When we look back at this 2006 years from now, I hope we'll be able to laugh about the prospects of nearly losing 100. We'll be on to better things, bigger games, playoffs, maybe a few titles.
Of course that's getting ahead of myself, and I usually don't like to do that. When we really look back at this season it should be more than just the record that sticks out to us. We got rid of a slew of veteran expiring contracts, loading our organization with supreme young talent. We witnessed the debut of Delmon Young, the return of B.J. Upton, and the comeback of Rocco Baldelli. But in years to come I hope we remember 2006 when...
- We ended the regular season with a completely different rotation than we started with (Kazmir, Fossum, Hendrickson, Waechter, McClung - Howell, Hammel, Shields, Stokes, Corcoran)
- We replaced our 6/9, or 1/3 of our opening day lineup compared to our usual everyday lineup in August / September (Hall, Lugo, Huff, Hollins, Gathright, Lee) and you can throw in Jonny Gomes if you wanted to.
- Scott Kazmir 2 hit the Redsox on July 3rd (just one of the three we took in that four game series)
- Carl Crawford stole home on July 5th (same series as the Kaz 2 hitter)
Montgomery Biscuits being named Baseball America's "Minor League Team of the Year"
- 16-9,8-0, and 11-4 victories against the Yankees. The fact they may not gain home field advantage for the playoffs could mean a first round exit p>
- Numerous announcers mispronounced and miscalled Jorge; George. I do have a point to make on this one, it's not like he's the only Jorge around the league, (Sosa, and years ago, Fabregas.)
- Baseball America named our farm system the best in baseball.
- Aubrey Huff and Russell Branyan made Billy Evers 2-0 as interim manager while Joe Maddon was out of town.
- James Shields started 4-0, as did Tim Corcoran (one of Corky's wins came as a RP however)
- J.P. Howell and Tim Corcoran both started shutouts with Dan Miceli and Juan Salas ending them, twice in one week, against the Yankees and Redsox.
- Seth McClung became our closer, and an effective one at that.
- Getting Wiggy with it, Anti Virus, Navy, and Z-Man became common catchphrases in clutch times.
- Delmon homered in his first game, and had a 12 game hitting streak.
- The Rays turned a triple play (second in team history) versus the Mariners.
- The Rays finished 41-40 at home, an above 500% winning percentage