Chicago White Sox logoChicago White Sox

Tampa who? St. where? Thats right its the Rays. Go Rays!

wayne chamberlainContributor IOctober 2, 2008

Why are the Tampabay Rays in the playoffs?

St. Petersburg, FL

     Evan Longoria, not because he belted in two home runs today but because he is an image of the team itself. The new guy, the rookie that takes on the AL East and now the division. These players are not the ones who are playing for the big paychecks, they are the ones who are playing because they love baseball.

     Earlier this year I drove Evan home from a club downtown, while his hand was broken, and he signed an autograph for my son. He signed it "E Longoria is your biggest fan, Livin the dream". This sums up this year, humility and a group of people livin the dream, the fans, the players and a city which hasn't had much to look forward to.

     Many times I have heard people say that the Rays don't have great hitters or pitchers, that may be true but they have great heart and pitchers for all the right times and I will leave you with my example:

Shields is pitching in the seventh inning today and ends up hitting a batter to leave the bases loaded and only one out. Joe Maddon pulls Shields and puts in Grant Balfour. Grant Balfour strikes out Juan Uribe and then faces  Orlando Cabrera, who seems to try and taunt Grant Balfour kicking up dirt and talking trash.

It Doesn't work he gets struck out also. 

Balfour was the right pitcher for this moment. Three runners left on base that could have changed the game.

I hope we see more of these great decisions for the playoffs.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices