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The Rays have spent the offseason stacking the lineup with proven veterans, and they are hoping this will help them get further in the playoff in 2011. Don't miss
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Tampa Bay Rays Schedule
Tampa Bay Rays 2011 Season Preview
In probably one of the most talked about offseasons in the league (besides Cliff Lee snubbing the Yankees) the Rays picked up a slew of veterans, they hope are not past their primes. In signing Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon for $7.25 million, it was a no-lose situation for them. The hardest part for the Rays, which also makes it so much more remarkable that they still compete, is they can't afford to keep their big name star. As was the case with Matt Garza being traded in 2010 and Carl Crawford going to the Red Sox in the offseason. The Rays lost so many of their pivotal players like Justin Bartlett, Rafeal Soriano, Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler that they are going to rely heavily on young players in 2011, which is what they've always had to do.
The Rays are hoping that their league best bullpen ERA isn't lost by giving up their 2 best bullpen pitchers and signing veteran Kyle Farnsworth, but that is a major concern this year. The Rays did try hard to make themselves this year, but one thing they won't have to worry about is being competitive in 2-3 years as they have 10 of the top 60 draft picks in the upcoming draft, and they recieved 3 of the Cubs top 10 prospects for Matt Garza. Look for the Rays to stay mildly competitive, but it would be a stretch to see them have the same level of success they did in 2010.
Tampa Bay Rays history
The Tampa Bay Rays are a professional Major League Baseball team. They are one of the youngest teams in the league as their inception was in 1998. The club has finished out of last place only 4 times, and it took 10 years before they had their first winning season. Playing in the American League East against greats like the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees makes it really tough for any team to compete.
The Rays tried for years to draw fans, they brought sluggers like Jose Conseco and Fred Mcgriff all to no avail. The Devil Rays would finish in last place in the division for the first 10 years of their existence despite a few bright spots and winning streaks. But with the hire of Joe Madden, a good scouting program, and a ton of good stars in an ever building farm system, the Ray were putting the pieces together to compete. The one good thing that can come out of finishing last, is a higher draft pick, and after many years of futility, the Rays were stock piled with young talent.
In 2008, looking to shake things up a big changed the uniforms and officially changed the name from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to the Tampa Bay Rays. With young stars in tact like David Price, Evan Longoria, Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, Carl Crawford and Scott Kazmir. The Rays are the only team to have the worst record in the league one year followed by the best record in the league after memorial day. The Rays cruised to their first of 2 AL East titles (2nd coming in 2010) and capturing their first American League Penant before losing their only World Series appearance to the Phillies 4 games to 1. Although the Rays have another successful year in 2010 they were upset by the upstart Texas Rangers. But these last few years have set the groundwork for perhaps a new dynasty, or at least some changes to the AL East where Boston and the Yankees have enjoyed many years of success.
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