A Real Downtrodden Tampa Bay Sports Fan

By Dustin Staggers

The last couple weeks have been real tough for me as a diehard fan of Tampa Bay Sports.  In one 2 week span, I saw the chances for a playoff football season, come and go, even before the first game started.  To top it off, our young baseball team, experienced a late season collapse usually reserved for teams that sit at the bottom of every division.

The downfall of this team was easily noticeable to most avid fans before the start of the season, and while I have given the new regime and the front office a lot of credit for the moves they have made, the lack of moves to help the bullpen is quite frustrating.  We currently have a 61% save percentage, which puts us above the Orioles, Blue Jays, Royals, Astros, Indians and Nationals.  Our 22 blown saves is only topped by the Astros, Tigers, Mariners, Dodgers and Nationals.   These kinds of saves numbers will land you inevitably playing golf in October, and that is just what the Rays will be doing.

On a bright note, statistically, other than the weak bullpen, we are a pretty good baseball team.  We rank 5th in the league in runs, 5th in the league in HR, 7th in TB, and 5th in OPS.  The staff, taking out the weak bullpen numbers is pretty solid as well, with a .256 oavg.

The big question remains though, what will this team look like in 2010.  Carl Crawford, BJ Upton and Carlos Pena, key components of the World Series run and young members of our team could all be gone.  If I had to guess, CC will be back, but BJ and Pena will not.  The other question is who will the Rays target to augment the bullpen.  Joe Nelson types are not going to be enough this offseason for a team with such poor bullpen stats.