Mr. Know-It-All Extra
By Rich Herrera
With the fire sale by the Marlins last night, Mr. Know-It-All has to add a special edition to this week’s column. What does the Marlins trade mean to the Tampa Bay Rays? It hurts the Rays in multiple ways for the 2013 season and far beyond, and might rock the core of the franchise and it’s future in Tampa Bay.
For the 2013 season there are no more doormats in the best division in baseball. The Blue Jays were the last team to win the AL East other than the Yankees after divisional play started, before the Rays won the title in 2008. Since then the Rays had established themselves on equal footing with the Yankees and Red Sox even knocking down the BoSox a peg or two. But in 2012 Baltimore made its magical run at the Yankees and made the playoffs for the first time in two decades. Baltimore has a smart skipper in Buck Showalter and enough pitching they are not going anywhere. The Red Sox have rid themselves of lots of money owed by dumping their recent mega deals on the Dodgers and have plenty of money to go shopping this off-season to reload and stockpile for the future like a doomsday preparedness fanatic. The Rays have more than enough pitching and are still looking for a bat like a fat kid with no money looks through the window of an ice cream store.
The Blue Jays overnight have remade the team that will go for outhouse to penthouse as quick at anyone in the game. They got All Star Shortstop and two power arms that can match up in a series with anyone including the Rays. They also get back a healthy Jose Buatista north of the border. So now instead of have three studs and two duds in the AL East, we now have FIVE teams that can win the AL East. It was tough enough for the Rays to out pitch the New York and Boston, now you can add Baltimore and Toronto to the list. Rays fans must face the fact that window for the Rays being a contender in the AL East had a shelf life that has just gotten tougher thanks to the Marlins giveaway to the Blue Jays.
And now for something I think you’ll really like…
Mr. Know-It-All knows that the revenue sharing that has helped the Rays and other lower revenue clubs will come into serious scrutiny and I am sorry to say rightfully so. The idea of Rev sharing is to make sure that baseball fans everywhere have a chance to see their team do well if the baseball gods smile upon them and the Yankees and Dodgers shared their largess with everyone else to make sure that everyone got to shop at the same store for players. While rev sharing does not allow Tampa Bay to buy a brand new Land Rover, it does allow the Rays to get a dependable low mileage vehicle that can get you from here to there in order to compete. But if owners like that Marlins stick the rev share in their pockets how long before the New Yorkers say no mas ….
Mr. Know-It-All know that the Marlins fire sale will be felt in the Bay Area when it comes to talk of the Rays getting a new ballpark. People are always against something no matter what it is. They will cry why spend money on a ballpark when we need teachers (which is a bogus argument anyway … call the show and Ill tell you why) they will cry why are we paying for billionaires to help them out. With the Marlins history of paying their top executives huge salaries and crying poor, and the scrutiny of building the new Marlins park, and now the owner stripping the team down, this will surly be an argument against a new Rays stadium and for the life of me right now, there is no way to defend it.