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Why The 2009 Rays Failed to Reach the Playoffs: The Defenders

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No problems here.

The defense was excellent once more. For a direct comparison:

2009: 59.7 UZR (56.6 RngR, -1.8 ErrR) 2nd in majors

2008: 74.2 UZR (44.3 RngR, -2.7 ErrR) 1st in majors

Jason Bartlett (-5.8) and Carlos Pena (-3.9) will probably be in the running for their respective positional Gold Glove. They shouldn't be, but reputation matters more than performance. On the flip side, Carl Crawford (15.7), Evan Longoria (14.7), Ben Zobrist (14.4), and B.J. Upton (12.1) were well above average at their positions.

The season's not over, but the Rays currently have better everything except for Double Play Rate.

People will blame the defense for momentary lapses and whatnot, but at the end of the day, there's nothing more to expect from them. They played extremely well and if not for Seattle's resurgence (and dependence) on nothing but hardcore glovers, would've repeated as team UZR champs.

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Next up: the rotation