You know what the Rays never do? They never play .500 baseball for long stretches of time. The Rays are always playing so bad that it feels like they will never win another game or so well that we feel like they are the best team in baseball.

And this isn’t something new this season. This goes back to 2008.

I mentioned this on Twitter and James Edward Krueger suggested a graph. Well, you guys know I love a good graph, so here it is.

Notice that the only extended period in which the line is not going up or down is a brief stretch in 2012 when the Rays went 16-17 over 33 games after starting the season 19-8. Otherwise, the graph is always going up fast or down just as fast. Luckily for us, the ups far outweigh the downs. Well, except for this season.

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21 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Looks like they are currently trying to form a perfect cup and handle for a potential breakout to the upside.

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  2. Dave L says:

    Well that wacky stat floating around yesterday that only 3 teams in MLB history have made it from 18 games under .500 to actually make it to .500 even, one was in the '80s one in the '70's and one was in the 1800's if I remember correctly

    Playoffs? That would be hollywood movie material like Moneyball 2.0. I have the subplot--- once the real life demon was exorcised from the clubhouse and the stench of sulphur had dissipated, the rejuvinated Rays go on a historic epic tear!

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  3. J 2.0 says:

    Am I the only person who thinks it would be a major mistake to hold onto Price at this point? His value is at an all-time high and to me not trading him would be mortgaging the future of the team for a shot, at best, of getting bounced out in the divisional round of the playoffs. If the stadium were selling out every game, that would be 1 thing, but it isn't. So there should be no outrage from fans on my opinion here. You have to strike while the iron is hot and re-stock Durham with top level prospects.

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    • doug says:

      I agree that decision cannot be tied to a potential playoff appearance this year. It is strictly a matter of economics and business. Zobrist, or any other position player, however, is a different matter.

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    • Rob says:

      For me, it depends on the return. If we get an outstanding offer, which would mean 3-4 players - one of them a #1 prospect and another a top 5, then yes, you pull the trigger regardless of the record. If someone is just offering a #2 or #3 prospect with a couple of mediocre major leaguer throw-ins, then I say no. The pot has to be very sweet at this point.

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    • Dave L says:

      Ok this is the first thing I read anywhere which attempts to quantify it.

      "one exec we surveyed estimated his trade value this winter will be "30 to 40 percent" less than it would be right now"

      At lest someone tried to? For what its worth.

      A good longish article on the subject. by Jayson Stark

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/tradedeadline/factors-tampa-bay-rays-weigh-david-price-trade

      I'm in the same mindset as you at this point 2.0, but I would still wait till the last possible minute.

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  4. starmand says:

    We all should be grateful to Mr. Henry.

    One question. Anybody knows if he has an incantation for "new stadiums"? Or would that be a special order thing?

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  5. Matt says:

    It would be interesting to compare this chart to other teams that have similar W-L reocrds since 2008 (ATL, LAA, BOS, PHI, NYY, TEX).

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  6. Lane Meyer says:

    I have to wonder with the assurance of a big TV payday coming in 2016, why the Rays have not considered a long term deal for Price? They would have to carry it at a loss in 2015 and perhaps 2016, but once the new contract kicks in, they certainly could afford to keep him. Everyone gets so wrapped up in attendance as a source of revenue, but it's really only a portion of revenue. The new national TV contract just added $25 million additional dollars in revenue per season (more than enough to pay Price, Mr. Friedman) and the new Fox TV contract Texas recently signed is almost the amount of the Rays TOTAL revenue today. The fans are here, but many of them are watching on TV and the money will be there come 2016. Call Mr. Vinik and get the ball rolling on a new stadium and get our core players signed.

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    • Rob says:

      That's a fair point, but for the same cost, you replace Price with a couple of top prospects, sign some long term and also bring in some free agents (or sign others long term), so you are potentially getting 4-5 guys for one guy and not spending any more money. Even with the extra $25m in television revenue, I can't see the Rays spending 1/5 of their entire budget on one guy.

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      • Lane Meyer says:

        Normally I would agree, but premier #1 starters are just so hard to replace. Longo and Price are the heart of this team. When reaching the playoffs, having just one premier #1 starter can take you a long way in either a 5 or 7 game series as those #4-5 starters become superfluous or long relievers. As for spending, any cap on that is self-imposed. In my opinion, that extra $25 mil from the national contract should go directly to salaries and when the local contract earns them an extra $100 mil or more per year, a good portion of that should go into payroll too.

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        • Ken says:

          Since you are suggesting that the Rays spend all their extra money on players I assume you spend all of your bonus wages and pay increases on Rays tickets

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          • Lane Meyer says:

            Since one has little to do with the other, your question is asinine. Safe to say I attend as many games as I can afford which works out to about 15-20 a year. But if I were a billionaire who was angling for public money to build a new stadium, I might try to get the fans behind me in this manner

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        • Ken H says:

          Lane, I'd like to go on record to state that I am not the Ken who responded to your comment. As a result I've added a last name initial to my name to differentiate from the poster who responded to your point.

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  7. Lyle says:

    I really like Lane's idea. We often forget the non-quantifiable value of keeping a player long term versus getting 3 or 4 'good' players. The Yankees could have traded Jeter in this manner several years ago but look what he does for the fan base and baseball. I started following Roberto Clemente in 1960 and am still a Pirates fan. David Price is one of the very best pitchers in baseball and is a fan favorite. Keeping him long term could do more for loyalty and attendance than any other one thing the Rays could do. Longoria is developing that kind of following and Price would add an even better piece for the Rays.

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  8. Dave L says:

    We had the good, low risk healthy cheap years of David Price.

    After next year if he continues at this pace someone is going to have to overpay him and take a risk. We can't afford to sink 20-25% of our payroll into 1 guy for a 4 to 6 year stretch. Imagine if we are paying him $25M and he misses a year due to surgery. The Rays couldn't recover from that.

    The Rays total payroll is a zero sum game. So whatever you give him is less for everybody else. Sure we are getting more TV dollars but the rising TV $$$ tide raises all MLB payroll boats not just us.

    The owner is going to make money who can blame him? The umbilical cord to Price and Zobrist will be cut soon and we will have a bunch of newly minted hungry, young future Rays and Bulls and Biscuits, etc. to get to know and root for.

    The life cycle continues.

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  9. Jim says:

    So now we are most likely going to hold onto DP and Zo with a hope to make a one game wildcard on the road in California. Epic failure, we’re still 7.5 games behind the Orioles and the Yankees are playing at a good pace also. The biggest problem is that by waiting, we’ve most likely lost our #1 trade partner. The Mariners now have gone on a mini slump like I talked about last week. Their interest is probably a lot less than it was 10 games ago.

    We have completely shit the bed on the hope of a miracle comeback. Yes I know anything is possible, but the value for Price and Zo couldn’t have been higher than it was 10 days ago, yet their still here, and we still are a longshot even with the huge run that we’ve made.

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  10. patrianakos says:

    Seven games left with Baltimore, nine with Toronto, nine with New York - and we will get Wil Myers back, no? - we're too close to just give up on 2014.

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  11. Chris Wise says:

    Might be interesting to see years plotted on each other by games. My bet is that this year is, by a bunch, the worst since 2012 which they emerged from OK. And the AL east is fairly tightly. Is it in them to make a run like they did in 2012? Not sure. Also, I'm not sure that it makes sense to plot games over .500 cumulatively as was done here.Is pretty, though.

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  12. Ken H says:

    What a wonderful game it was. The Trop was buzzing. Both teams, with the exception of Gomes, played a tough, toe to toe game. I for one was thankful for Gomes' miscues.
    A couple of post game thoughts: (1) All who support Price and Zo being traded give sound reasons that can't be denied. Price's continued excellence can only increase his value come next week. Same with Zorilla, 4-4 ain't bad. None of us can predict what will happen in the ensuing days, if Rays mgt moves them I hope to God the return is ample. Our franchise is doomed if the cornerstone players received are a bust.
    (2) I also see Lane's and others point that the trade(s), sucessful or not, will have a deleterious effect on some of the fan base, namely the youngsters and the old timers like me. My grandson will be crushed. Price is turning out to be all that we expected, a true ace. I remember being similarly crushed when the Mets traded first Ryan then Seaver, and will be once again when Price leaves.
    I get the economics, I agree our owners deserve a positive balance sheet but will miss the heck out of King David anyway.
    I wish AF all the best in the next week. May he truly demonstrate that all the accolades he's received have been deserved.

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  13. Josh says:

    I agree....lets move Price soon! Keeping him helps us this year, but it does mortgage our future. Lets get get everything we can now!

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