Is the Tampa Bay Rays' emergence good or bad for O's fans?
By Dan Connolly
Oct 16, 2008 | 5:19 PM
We made it to Friday, and we are back in the present.
It was fun driving down the 1983 Memory Lane. This was a nice switch after all the driving I do on Interstate 83.
For all of the great role players on that 1983 team, from Thursday's discussion it looks like the majority of you still went with the superstar as your favorite -- Eddie Murray.
Boy, was he incredible back then. And, yeah, he deserved the league MVP.
Oh well, let's flip to the present.
My arguing point today concerns these impressive Tampa Bay Rays. Because they've never been successful – anyone who has watched them this year knows they aren't a fluke – everyone who doesn't have a dog in this fight is pulling for the Rays.
I am sure that's the way it is around here.
But here's my question: Is the Rays' emergence a good thing or a bad thing for Orioles fans?
In one way, it has to give you hope. We know teams can reverse years of losing and make a run to the World Series. We saw that two years ago with the Detroit Tigers. But it didn't seem like that was possible in the AL East where the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox dominated the top with baseball's highest payrolls this decade.
The Rays showed that those teams can be caught – and passed – with young talent and the right sprinkling of veterans. So, that's good for the Orioles.
But the flip side is that this Rays team is young, good and shouldn't go away anytime soon. Former Ray and current Oriole Aubrey Huff said recently that he thinks these 2008 Rays will be their worst version over the next six years – that's how bright the future in Tampa is.
And you know the Yankees and Red Sox will just reload this offseason. So, conceivably, the AL East will be even tougher and the Orioles climb out of the basement even more daunting.
I am wondering how you look at it, Orioles fans. Is your glove half full or half empty?
Are you glad there is a new team in the mix, and one that proves the "farm system" method works? Or has the Rays' emergence depressed you even further, making you think the Orioles will never again see the top of the AL East standings?