Postseason baseball is back, and with some new faces. The Tampa Bay Rays have made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Not only that, this was the first time that the team ever had a winning record. No expert picked the Rays to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season but they did, and now after beating the White Sox, they are in the ALCS.
After years of having the first pick in the draft the team has more than enough talent to last for years. The big reason for the turn around, though, has to go to Joe Maddon the manager of the team. He has transformed the psyche of the team.
At the beginning of the season he came up with a slogan to help the team go from a losing atmosphere to a winning one. The slogan was 9 = 8. He was saying that if all nine men play hard and do their part they will be one of the eight teams to make the playoffs.
He even made shirts for the whole team. The team bought into the slogan and now they have made the playoffs.
In the National League the Cubs lost to the Dodgers in 3 games and the Brewers lost to the Phillies in 4 games.
This will be an interesting match up. It took a while, but these two teams have finally won a playoff series. This is the first series victory for the Phillies since 1993 and the first playoff series victory for the Dodgers since winning the 1988 World Series.
The “fightin’” Phillies have one of the best lineups in baseball, but the Dodgers have a very solid rotation. I wouldn’t be surprised with either team winning, but I am going to go with the Dodgers. They have much better pitching and having Manny Ramirez in the middle of the lineup makes them very dangerous. Just ask the Cubs about how good Manny is in the postseason.
This has been a crazy baseball season so far. Just talking about Tampa Bay in the postseason seems almost funny, but they made it. The rest of the postseason should be full of exciting moments. So let’s just sit back, relax, and watch some playoff baseball.