The only encouraging thing to come from this ALDS series for the Tampa Bay Rays thus far is that they are getting the heck out of Boston, and Fenway Park at least for Game 3.
With the Red Sox up 2-0 in the five-game Divisional Series, the Rays have their backs against wall, a spot Tampa Bay is familiar with.
Anyone watching the first two games would be hard pressed not to agree that the Red Sox are the superior ball club, just as they were all throughout the regular season.
The Red Sox have manhandled Rays pitching scoring 19-runs in total in the first two games. The Rays drove in six runners in total.
Bottom line is the Rays have their hands full. And unfortunately, unlike the 29 other MLB teams, home field advantage is meaningless down in Tampa Bay, as the Rays play in a dump and a minuscule fan base.
But in the words of Rays skipper Joe Maddon following his team’s 12-2 to start the ALDS:
Regrettably, the New York Yankees head into the postseason as observers and not players for the second time in the last 19 seasons.
Hal Steinbrenner thanking the fans… (Photo credit: JeffreyPutman)
So, along with the other 19 non-championship caliber teams, the Yankees only hope at winning a World Series again is next season, which starts with the off-season.
Last off-season, the Yankees tried to get away with patching up holes instead of filling them.
And as most predicted, the Yankees missed the postseason because of it.
Now the question remains, will Yankees inherited owner Hal Steinbrenner do what needs to be done so this won’t happen again in 2014?
Hal has made no secret that he wants the Yankees payroll to be under $189 million in 2014 to avoid paying a 50% luxury tax. Reducing the payroll for just one season would also resets the tax back to 17.5%, which is the rate for a first time offender.
Yes, many teams have won spending a lot less money but the Yankees are just not built that way.
The team’s payroll for this past season was about $230 million.