Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All Hail The Rays

Look, my teams have been on vacation for a couple of weeks now. So I've had to adopt a postseason favorite. And it hasn't been hard to decide.

Phillies and Rays.

Philadelphia, because the alternative is the Dodgers. Please. Plus, Bay Area guys Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell are key cogs.

Tampa Bay, because the alternative is Boston. Ugh.

Look, I was as delirious as the rest of the non-Yankee nation four years ago when the Sox ended their long drought and won it all. But the whole lovable loser underdog thing is so untrue anymore. The Red Sox are among baseball's richest franchises, spending more than $133 million on this year's payroll. The Rays are among the poorest, spending only $43 million (hell, that's less than the cheapo A's).

Let's face it: unless you're living in the Northeast, this whole Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is a big joke. They're opposite sides of the same gold coin.

The Rays are unquestionably this year's feel-good story. The Little Ballclub That Could. Worst-to-first. Cool manager. Outfielder (Rocco Baldelli) with a bizarre strength-sapping illness who hits a playoff home run at Fenway Park.

Yes, their ballpark stinks, but even the dreary concrete Tropicana Field has a cool angle: how many other ballparks have a live stingray swimming around in a centerfield tank?

Hop on the Rays bandwagon now, while there's still room.

1 comment:

Mark Loundy said...

I was going to participate in today's sports poll, but I didn't see my choice. Could you please add, "Isn't there some other team playing?"