This is a new feeling for Rays fans. In the team's first 10 seasons September baseball didn't matter. Then again, neither did the rest of the season because they were never good enough to be in contention. The following four seasons have been filled with three playoff appearances and one 84 win campaign in 2009. The Rays never really felt in contention despite entering September five games back of the Red Soxfor the wild card. They went 11-17 in the final month, finishing well out of any playoff position. The Red Sox were a better team.
This month's poor play feels worse. We've never seen this team fall apart like this in a stretch run. The offense, never great, has fallen on it's face. Now we even have players getting into arguments in the dugout. I still believe they're a better team than Baltimore. I really do. But they sure aren't showing it this month, when it counts the most.
-For the wild card teams involved in the ridiculous one game play-in, Dave Cameron has an interesting strategic maneuver.
-Sam Miller has some interesting facts about the exactly 162 games the Rockies and Padres have played since 2004.
-Dave Schoenfield has a good piece about 'miracle teams' and how they've done in their post-miracle seasons. Yes, the 2008 Rays are on the list.