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Why the Rays are smarter than Yankees and Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MAY 11: A general view after Yandy Diaz #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a 3-run homer off of Nestor Cortes Jr. #67 of the New York Yankees in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on May 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 7-2. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MAY 11: A general view after Yandy Diaz #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a 3-run homer off of Nestor Cortes Jr. #67 of the New York Yankees in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on May 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 7-2. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
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Charlie Morton finished third in the 2019 Cy Young voting. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Charlie Morton finished third in the 2019 Cy Young voting. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Rays have about a quarter of the payrolls of the Red Sox and Yankees, but that didn’t stop them from winning 96 games in the same division. Why are the Rays the smartest team in baseball?

The Yankees were better than the Rays last year. They are the defending AL East Champions and they beat us by seven games. The Yankees have 27 World Series Championships to their name and the Rays have zero.

Since the Rays’ inaugural season in 1998, the Yankees have won four World Series titles.

Many of the game’s greatest players donned the pinstripes of the illustrious Bronx Bombers. Legendary players that played for the Rays were either at the end of their careers or traded away by the penny-pinching franchise.

Since the Rays’ inaugural season in 1998, the Red Sox have won four World Series titles.

If these two division rivals have a combined eight championships over the Rays since 1998, what makes the Rays so smart?

Popularity Contest

We aren’t going to outspend two of the most storied franchises in Major League history. A huge portion of the population in the Tampa area is actually from New York and Boston. In a 2016 poll by the Public Policy Polling group, Florida voters voted the New York Yankees as their favorite baseball team. The results were as follows:

  • New York Yankees – 15%
  • Tampa Bay Rays – 14%
  • Miami Marlins – 14%
  • Atlanta Braves – 11%
  • Boston Red Sox – 9%
  • Chicago Cubs – 4%
  • New York Mets – 4%
  • Philadelphia Phillies – 2%

Hopefully these numbers are trending in the Rays’ direction coming off consecutive 90+ win seasons. It is frustrating to see 24% of the state is rooting for our division rivals.

If you are a Yankees or Red Sox fan living in the Tampa area, you need to find room in your heart for the smartest team in baseball. Move to the next slide for more information.

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