I found them, they were sitting on their shoulders. Last night was a sad way to end the season for many Rays fans. They appeared as a shell of themselves, almost as if they knew they could not hit Cliff Lee. Sure they had beat him this season 3 times but 2 wins were vs. a horrible Seattle defense and one was a blown save by the bullpen. Bottom line is if you want hits, you have to swing the bat and protect the plate with two strikes. Lee was on last night and continually used the backdoor slider or curve as his strike out pitch.
It will be a long off season and I still feel the best shot the Rays had at winning the World Series was in 2008 when the Yankees were in a bad place. And whatever happened to the best hitter vs. left handed pitchers? Do you know who it was? Gabe Kapler!! He took a trip to the training room on August 16th and came out with a sprained left ankle and never returned. But Rocco came back. WOW! Heck of a sprain if they had room for Rocco and not Kapler.
Anyway the Rays will not only start fresh with the bats next season, they will also be bringing in some fresh talent with the losses of free agents and club options they will likely not take up.
Free agency will claim most of the production and some lack there of. Crawford, Pena, and Shoppach will likely go. Along with them Soriano, Kapler and Choate. Dan Wheeler who cannot seem to pitch to lefties is hopefully gone and Willy Aybar who I would like to stay along with Crawford is due for a club option.
The Rays have a great group of young(cheaper) talent on the way up and I would have loved to see Hellickson pitch instead of Big Game James Shields in the ALDS. We did see glimpses of him toward the end of the season and will most likely see him, Desmond Jennings and maybe Matt Moore next season. Great season, I didn't expect them to make it through the all-star break in such great shape as their schedule appeared brutal leading up to it. They played their best ball that month if I'm not mistaken and battled the Yankees, Boston, Minnesota and a decent Detroit team at the time. What a run that was fun to watch as a baseball fan, but you gotta swing the bat to win in the playoffs. Drawing walks is for Co-ed softball.