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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Rays are not the World Champions

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Dodgers win series in six games

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MLB: World Series-Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Dodgers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

One way or another we knew that baseball would be over this week. I very much wanted that last day to be Wednesday. But the Rays were defeated last night, and the Dodgers were the team that got to celebrate with actual champagne.

Bigger picture I know this was a great and wildly successful season. This loss will fade and we’ll remember a dominant regular season; an easy sweep of the Blue Jays; nail biting elimination game victories in the ALDS and ALCS. But it may be a few days before we can focus on anything bigger picture.

There are two big storylines that came out of last night’s game. One is that Blake Snell was just dominant — totally, breathtakingly, embarrassing the other team’s best hitters dominant for five innings. And then when he gave up a single in the sixth Cash pulled him in favor of Nick Anderson, who gave up the lead on a well struck double by Betts followed by a wild pitch and a fielders choice.

I think I’m not exaggerating when I say that the baseball world lost its mind. The dominant narrative, even from the non-knuckle-dragging side of baseball media, was that Cash cost them the game and the series and was either a fool or a puppet for the quants that pull his strings. Others suggested that pulling a pitcher on top of his game gave the Dodgers a huge boost; that alone contributed to the loss of this series ($)

I have no idea whether pulling Snell was a good decision (obviously it looked bad after Anderson gave up the double), but having watched Rays baseball and indeed these postseason games I can’t say I was surprised; this is how Kevin Cash does it. But apparently the rest of the baseball world has not been watching this team, and they were shocked. I hope we’ll have some of our writers weighing in on this decision in the next day or two.

But here’s the thing about last night. Even if you thought Cash’s quick hook was the worst managerial move in the long history of this great game, you’d have to concede that his judgement wasn’t even CLOSE to the worst judgement shown last night.

Because we learned after the game that Dodger’s Justin Turner had tested positive for COVID-19 and yet HE WAS STILL ON THE FIELD. As per Ken Rosenthal ($) results from an earlier test had been “inconclusive” so a second Turner sample was rushed for additional testing, and the team learned later in the game that Turner had tested positive. He was pulled out of the game in the 8th inning but apparently he was not isolated because he joined his teammates on the field the postgame celebration.

I’m sure we’ll learn more about this, and I’m sure we’ll write more about this, but....WHAT? MLB has spent four months following rigid protocols to keep people safe but suddenly a known positive case is strolling around the field and hugging teammates?

Some Nice Stuff About Our Guys

That game four, we’ll be talking about it for a while. Bananas, says Fangraphs.

More love for Ryan Sheriff.

And for another Ryan (Thompson) from his home town newspaper.

Recognition for our own many of many splits, Ji-Man Choi. And Ben Clemens also takes note of Choi’s amazing plate discipline.

Around MLB

When my Mets won the World Series in 1969, immediately after the last out fans charged the field to celebrate and also rip out clumps of turf to take home as souvenirs. Now, security guards line the field to make sure no one even tries. Apparently Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo put a stop to this practice.

Old friend alert: I gotta say I don’t lose much sleep worrying about letting Arroyo go, but apparently he’s found a role in Boston.

Apparently cheating isn’t all that bad. Cora and Hinch may be back in baseball once their suspensions are over ($)

Teams have been shedding off field staff. Some is in response to COVID-19 (you don’t need gameday staff when there is no game day), but some is a sign of cost-cutting and streamlining across baseball ($).