The MLB season concludes in less than two weeks and while most of the playoff spots are set, the Tampa Bay Rays have a small and ever so slight chance of locking up the final AL Wild Card spot.
With the Minnesota Twins loss to the New York Yankees on Monday night, the Tampa Bay Rays are now only five games behind them for the second AL Wild Card spot. However, with 12 games to go, there are currently seven teams competing for the same spot. Out of those teams the only one that the Rays face the rest of the season is the Baltimore Orioles and this happens seven more times.
While the playoffs seem out of reach there is some feel good stories that are occurring the rest of the season. The first one is Tuesday night when longtime Ray’s manager Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field to face his old team for the first time in St. Petersburg. This is a quick two game series on Tuesday and Wednesday with both games starting at 7:10pm.
Maddon is the only manager in Ray’s history to take them to the World Series, which occurred in 2008. Since he left, the Rays and Maddon have gone in completely different directions. The Rays have not had a winning season since his departure, while Maddon on the other hand won the World Series with the Chicago Cubs last season.
More from Rays News
- Tampa Bay Rays give richest contract in franchise history to Wander Franco
- Rays: Just how good was Randy Arozarena’s rookie season?
- Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino stands out despite low batting average
- Tampa Bay Rays’ playoff loss comes despite ‘playing better than they played’
- Rays’ Randy Arozarena turns back the clock with timeless memories
The other feel good story involves Tim Beckham returning to St. Petersburg for the first time since his trade at the trade deadline. Beckham returns to Tropicana Field with the Orioles the last weekend of the regular season for games on September 29, 30 and October 1.
Beckham was the first pick in the 2008 draft and was supposed to be the next Rays All-Star but it never panned out. This season he was having a career year but the crowded infield and multiple errors made it easier for the Rays to trade him. Since he arrived in Baltimore, he has continued to have a hot bat and helped move the Orioles into the playoff race.
At the end of the day, the Rays are still playing meaningful games in September, which has not happened in years, so they are heading in the right direction. If you feel the Rays playoff chances are over you still have reason to watch them the rest of the season to see the ex-Rays players return to The Trop for the first time with their new teams.
Do not give up yet thou because mathematically the Rays still do have a shot to make the playoffs and even a small chance to win the World Series.