It’s still a dream season for the Rays

Ok, first off, let’s hope the warped Philly fans are happy now. See it didn’t hurt to finish the actual full Game 5, now did it? I guess we can end the conspiracy talk now and I won’t have to compare the denizens of Pennsylvania to people like Al Davis and Richard Nixon.

As it turns out the bizarre suspension of Game 5 due to bad weather only delayed the beginning of a celebration that Philadelphians have been eager to have for more than two decades now.

But Rays fans shouldn’t hold their heads down about the ultimate outcome of the World Series. This team has been on a phenomenal ride this entire season and even if didn’t end up like the 1969 Mets, this was a remarkable accomplishment.

And even more importantly, this signals that the long nightmare for Tampa Bay baseball is over. A legacy of losing is now just a footnote in the Rays media guide.

Barring some amazing breakdown, the Rays will be back in full force next season and will right off the bat be a contender again in the American League East. And after coming this far, this assortment of young, gifted players should know that they have what it takes to make it to the playoffs. Players like Evan Longoria and David Price probably haven’t even begun to reach their awesome potential.

Now I know that some of the TV pundits were already questioning some of the coaching decisions of Joe Maddon – including his pitching decisions but I think there’s no question this team couldn’t have come this far without his steady hand. His managing during the pennant series with Boston was spectacular as Maddon’s helped keep a young team from dwelling too much on a comeback win by the Red Sox in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

The Rays lost this World Series the same way so many teams lose in the post season. Their hitters, the core of the lineup, just could not figure out the Phillies pitchers until the Series was nearly over. When the heart of your lineup goes hitless, it sucks the air out of the balloon. Yet still this team clawed and fought, as evidenced in the final game where they tied, not once, but twice before the Phillies finally pulled ahead with one run.

So while this dream season has finally come to an end, it’s not the end of the line for the Rays. It’s just the beginning of a new winning franchise. And there will be more cowbells, Mohawks, and maybe, just maybe a World Series title before it comes to an end.

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