The Rays Tank: I Hate You, Texas

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Yet again, the Rangers screw the Rays over in October. This time, though, the Rays only have themselves to blame.

Texas has killed the Rays post season dreams for a third year in a row. Even though the Rays no longer have a chance of making the playoffs there are still some individual milestones within reach. If James Shields pitches 6 1/3 innings tonight he'll reach 225 for the season, only the second time he's done that. B.J. Upton is two homers shy of 30. At .328 Jeff Keppinger currently has the highest batting average in team history with a minimum of 400 plate appearances. You all know about Fernando Rodney's record breaking ERA.

For Shields, Upton and Keppinger these could be the last days they wear a Rays uniform. Keppinger's surprising season should net him offers from other teams, likely more lucrative than the Rays. Upton is assuredly gone. As sad as it makes me to say, tonight may be Shields' last start for the Rays. The trade rumors have been swirling around Shields for a while now. His salary for next season is $9 million, not a terrible sum but with David Price's impending raise the Rays may not want to spend ~$18 million on two pitchers when they have a stable of young arms waiting in the wings. If this is indeed Shields' last start as a Ray make sure you watch, he's been the best pitcher, and one of the best players, in franchise history.

Links:

-The shape of the offseason depends how the Rays handle five players, R.J. Anderson writes.

-The Tigers won the AL Central last night. WIth 87 wins. The Rays have 89 and are missing the playoffs *grumble grumble grumble*.

-Another AL MVP post.

-Adam Dunn is three strikeouts away from the single season record. Go, Dunn!

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