Even though the Rays were officially eliminated from the postseason last night, they have had a strong showing of late, winning eleven of their last twelve games. at roughly the same point in time, Joe Maddon made batting practice optional and began to allow the players to arrive at the ball park later. At a point in time when most teams would tighten up, Maddon proved once again why he is considered amongst the top managers in the game by having his finger on the pulse of the team and knowing when to back off.
This marks the third consecutive season that the Rays have had their playoff hopes extinguished by the Texas Rangers, including being eliminated from the playoffs by the Rangers in 2010 and 2011. Perhaps this can lead to some sort of cross division rivalry?
Tonight’s game marks the first regular season game for the Rays in which they have been mathematically eliminated from the postseason since 2009, despite actually posting a better record down the stretch this season than they did in 2011.