrist started the 2008 season on the DL. And Evan Longoria was called up just a couple of weeks later. But if we are looking at opening day rosters, we lost a number of connections to that team this off-season, including Carlos Pena, BJ UptonJames Shields, JP Howell, and now Elliot Johnson.

In fact, we have seen so much turnover in the last three seasons, that there are only five players remaining from the 2010 club…

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11 Comments

  1. nate says:

    It is pretty liberal to mark him as a member of that team. The guy played in 7 games in April of 2008 before getting demoted. He didn't play another major league game until 2011. So to treat his departure as some sort of farewell to a figure from the beginning of our run of success is quite silly.

    In case anyone was wondering he reached base 3 times in 19 plate appearances in 2008.

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    • Chris G. says:

      And Maddon always credited EJ with sparking that team with the home plate collision in spring. Good enough for JM, good enough for me.

      Also, where is Niemann? Was he on the DL to start that year?

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      "to treat his departure as some sort of farewell to a figure from the beginning of our run of success is quite silly."

      Who did this?

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      • nate says:

        I think you did. I guess I misunderstood the tone of the first paragraph of this post and the other one dedicated to this topic. Just seems like a lot of time eulogizing a man with a substandard contribution to the team

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        • Cork Gaines says:

          Well, this post was about how the much the roster has turned over. Johnson just happened to be the last piece after several other bigger names left this off-season. And there was nothing in the other post waxing poetic about his baseball skills. in fact, the only comment about something in which he was actually playing was to point out how horrible he was at sliding.

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  2. Maintaining a winning baseball team with that level of turnover is a testament to out front office and Joe Maddon. They already get a ton of credit, and deservedly so. But this really brings their quality of work into a better perspective.

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  3. Dave L says:

    Thats a very nice post of the progession.

    It highlights that there is virtually no 2013 version of the 2008 WS team we are missing. Same goes with the proceeding years in fact.

    You cant always say former player X was replaced with a superior replacement, but in virtually every case the replacement was certainly cheaper and just as good or better than who the former player became after he left the Rays fold. That is key in continuity of success.

    Seems like the management most always knew when to cut loose guys before they dropped off the face of the earth baseball wise.

    That is a great list thanks

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    • Dave L says:

      Succeeding years not proceeding sorry.

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      • Mr Smith 1980 says:

        Yep. I've said it ad nauseam- its the same winning formula the Pittsburgh Steelers have parlayed into great success as one of the finest franchises in all of sports (current salary cap issues aside)...

        cut 'em loose just before they fall off the vine and let 'em turn to raisins while on someone else's payroll.

        Replace them with young, homegrown talent at a fraction of the cost... rinse and repeat.

        Avoid high-priced cast-offs and FA's like they have the plague.

        And here's the big one; always, always, always bring in talent that fills a role in your system-- don't bring in the best available talent if there isn't a need at that position, don't change your system to suit the talent (a la the Washington Redskins).

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