For a story that appears in the May 6, 2019, issue of Sports Illustrated, Emma Baccellieri calls the Tampa Bay Rays, “the most interesting team in baseball,” while remarking at the varied ways the team is pushing the sport forward.
Baseball’s most interesting team may not be its most winning (for long, anyway), most memorable or most powerful. It is certainly not the most beloved. Still, it is the most indicative of where the game is, and where it’s going.
Interviewing various members of the coaching staff and front office, Baccellieri maps out how the Rays challenges to the way baseball is played has improved performance by young players, how they’ve expanded the game’s vocabulary, how they’ve even eschewed standard methods of practice before games.
“Traditional BP doesn’t work,” says hitting coach Chad Mottola.
Baccellieri also interviews Process and Analytics coach Jonathan Erlichman, including several paragraphs on what he does for the team, and a glowing review from Tommy Pham, who call’s J-Money, “my favorite coach.”
You can read the full story online now, or on stands next week.