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  1. Reload their roster? That’s a little drastic, no?

    Comment by mike — September 8, 2009 @ 11:09 am

  2. Grant Balfour? More like Grant BALL FOUR!

    Comment by Adam — September 8, 2009 @ 11:20 am

  3. They went from 6 games out to 7.5 games out of the wild card. I’d hardly call that falling apart in “epic” fashion. Their chances simply went from slim to none.

    It’s been bad recently, but realistically the Rays have been chasing all season. I don’t know what re-tooling they could do with the roster except upgrading at catcher and re working a few bullpen arms.

    Comment by Tommy — September 8, 2009 @ 11:20 am

  4. I wonder what would have happened if Price made the team out of camp. He pitched well enough in ST and I think he did not deal well with the demotion. He might have helped solidified a weak #5 spot with a decent start to the season.

    Comment by Matt B. — September 8, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  5. In the future they need to be more careful about investing in over-the-hill bullpen arms. They spend a lot of money on marginal old guys that didn’t contribute very much.

    Comment by Sam A — September 8, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  6. Their biggest mistake was letting Andy Sonnanstine start 17 games this year.

    Comment by RC — September 8, 2009 @ 11:42 am

  7. Ready to admit yet that your pre-season ” most likely to win world series in the future” rankings yet.

    This year is a perfect example of why many of your rankings were just awful, and based on biases from one year of observation.

    Comment by Ted — September 8, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  8. Next year, they’ll replace Andy Sonnanstine with Jeremy Hellickson.

    Comment by Richie Abernathy — September 8, 2009 @ 11:52 am

  9. Dave explained that “future” is not limited to just 2009. Besides, your criticism of “one year of observation” is based on “this year is a perfect example”. Nice.

    Comment by JB — September 8, 2009 @ 11:58 am

  10. The look on the Rays’ fans faces when Inge hit the grand slam could have been the accompanying photo for this article. It kind of looked like, “Of COURSE he hits a grand slam there.”

    Comment by Matt in Toledo — September 8, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

  11. Yeah, this sort of reactionary, reflexive fangraphs criticism has really gone over the edge. That comment was borderline incoherent and just frankly incorrect (look at the position players they’re returning next year, etc). Normally I’m one for unrestricted debate but I feel as though recently a decent number number of responses to articles have been not only critical but overtly hostile, and I think fangraphs might need to start moderating these types of comments in the next year if they want to maintain commenting as a decent forum for discussion.

    Comment by Alex — September 8, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  12. the debate went on all year last year:

    Edwin Jackson v. Andy Sonnanstine

    There was no way you trade Jackson and his potential and keep Sonny and his 86 fastball that he can’t spot

    Comment by mario — September 8, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

  13. Amazing that somehow Dave’s projections offended you to such a large extent that you felt obligated to come and snipe him months later.

    +1 on the incoherent point.

    Comment by minesweeper — September 8, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  14. I agree with Dave’s sentiment that the Rays need to “reload.” I think he means that it’s well and good to sit on a good nucleus and have a good farm system, and know that if such and such breaks right they’ll be competing. The goal of every team is to win a championship, and for all of the talk about “Front Office Efficiency,” ultimately you have to bring home a ring.

    So sitting on resources and banking on several things going right is a cop out, to an extent. Sometimes you have to do something bold, take a chance, and put your team over the top and minimize the role luck/fortune plays in your team’s chances.

    Comment by big baby — September 8, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

  15. what is the deal with BJ Upton?

    Comment by Steve — September 8, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  16. I don’t know, Niemann has done well enough and his peripherals have generally moved in the right direction. The competition wasn’t Sonnanstine vs. Price, it was Niemann vs. Price.

    Comment by mymrbig — September 8, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

  17. Sorry the post didn’t make all that much sense, but I wrote it on my phone. My point was that him putting the Rays as having the 2nd best chance of any franchise in MLB was crazy. And this year is a great example of why.

    The Rays played amazing last year, in fact had pretty much a perfect season. This season however everything didn’t break the right way for them. If they played in a different division they would probably be going to the playoffs, but they don’t. They play in the AL East, where the Red Sox and the Yankees can buy tons of talent, and make up for mistakes and weaknesses in their teams by trades and FA signings.

    Yankess add 3 expensive players in the offseason, Red Sox trade for mutiple 1st basemen to help there offense. And the Rays trade Kazmir.

    I’m just saying the Rays in an isolated situation might be the second most likely to win the world series. But they play in the AL East and that context is not favorable for them.

    Comment by Ted — September 8, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

  18. That’s a good question–he might be PART of a deal soon enough. Some FO will believe he’ll figure it out and offer decent value in return. With Desmond Jennings on the way, it might be a good time?

    They STILL have top shelf talent to introduce to the roster next year with Jennings, Hellickson, and Davis.

    Comment by Casey — September 8, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

  19. There’s a heck of a lot of hindsight to a comment like that. Show me where you said that last year and what your reasoning was, then I’ll buy it.

    Comment by mattymatty — September 8, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

  20. I also think those rankings of future success were very biased towards certain teams.

    This site LOVES Boston, Tampa and Seattle…

    Just as in the Edwin Jackson trade, the writers on this site wont admit they are wrong…

    Even this article is an example… It mentions NOTHING about the Tigers maybe being part of the reason the rays lost…

    Comment by Jeff — September 8, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  21. Yeah! What he said. Whaaaat’s the deal?

    Comment by Jerry Seinfeld — September 8, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  22. No, it isn’t. Rebuilding would be drastic.

    Comment by Raf — September 8, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  23. well JB last time i checked the Yankees and Red Sox will still be in the AL East and the Rays will be in the division as well. That I believe goes beyond 2009. The main reason the Rays are not the 2nd most likely team to win the world series in the next 100 years, is because they are the 3rd most likely team in there DIVISION to win the world series.

    If the Rays were in ANY other division in baseball they might be the favorites next year to win there division, but they are going to be predicted to be third next year. Not because there team is not good, but because the Red Sox and Yankees have better teams. Not only that, but both of those teams can spend money to improve their teams. Whereas the Rays have to trade Kazmir for help 2-3 years down the line. Not to mention the Rays have a pathetic fanbase, which won’t even support their team when they are winning. (That’s just pathetic)

    The Rays have to be more lucky and perfect with there moves then almost every other team in the AL, or even the ML. If keys players for the Rays get hurt or have subpar seasons, it will hurt that team much more then it does the Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Angles, or most other contenting teams.

    So why should Dave get a pass on an awful article. It was a bandwagon jumping reaction to put them 2, maybe in the top 5 or 10 BUT 2?!

    Further may point about this year being a good illustration of why the Rays are not the most likely to win, is that the Rays have a good team and yet the Red Sox and yankees are better. This is only the 2nd season the Rays have ever been good, so there is no historical basis to show its hard to win the East, but just ask the Jays and Orioles.

    When the teams you are competing with can spend your payroll on a couple of players, it makes it much more difficult to win and win on a consistent basis.

    Comment by Ted — September 8, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  24. The Yanks may have added 3 expensive players, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that Jeter, Cano, Posada & Cabrera have improved from last season.

    Comment by Raf — September 8, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  25. I don’t think the Rays will make a big splash through free agency, or a blockbuster trade, but I don’t think they need to. Davis & Price should be with the team for a full season, they should be able to replicate or improve on what Kazmir and Sonnanstine did this year. I don’t know what they plan to do with Upton and Burrell.

    I would think it would be difficult to minimize luck/fortune. I mentioned the Yankees earlier. Even though they spent a lot of money this past offseason, having Cano, Cabrera, Jeter and Posada bounce back helped a lot.

    Comment by Raf — September 8, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  26. I think the Rays need to seriously consider taking the buyout on Crawford and letting him go, or picking up his contract and then trying to trade him over the offseason. With Longoria now locked up and others coming on, Crawford no longer matters as “the face of the franchise” and at $10M (about 15% of their total payroll if it holds steady) as good as he still is on the field he’s become an expensive luxury they can’t really afford.

    Comment by joser — September 8, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

  27. You have to have a website to click through

    Comment by Raf — September 9, 2009 @ 9:11 am

  28. The opinions were largely stupid…the Indians were what, fourth? After making the playoffs two or three times in the past decade…that doesn’t make me very confident in their position going forward.

    Comment by Omar — September 9, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

  29. Yeah, except they traded Kazmir so that they could pick up a fairly cheap option on Crawford. If Ownership isn’t willing to spend more money on the team, having them behind either the Yankees or the Red Sox is completely inexcusable. The Yankees and Red Sox both have good GMs and pour wads of cash into the farm. The Rays failed to sign their first round draft pick this year, and I’d like to see how they are able to do without a top five pick every year…I doubt they’ll keep on having a top three or four prospect every year. Their talent base is also EXTREMELY overrated, BJ Upton had an awesome post season and oodles of talent yet he STILL hasn’t had a full season where he came anywhere close to playing to that talent level, unless Price takes the next step to an elite starter (which he can) I don’t see that rotation being that good in the AL East, Crawford is only there for at most another year, and Desmond Jennings looks very promising…but so did lots of players that never turned out to be much. Zobrist has been a revelation and Jason Bartlett is playing about five times over his actual talent level, but outside of that…the shine of that team has worn off after a year. Besides, the Yankees and Red Sox also have an extremely impressive collection of talent, great farm programs, and oh yeah money to bring in big name free agents. Yeah the Rays have Longoria, who will always make them somewhat competitive…but they just happen to play in the division with two teams that are consistently the best in baseball. Ranking them that highly was inexcusable.

    Comment by Omar — September 9, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

  30. If you aren’t willing to spend 10MM on Carl Crawford, you probably don’t deserve to have a contending baseball team.

    Comment by Omar — September 9, 2009 @ 11:29 pm

  31. Price and Davis would have to be pretty bad to not be able to “replicate or improve on” what Kazmir and Sonnanstine did this year.

    Comment by Omar — September 9, 2009 @ 11:30 pm

  32. Unless you can get what you want for Jackson and can’t get anything of value for Sonnanstine, then it makes plenty of sense. The part that doesn’t is where you keep using Sonnanstine when you have better options even with Jackson gone.

    Comment by Judy — September 10, 2009 @ 11:05 am

  33. They went from -6 games with 32 left to play to -7.5 games with 24 left to play. Looked at another way, they had a golden opportunity to gain ground and fumbled it completely. Looked at a third way, independent of the other teams in the race, the Rays fell apart completely based on their own performance alone.

    Comment by Jay — September 14, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  34. Not to put words in his mouth, but Dave seems to imply that the Rays could make some moves to improve the club’s short-term prospects for 2010 … and possibly, that they failed to make moves like that pre-2009 or mid-2009. They were involved in talks for a lot of valuable chips, but they have a knack for not pulling the trigger.

    Comment by Jay — September 14, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

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