The Baltimore Orioles have struggled with the Tampa Rays for years. But it’s not just the O’s. They’ve been a thorn in the AL East’s side for a long time. However Tampa and their $74 million payroll currently lead the ALCS one game to none.
So why is it that lady luck seems to smile on them in a sense? Why is it that they seem to play so loose…to the point to where their opponents are intimidated and they eventually make mistakes? What is it about them?
I mentioned their payroll above; they remain a young team, always. It seems that every few years they’re selling off assets and getting what appears to be peanuts in return (in the way of prospects). But somehow those peanuts turn into bigger pieces that seemingly will Tampa onto victory.
Look at it this way; the Tampa Rays as an organization are unafraid of failure. They’re willing to accept failure for a period if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing when you trade for prospects. You’re playing not for today, but for five years from now. They’re willing to stink now to be great later.
Those characteristics are tough to find. Contrast that with the Orioles, who waited until well after the 2018 season was past salvaging to make their deals. Had they done that even a month prior, they probably would have gotten more for their players. That’s not to say that they got nothing, but you get my point.
Tampa also has to study game film better than any team out there. They find the smallest things, and if they’re able to expose those things to their advantage, they will. As I’ve said before, if there was a statistic which said this hitter is more likely to record an out if the team in the field is wearing pink leotards, the Tampa Rays would make that happen. They’re a very sharp organization, and they do their homework.
And that’s probably why they’ve made it as far as they did. They leave no stone unturned, well after their opponents have called it a day. They just keep plugging onward. And it’s worked.