These past two trade deadlines have reminded me of Robert Frost's poem Fire and Ice. Burned by Boston and Jason Bay last year, my expectations were weighed down by reminding myself there are no white knights at this point. Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, even modest options like Gregg Zaun, Carl Pavano, and the pyramid of semi-useful relievers. Instead most probably felt frozen out. Lots of rumors flew, few involved the Rays - Mark Lowe and a "just checking" call on Felix Hernandez - which, let's be honest, doesn't mean Andrew Friedman, Gerry Hunsicker, and Dan Feinstein weren't working the phones left and right, but I guess the presence of rumors acts as pleasant background music like to some.
After Bay, I wrote that we were getting Rocco Baldelli back and calling David Price up, and by golly we weren't going to miss the playoffs. This year, I wish I could write with such confidence in the destination. As I wrote a few days ago, the playoffs require luck. Lots of it. Gun to my head prediction: we won't make them. It's too bad, because this team is easily one of the five best in the majors, but that's reality.
Now, we can all go mope about how the Rays didn't try or how the team is going to play awfully now - I guess the front office told them a few weeks ago not to expect any moves? - or you can enjoy these next few weeks of baseball. For right now I don't care about WAR or playoff probabilities, simply as a common fan I'm begging you to not give up on the season because of what did and did not happen this week.
Fall will come soon enough; don't wish a season gone because of your illusions.