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The Tampa Bay Rays, once MLB's perennial doormat, have been on quite the 5-year run.
As Rays fans, most of our attention of late has been focused on a potential second-straight, miraculous late-season come back. With the David Price dominated, complete game win last night, the Rays are sitting at 84-70, still 3 games behind the A's for 2nd wildcard spot. The playoff odds are now flirting with 14% and Lloyd Christmas thinks there is still a chance.
We really ought to take a moment, however, to appreciate the incedible run the Rays have been on over the past five years becuase what this franchise has done in the last half-decade has been truly remarkable.
In 2007, the then Devil Rays finished dead last in the AL East with a 66-96 record. They were awful. Then, suddenly, crazy things happened! They got good, really good. World series good, three playoff appearences good, All-star game starters and most valuable players good. Boy, it has been fun hasn't it?
Even if they don't finish the job this year and we are forced to root for the Orioles, 2012 will mark the fifth-straight winning season for the Rays, which, according to Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, is the third-longest streak in all of Baseball behind only the Phillies (9) and Yankees (20!). Perhaps more surprising, The Rays become the first Tampa Bay major pro team to boast a 5-year streak despite being the region's youngest franchise.
Not bad for ball on a budget...
- Real shocker here, Hawk Harrelson is the most biased announcer in baseball, according to a study done by The Wall Street Journal, and it's not even close. Put it on the boooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaardd, YES!
- New York Yankee Ichiro Suzuki possesses a great respect for the tools of his trade, storing his bats in a moisutre-free, shock-proof case, writes David Waldstein of the New York Times.
- Twenty-eight years ago yesterday, Dr. Frank Jobe performed the first-ever ligament transplant surgery on a Major League pitcher, Tommy John. On the anniversary, ESPN resurrected this fine Jonah Keri interview with Jobe.
- Finally, R.D. Rosen kicks off SBNation's new long form journalism series with an incredible piece about childhood heroes titled Mortal Gods.