Pickup Game Talks Rays With Steve Kinsella

Our Rays reporter talks first half, second half, and the future

In the last ten baseball seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays have played more big games against both the Yankees and the Red Sox than those two teams have played against one another.  The Rays also get great television ratings, and on the field they’re showing that there is life after Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon.

To that end, what better time than now to have our Rays reporter on The Pickup Game to discuss the team’s great start, the position they’re in moving forward, and maybe a little talk about the long-term future.

While the schedule might look good on paper, Steve warns Rays fans that the next ten days or so will determine a lot about the team’s future, and therefore those games are tremendously important.  So far so good, as Tampa Bay took the opener in Anaheim last night.  Combined with a Yankee loss in Boston, that puts the Rays in second place all by themselves.

Forgive me for being a Boston guy, but we do talk about the Rays and rivalries for a bit.  Steve sets me straight that Tampa Bay does already have an intense rivalry with the Yankees, even though this year might be the best opportunity for the two teams to be in a playoff chase together.  To further illustrate how far the franchise has come, we dip a little bit into history, and ask the question if there’s a historic pattern to how sports franchises in Tampa Bay get started.  (That is, a few years of notorious ownership followed by a sharp and impressive turnaround.)

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Tim Williams has been Sports Talk Florida's National Baseball Columnist since December of 2015. As a member of the STF team, Tim has written about Major League Baseball, the 2016 NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament, the 2016 Olympic Games, the Ryder Cup, and Florida Gators Football. Tim has been covering sports since his days at Northeastern University's WRBB student radio, where he announced baseball and football as well as contributing to the coverage of Huskies Hockey, most notably the 2005 and 2006 Beanpot Tournaments. Since, he has written about a number of sports for a number of outlets, including Sports Talk Florida and the American Sports Network. Based in Boston but a Florida native, Tim Williams has a fan's perspective that goes beyond New England. In addition to his columns, you can hear this in The Pickup Game podcast that he has hosted since the Autumn of 2016. When he isn't writing about sports, he can often be seen on golf courses around Massachusetts.