Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rays 2008 AL Champs

Congratulations to the Rays. They played great baseball, were utterly imperturbable over the duration of the series and a scintillating ALCS, and, yes, were the better team.

I am feeling that old pre-2004 queasiness in the gut, a combination of sadness and hurt and loss and anger and annoyance (leaving the bases loaded in the 8th will haunt me all offseason). I guess that shows that I still love the Red Sox and that after 2004 and 2007 I did not become a devil-may-care fan. The 2008 Red Sox had a very good season. Just not good enough.

Tampa will beat the Phillies. It may not be that close. I'll be rooting for them.


Slicer said...

The Rays looked phenomenal throughout the series, but I admire the fight the Sox showed. And if '08 postseason Beckett was '07 postseason Beckett, that may have been the difference. Tek's bat (or complete lack thereof) really didn't help either.

Both the Sox and Yanks are going to need some big offseason moves in my opinion if they are going to keep pace with the Rays. Although Cleveland was a young team last year and didn't do much of anything this year, TB strikes me as a team that is going to be around for a few years.

dcat said...

Slice --
I can see a handful of options for the Rays in the future.

One is that this will be a team to be reckoned with for a while. Or at least until free agency catches up with them. Signing Longoria long-range is looking smarter with each passing inning.

Second: Then again it does seem like this sort of team crops up every year. Think of last year's Colorado Rockies as one example. Young teams always look like they have limitless potential.

Then there may be a third route, and the least palatable one. That is the Florida Marlins path. Win, blow it all up, build up again, and try to win again. Let's hope they do not follow that path.

Think of the AL East next year: The Sox and Yanks will spend the money to fill gaps. (Everyone forets as they bury the Yankees that they won 88 freaking games -- hardly the sign of a bad team.) For now we can assume that the Rays will be great again next year. The Blue Jays always make some noise. And Baltimore is hardly terrible. The East will be beastly, and as a result, it might not be that viable to expect to win the Wild Card givenm that these teams will be beating one another up. It will make for great baseball, but will also be nervewracking.


GoodLiberal said...

OK- so Beckett and Papi have to be trusted to rebound from sub-par years. Lowell will be back. Unresolved issues include Lowrie/Lugo, Tek, what happened to Bucholz?, middle relief, What happens to Coco?, does Lars Anderson step up? etc

A nice intro to the offseason post would be welcome!