Like us on Facebook here
By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent) Follow @JakeyJake01
The Tampa Bay Rays have had a great history of producing great MLB talent ever since the current regime of Stu Sternberg, Matt Silverman, Andrew Friedman, and Joe Maddon took over. Their system, is to build talent up in hopes to sign to club friendly long-term deals and have them produce until the price tag becomes just too high and then get the next era in from trades .When it comes to pitching however its a whole new ball game. The Rays have an unmatched system for finding pieces from all over and putting them into a mix that at best could be described as ” an Island of misfit toys” but it works. If you take a look at the Rays bullpen the last couple years you see a couple of guys stand out that really had no place anywhere else.
In 2008, Grant Balfour became what no body thought he was, a great pitcher. In 2008 Balfour went 6-2 in 51 games with a 1.54 ERA and a staggering .89 WHIP. Balfour was signed that season for just above the league minimum at $500,000. Balfour would go onto to Oakland a few years later and signed for a little over 3 Million Dollars.
B.J. Upton Highlights – Parental Guidance is advised
Thursday, December.20, 2012
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5. The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles section here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Tampa Bay Rays Franchise can be summarized into two different categories: “The Devil Rays Days” and the “Rays Days.” The Devil Rays endured 10 straight losing seasons to start the club’s history. From 1998-2007, was a complete gong show (645-972) and last place finishes in a tough AL East every year, except for 2004, when they finished 4th, although they did stockpile several top Draft Picks based on their horrid regular seasons. In 2008, all of that changed when the ‘Devil’ was literally and figuratively knocked away from the Tampa Bay team. Their young stars finally saw their potential realized and they appeared in the 2008 World Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies. The Franchise would lose in 5 hard-fought, weather fulfilled games, however the team was now one of the model clubs in baseball. From 2008-2012, the club has gone 458-352.
The Rays have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 since, plus featured two other over .500 records in 2009 and 2012. The club has now had 5 winning seasons in a row. There is still a long way to go as they feature the worst winning percentage in MLB History, with a 1103-1327 Franchise Record (.454). The next worst team is the Padres at .463. The Arizona DiamondBacks were the NL Expansion cousins of the Rays and they feature a Win Percentage of (.498), which is second overall for the Expansion teams. The Arizona DiamondBacks also have made the playoffs 5 times and won the World Series in 2001. Still if you asked anyone right now, the Rays would gladly be the team everyone picked.
Franchise Series Links:
Tropicana Field Expert: An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith