Thanksgiving Weekend is over, but let’s backtrack for one second because there remains a lot that this Rays fan is thankful for.
I’m thankful for the years we had Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman running the team. The Rays won 627 games from 2008-2014, the fourth-highest total of all major league teams. That’s despite playing in one of the smallest markets with one of the lowest payrolls in the game. That’s six years of competitive baseball–even last year, the Rays found a way to be a factor in the playoff hunt once again.
I’m thankful for a hustling, fighting team. The first player I ever saw steal home was B.J. Upton at a Rays game. I saw David Price grow from a kid with a fastball to the best pitcher in the league, and lead the other pitchers by example. I’m thankful that Wil Myers, even when his injuries in 2014 robbed him of his power, always left the batter’s box at a dead run and beat out infield hits.
I’m thankful for the chance to watch Ben Zobrist, a player who can play several positions as well as anyone in the league and always gives his best. I’m thankful that the Rays recognized his unique talents when they extended him back in 2010 and that he will be with the team for at least one more season.
I’m thankful to watch Evan Longoria every day. He still has a chance to be the Rays’ first Hall of Fame player.
I’m thankful for Alex Cobb and his 1.93 ERA over the last 14 starts. I’m thankful for the best young starting staff in baseball.
I’m thankful for our new head of Baseball Operations, Matt Silverman, and for his willingness to clean house where necessary.
I’m thankful for a team that cares about its fans. Tropicana Field has the best customer service of any major league stadium I’ve attended. The Rays are constantly upgrading the fan experience, most recently adding a 360 walk around the field for fans who want to watch the game from the outfield.
I’m grateful for my Joe Maddon Mr. Potato Head doll and my Wil Myers as a rebel pilot bobblehead. Great promotions will keep me coming back to the Rays.
And finally I’m thankful for other Tampa Bay Rays fans who are passionate about the team and follow us at Rays Colored Glasses. We’re looking forward to another great year in 2015.