Monday, October 20, 2008


One of the Google searches that brought people to this site in the last week or so was: “is it normal for young child to be afraid when watching sporting events.” How about, is it normal for young child to be afraid when performing in sporting events? If so, these Tampa Bay Rays are pretty abnormal. I knew this was a young team, but it sunk in, over the course of what turned into a pretty great series against the Red Sox: This is a group of babies. I can’t remember a team this good, this uniformly young, in any major sport. If you can, enlighten me.

Three players on the Rays' entire roster are older than 30, but even that doesn’t tell the story. Their very good starting pitchers -- and a sixth pitcher, who was the top overall pick in the draft and closed out last night’s game -- are 26, 25, 25, 24, 24, and 23. The catcher working with those pitchers is 24. Evan Longoria and B. J. Upton, arguably the team’s best two players, are 23 and 24, respectively. Carl Crawford, who’s been on the big-league team since 2002 and is an excellent player who battled injuries this year, is 27.

I would say “break up the Rays,” but I don’t need to -- they’ll be broken up when they can’t afford to pay all these guys. But with players this young, that still means a few years of the Rays as one of the best teams in baseball. And if their farm system is as good as everyone says, maybe longer... Now, can we knock down that monstrosity they play in and build them a proper baseball park?


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