street. PETERSBURG – Did you say now, America?
Are you ready to embrace the unknown and free Tampa Bay baseball team? Are you willing to admit that there is something special going on at a club where everyone has hilariously decided to dress extravagantly like a businessman on Thursday?
Are you ready to stop looking for ways to explain a recent major league start to a 13-0 tie and just appreciate a team that was built to outdo rather than overwhelm the American League’s most affluent relationships?
“We don’t play baseball the way everybody else plays baseball,” said Ryan Thompson. “The way we’ve been seen cheering each other on and celebrating each other is unheard of. I’ve talked to a lot of people about this, and what we have is different. The lack of ego here, the number of people willing to fill whatever role we need on any given day. The hitters are trying to move Men on base lanes rather than trying to hit big stats.Pitchers are willing to fit into roles they aren’t used to.
“No ego, no complaining, all we want to do is win games.”
And we can officially say that no team has ever done a better job in April. The 9-3 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon tied the 1987 Brewers and 1982 Braves for the longest unbeaten streak to start a season in modern major league history.
The Rays have a Harlem Globetrotters-like scoring margin of 101-30 and have trailed in only six of their 117 innings pitched this season.
six! Out of 117!
“Nothing surprises me here anymore,” said right fielder Luke Raleigh.
Sure, the schedule has a lot to do with the record. Do not deny it. The Rays started the season against three potential last-place teams (Detroit, Washington, and Oakland) before defeating the Red Sox in four straight games this week.
But consider this: The World Champion Astros lost two out of three against the Tigers last week. The Braves couldn’t sweep the Nationals, the Guards fumbled against the Athletics and so on. Baseball is not a game designed for domination. Win 55 percent of your games and you’ll likely be in the playoffs.
In other words, there is no reason to apologize for being unique. It makes no sense to analyze perfection.
Second baseman Brandon Lowe said, “Once you get a little spark in this lineup, there’s no turning back.”
Unlike teams with expensive stars that suck all the oxygen out of the stadium, the Rays use variety and roster manipulation in hopes of staying one step ahead.
Consider B-Lowe. He is one of two players on the active roster with an All-Star appearance on his resume. In the past six games, he’s been 8-for-18 with five walks, five home runs, and 12 RBIs. However, when the Red Sox starting left hander Chris Sale on Wednesday, he started his day off the bench without a peep.
Think Jason Adam. One of baseball’s most dominant tackles in 2022, he pitched to the United States in the World Baseball Classic and happily entered games in the sixth or seventh inning with no chance of a save.
Consider the past two days, when Zac Evelyn missed the start with back tightness and Jeffrey Springs had to leave after three rounds with an elbow problem. The Rays called up 22-year-old Taj Bradley to make his major league debut Wednesday, I brought in Kevin Kelly from base 5 with the bases loaded Thursday, and 28-year-old shortstop Braden Bristow was making a hit. -league debut with a line on the goal line.
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Bradley and Kelly had their first major league wins. Bristow, who has only one save in his Triple-A career, pulled off the save on Thursday.
“Eric (Neander) and Pete (Bendix) are doing a good job in the off-season of getting depth,” manager Kevin Cash said of the president of baseball operations and general manager. “I’ve heard Eric talk about it a lot. We want to be really good in our 14 or 15 all-40 roster. I feel like we are, and we’ve got a lot of guys that will contribute during the season. A lot of guys have already contributed.
“To go racing like this, everything has to be clicking.”
And when it wrapped up on Thursday, they all contributed to the frivolity with a stunning ensemble of skinny jeans, muscle T-shirts, gold chains and knit hats for a fun Yandy Diaz-esque outfit. Looks like Kelly and Adam got the most votes for Best Yandy Imitation.
“I just hope there’s a cash prize for this,” Adam joked.
So what is the best word to describe this group?
“Unified,” said team owner Stewart Sternberg.
And what is the best way to describe their gameplay?
“Out of their minds.”
Contact John Romano at [email protected]. Follow @Romano_TBTimes.
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