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 covering sports since his days as a student at Northeastern University covering events such as the Beanpot. In the thirteen years since, he has covered college hockey, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, and the National Hockey League. A native of the Tampa Bay area, Tim has returned home after living much of his life in the northeast, including sixteen years in the Boston area. These days the Managing Editor of Sports Talk Florida can be found on Florida's golf courses when he's not working.