Piling On..

It is bad enough the Rays have to share the division with the defending World Champions and the largest payroll in the game. It hurts more when Boston, with its sizable payroll, has a shrewd GM that can get great deals. John Lackey was not cheap, but Marco Scutaro came at a slight discount, Mike Cameron at a larger discount, and the Red Sox just signed Adrian Beltre for $9m in 2010 with a $5m player option for 2011. The team defense that hurt Boston all last year is a thing of the past now with Cameron, Beltre, and Scutaro in the fold.

We could see three teams in this division win 90 games and have one of them stay home. To put that into a painful perspective, the Red Sox are paying Adrian Beltre the same amount the Rays are paying Pat Burrell in 2010. Sometimes, I really hate the fact the Rays are in the A.L. East and tonight is one of those nights.

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About Jason Collette

Writer/Analyst
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6 Responses to Piling On..

  1. CharlieRay says:

    Another perspective could be Burrell hits 33 HR and bats 285 and Beltre fall on his FACE. Soud very probable to me

  2. Even if Beltre stinks it up at the plate, his defense is simply amazing; he’s better than Longo at the hot corner.

  3. Bob R. says:

    I love being in the AL East. It makes winning all the sweeter. Poor Boston and NY; no matter how much they spend, no matter how smart they spend, no matter how many advantages they seem to begin with, they cannot really create any distance between themselves and the Rays. Now that is frustration.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed 2008 but as Jonah Keri best put it on XM 175 yesterday, playing in the AL East is the toughest thing in sports today. Having one big money team is one thing but having two really puts the Rays behind the 8 ball right out of the gate and leaves very little margin for error.

  5. Bob R. says:

    Absolutely true, but that’s what sports is about-competition. And it is always most satisfying to beat the best. When the Rays win, nobody can say they had an easy path, an easy schedule.

    Simple minded fans like to find excuses to demean winners. The Yankees and Red Sox buy championships they say. The Rays got better because they had finished last so often they could draft the best prospects each year.

    Such rationales have just enough apparent truth to seem credible, but are fundamentally wrong. Should the Rays win in the NL or AL Central there would be a slight taint on the achievement. They beat out mediocrities and then got lucky in the post-season. But wading through the AL East is the ultimate test in baseball today, and that is what we want the Rays to accomplish.

    I would hate it if the Rays were moved to another division or if restrictions were placed on NY and Boston hampering their frantic efforts to be supreme. No matter what they do, the playing field is not as uneven as many claim, and the Rays will continue to compete.

  6. I think for the betterment of the sport, something has to be done about at least somewhat leveling the playing field. In talking with my friends who have ceased following baseball, most of them speak to the inequities of payroll as their biggest reason for giving up on baseball.

    I love the thrill of the challenge as you do, but I feel the three of us are in the minority here.

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