Remember how unfair this off season was?
How Soriano, Crawford, Bartlett, Pena, Wheeler, Garza and everyone including Evan Longoria’s hat have left Tampa Bay and it was all that was wrong with baseball?
How they had a nice team that the unjust baseball economics destroyed while the Yankees and Red Sox got stronger?
Well here we are about 25% of the way through the season, the Red Sox can’t put a winning streak long enough to get over .500 and the Yankees, after a strong start, are starting to show some wear and lack of depth.
Meanwhile the Rays are in first, were the first team to win a series in Cleveland and are 22-9 since Manny Ramirez quit the team.
And imagine if they kept those players.
Carlos Pena has been a vast sea of suck for the Cubs. Carl Crawford is starting to hit for Boston but had a grotesque April. Jason Bartlett has been nothing special for the Padres. Rafael Soriano has been garbage for the Yankees. Matt Garza has been hot and cold with the Cubs. Joaquin Benoit has stunk for the Tigers. Dan Wheeler’s ERA in Boston was over 11 before he landed on the DL.
In this case baseball economics has HELPED the Rays in having them shed the contracts they do not need.
There’s ¾ of a season left to be played and a lot can happen. But if the Rays have a great 2011 then there is a chance that a small budget low revenue team in a horrible stadium will win their 3rd division title in 4 seasons beating out the Red Sox and the Yankees in the process.