We’re in the endgame now.
The Tampa Bay Rays are good, again. In fact, not only are they good, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Yes, in a division with two of the best teams in baseball (Red Sox and Yankees), the goddamn Tampa Bay Rays have established themselves as the far and away the best team in the division, and perhaps are the measuring stick for the rest of baseball. They lead the MLB in team ERA, WHIP, K/BB Ratio, Strikeouts, and opponent batting average. They are flat-out incredible so far this year. They are 10-3 at this moment, second only to the Mariners who no-one really believes in anyway. Unlike the Mariners, the Rays are the real deal.
But I’m not here to talk about how great the Rays are at pitching or how they’ve shown a rare pension for power in the early goings this season. No. I’m here to release a PSA to the rest of the MLB.
STOP TRADING WITH THE RAYS. IT NEVER WORKS.
You see, the Tampa Bay Rays are very similar to the New England Patriots. If they want one of your players that’s been underachieving, that means that they are 100% going to turn said player into an All-Star. If they’re trading you a player who’s done some good things over the course of their career, it definitely means that they’re FOR SURE going to run out of gas sooner rather than later. Look at all the recent moves they’ve made. A handful of prospects to the Cardinals for Tommy Pham, who goes onto to set a Rays franchise record for consecutive games getting on base (still active at 46). Athletics trade Joey Wendle to the Rays for a handful of nothing, and he immediately turns into a top 5 AL ROTY player. The White Sox letting Avisail Garcia walk, who quickly becomes a quality lineup piece for Tampa.
But perhaps the most egregious trade handed to the Rays was one that took place last year at the trade deadline. The Pirates thought that they were competing for a wild card spot, and looked to sure up their rotation by adding a bonafide starting. In step the Rays, who were looking to dump off Chris Archer’s bum ass for some time now. The Pirates say, “Hey, you want two of our former top prospects? They never did anything for us, so they definitely won’t do anything for you either.”
It turns out they did something.
Tyler Glasnow, finally getting a chance to shine and show what made him so highly touted, has been one of the nastiest pitchers in the game since putting on a Rays uniform. He currently sports a 0.53 ERA, an 11.1 K/ 9 rate, and a 7.00 K/BB ratio. He has looked nothing less than superhuman so far this year and has far and away out-pitched last years Cy Young winner Blake Snell.
Tyler Glasnow's final line against the White Sox:
6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 11Ks.
18 Swinging Strikes with 33/85 CSW overall (39% = elite!)
He was flat out filthy. Here's a supercut of his best pitches from today. pic.twitter.com/mHFBrln9JD
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) April 10, 2019
How/Why is a human being able to make a ball break this much? HOW?????
Then there’s Austin Meadows, who was always a pretty good player for the Pirates, but for some reason, the team just decided to say, “NAH”, and dump him for literally nothing. Meadows, at this moment, is hitting .341 with a 1.079 OPS and 4 home runs.
2 ABs, 2 HR.
Austin Meadows and the Rays are on 🔥🔥. pic.twitter.com/6Nkr7ODIpU
— MLB (@MLB) April 12, 2019
It was just a classic case of a smart team taking advantage of a very, very dumb team, and letting underachieving players just play the game. Meadows and Glasnow are both only 24 and 25 years old, respectively, so get used to their faces, AL East. They’re going to make your life hell for the next 5 years. Oh, by the way, they have Brent Honeywell and Brandon McKay coming up, too! YAY!
As a Red Sox fan, I’m deathly afraid of the Rays. I don’t know what sort of black magic Kevin Cash is using down there, but it’s working. This is the Rays division to lose going forward, and they are not a team you want to try to chase down.
Photo by Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press