Tampa Bay Rays: Are They Throwing in the Towel?

Sean HeyboerContributor IAugust 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 27:  Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies cheer and wave towels as starting pitcher Scott Kazmir #19 of the Tampa Bay Rays stands on the mound during game five of the 2008 MLB World Series on October 27, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

What does a team in the thick of a playoff race not do?

Well, they don't give up. 

They don't look ahead to the future, while sacrificing the present.

They don't run anything other than their best lineup out on the field, day in and day out.

They sure as hell don't trade away a strong left-handed pitcher who is arguably the face of the franchise.


So why are the Tampa Bay Rays close to shipping former ace Scott Kazmir to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim In California on the West Coast of the United States in the Northern Hemisphere...of Earth.  And for a couple of prospects?

Never mind the fact that Kazmir is starting to look stronger coming off his injury.  Forget that he went six strong innings a few days ago: striking out ten, walking one, and giving up one earned run.  And, of course, don't worry about the fact that for a long while Carl Crawford and Scott Kazmir were the only reasons to even attend a Rays' game.

What is going on in Andrew Friedman's head?

This team is still right in the hunt for a wild card berth. 

They still have a home and an away series against Boston, and a series against the Rangers as well.

They literally control their own destiny.

Is trading away Scott Kazmir, whom they still control for two more years, a good message to send to your fans?

"Listen, guys, of course we want to win, and of course we're coming off a World Series appearance, but trading for a couple of prospects in late August was just the right decision for us."

Even if Branch Rickey said that to me, I would laugh in his face.

This is ridiculous on all accounts.

I hate to say it, but the Rays may have just thrown in the towel—whether they would like you to believe it or not.