Monday night magic, let's see you tonight.
The Pirates are the darlings of this postseason already, as the Rays were in 2008, while we're now the playoff regulars of the past few years. Who would've thunk that in '07?
That old familiar feeling resurfaced with Monday night's win, and Rays fans weren't the only ones to notice, as there was plenty of Rays love to go around yesterday, with quite a few commendable recaps and praiseworthy profiles of Joe Maddon and the team:
- Fangraphs assessed David Price's pitching performance, and noted as how the innings stacked up, he defied the cliche of a starter only lasting a few in a playoff game. They also questioned whether James Loney displayed obstruction or smart defense while covering first in the bottom of the first. Read the comments on that last one...
- "Their world is strange and wonderful, a little too big in spots, a little lonely at times, but almost always worthwhile, so the Tampa Bay Rays keep showing up, playing ball, seeing what the day brings."
- A warm and fuzzy piece about the players who have passed through Durham this season and their roles in the Rays postseason puzzle.
- Jesse Spector of Sporting News spoke of Maddon's mentality of keeping things loose, wanting his players to be themselves and run the ball out, and how this seemingly simple formula brings success time and time again. The admiration for Joe carried the piece, with tons of love from his players, like this from Jose Molina,
"The thing is, you have to go out there every day and try to be the same guy, not try to overdo things," says veteran catcher Jose Molina. "When you do that, I think that part is fun. You're not thinking about tomorrow or the day before, you're just thinking about that day, and it makes it easier for everybody to relax and have fun. Joe has everything to do with it. He the one keeping it loose, and he gives us the freedom to be and do whatever we want, but at the same time know that we are professionals and we're going to do our job the right way. He gives us freedom, we take care of the rest."
- Joe's feeling good about things right now, and why shouldn't he? Keep the positivity flowing:
"We've already played this wild-card game a couple times," Maddon said. "We did it in Toronto a couple days ago, we did it (Monday) in Texas and we're going to come here (tonight) and do it again. I don't know if there is a battle-tested component to it, you get maybe immune to whatever that pressure is and you just go play. ..."I think there is something to be said for that. Not making light, because you would have liked to have a couple days off, but when you get this momentum kind of thing on a daily basis, and you're playing great competition, and you're going from city to city to city and it's in adverse territory, all this stuff is what you train for and really dig, and you love it."
- Marc Topkin assessed who we may see on tonight's 25-man roster, likely heavy with position players and a backup starter or two. Rosters will yet again expand for the ALDS.
- Old pal R.J. Anderson provided a preview of tonight's game...but didn't select the Rays as the victors. Really?
Quote of the Day (or April):
Tweet of the Day:
Only baseball crowd I've ever heard that matched loudness of PNC Park was Tropicana Field crowds in 2008 but that was in a dome. #Pirates— John Perrotto (@jperrotto) October 2, 2013
Or even this...
This is high comedy. Larry King asked Joe Maddon if he has a game plan for tomorrow. Maddon said "absolutely" in a "are you insane" tone.— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) October 2, 2013
Also, some non-Rays related links, because why not: