After almost five months of waiting, the Tampa Bay Rays are finally set to open the regular season on Monday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays. Spring training has been going on for a month, but let’s face it–it just isn’t the same as watching games that mean something. With Opening Day finally upon us, here are four reasons why you should be excited that the season is finally ready to get started.
1. Rays baseball is finally back
There is nothing like sitting back and watching a Rays game. The team always finds ways to excite each and every day, and there is no team in baseball that is more fun to watch. Joe Maddon always makes games interesting from start to finish, and a strong Rays’ pitching staff ensures that almost every single game is going to be a competitive one. The past five months have been spent with only soap operas and crime shows to entertain yourself at night. These can fill the void for a while, but it is impossible to replace the joy that comes from watching a Rays game on Sun Sports.
2.Joe Maddon will entertain us even when the Rays aren’t playing
Joe Maddon is one of the quirkiest characters in all of baseball. Whether it is a themed road trip or bringing a penguin into the clubhouse, you never know what to expect out of good ol’ Joe. Being a fan of the Rays not only gives you entertainment when they are on the field, but it comes with the added perk of being entertained when they are off the field. The Rays are a loose team, something that draws players to the team, but also something that gives fans a good laugh with regularity. In 2014, we can once again look forward to Maddon’s goofiness each and every day.
3. Minor League games are starting too
If you are a close follower of prospects like myself, then you are anxious about the start of minor league games this week. Questions about prospects will be answered as the season progresses, and we will receive more clarity about the futures of the Rays’ farmhands. Is Kevin Kiermaier‘s bat for real? Will Nate Karns be everything the Rays think he can be? Will Brandon Martin finally hit enough to be a valuable player? All of these questions and more could be answered this season. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the Rays’ minor league system as they are too set to open the season.
4. 2014 could become the year of the Rays
The Rays have been one of the best teams in baseball since bursting onto the scene in 2008, but they have a chance to be even more in 2014. They had a number of aggressive moves this offseason to bolster an already strong team. Ryan Hanigan was acquired to solidify the catching spot, Logan Forsythe was brought in to solidify the bench, Heath Bell came over to help lock down the bullpen, and Grant Balfour was signed to be a sure option in the 9th inning. Not only that, but the Rays made sure that David DeJesus, Jose Molina, and James Loney did not leave via free agency. Against all odds, David Price was retained despite a quickly rising salary. The Rays won 92 games last year, but they could be an even better team this year. If they stay healthy, they have all it takes to win the World Series.
The moment we have all been waiting for is here–Rays baseball is finally back. After months of long nights without baseball to entertain us, we can finally relax and get our Rays fix. Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day is finally here, and be excited Rays fans because this season could be a special one.