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 (including that sweet no-hitter), and the result was another division title.

Without further ado…

On the sixth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, SIX months with a winning record…

In 2008, the Rays went 13-14 in September and yet they won the AL East by two games over the Red Sox.

In 2010, the Rays went 11-14 in June and went 13-14 in September. And once again the Rays won the division, this time by one game over the Yankees.

The Rays were still able to win the division in each of those seasons because they played lights out at other times of the year. In 2008, the Rays went 21-7 in August and 19-10 in May. This year, the Rays went 17-6 in April and 19-7 in July.

This year’s team probably won’t have the fire power to run off long win streaks that lead to 19 or 20-win months. So if the Rays want to compete in 2011, they will need to be consistently above average. That means they need six months with 15-17 wins.

If they can average just 16 wins a month, the Rays will finish with 96 wins. And in the Wild Card era, no team with 96 wins has ever failed to make the playoffs.



  1. a.j. says:

    This will be the most challenging day of Raysmas without a doubt. We don't have much punch in the lineup, and currently don't have a clearcut closer...two very important pieces to the puzzle. If we were to sign Damon or Thome, I'd like our offense a lot more. And if we could grab Rauch or Balfour or Fuentes, id feel more comfortable with out bullpen. The keys to winning are scoring and good pitching and defense, obviously...and our starting pitching is outstanding, but we have a lot of question marks with our hitting and bullpen. It will be tough to win consistently without improving our roster soon.

  2. phil says:

    a. j. - I thought we concluded with Shields as our Closer with peralta, russell, sonny and ramos as set-up guys and add a McGee or Torres and JP Howell when they are ready.....of course it would not hurt to add Balfour,,,,

  3. Devin says:

    Shields to closer? You want to take a pitcher who is always
    near the league lead in homeruns allowed and throw him in pressure
    packed situations 3-5 times a week? I don't if I can take his
    sourpuss face and crybaby mentality that often. It's bad enough
    when his balls are called balls and he cries.

  4. a.j. says:

    Well, it seems the Rays are close with Fuentes! I like that move a lot. He's gone unnoticed by all of us really! Could be a bullpen of Fuentes as closer, Russell, Peralta, Ramos, McGee, Ekstrom, and Sonny to start the year possibly? Still not a loaded bullpen but at least a semi-adequate one! And in no way is what I listed a sure thing...Cabral could make it along with a couple other guys. Corey Wade was outstanding two years ago before he got hurt, so maybe he makes it too! With an addition of Fuentes, and possibly a Damon or Thome, I can see us winning between 85-90 games if we get some unexpected offensive performance from a couple young guys. I know Brignac didn't put up great numbers last year, but if you remember correctly, he put up great numbers while he was the starter filling in for Bartlett. So maybe regular at bats can get us a line of .275/.320/.400. That would certainly be nice, and not out of the realm of possibility. I think many would agree that Joyce could be the key to all of this. With an everyday job, can he step up with a .265/.315/.450 line? It'd be nice to see! A lot of questions still, but Fuentes and Damon/Thome give us much better chances. And what I see happening is if we're in the hunt in June, then we hold steady with the roster. But if we're slow out of the box, then I can see the continuation of the firesale. Not trying to bring everyone down...just trying to be realistic. Let's hope for the best though...GO RAYS!!!

    • phil says:

      I think if you are bringing in Fuentes ..you maybe moving McGee back to starter (at AAA) ...would Torres make the better reliever?

  5. a.j. says:

    Torres is tradebait in the making. He's made good strides and could fill in as a starter when needed if someone goes down. I think the organization already liked McGee as a starter, but they may have run into falling in love with him as a reliever. He was above average as a starter, but he's dominant as a reliever!!! I think he's a reliever from here on. I don't wanna see him get messed up by screwing with him...we saw that happen to Joba in NY. Lets let the kid be dominant, since he already shown he can be. I'm not a fan with trying to experiment with Torres when we already know what McGee can do.


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