FanShot

Why national pundits are still clueless

2

Will the Rays be able to compete in this division again? It's easy to believe that window for the Rays is certainly closing. I don't know if it's slammed shut, but with the Yankees and the Red Sox they leave you no margin for error. The Rays can win 90 games next year and miss out on the playoffs by seven or eight games and never come close, be eliminated with more than a week to go. I do think it will be very hard for them to duplicate what they did last year because all their young pitchers had to pitch a seventh month. For that same thing to happen, and all of them to stay healthy two years in a row is a very difficult assignment to do. David Price should help but again they'll be playing with expectations. But the biggest thing is the bar is set so high." --Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated "healthy two years in a row". Kazmir missed near the first month of the season and never was fully healthy. Longoria missed six weeks towards the end of the season. Crawford missed the most significant time he has in his career. Floyd barely could run on two bad knees. Upton played through a torn labrum. "healthy two years in a row." If these injuries would've happened to a major market team there would've been so much 'woe is me' crap it could've furtilized the Gobi desert. The Rays won last year because of talent and amazing depth. Not because of health.

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