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Where the Rays have failed (it's a short list)

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08:15 AM ET 04.02 | The Rays, a model in efficient roster management, seem to have pulled many of the right levers, winning while saying goodbye four-time All-Star Carl Crawford, a pair of aces in Scott Kazmir and Matt Garza, a team MVP in Jason Bartlett, a closer in Rafael Soriano and a proven clutch hitter in Johnny Damon. The losses would seem staggering. Except the Rays keep winning. ... [But, the] Rays don't do everything well. For an organization built on scouting and player development, they've had a rough stretch in the draft, the only one of the 30 teams without a player to reach the majors from the past five classes. Their Latin American program, while much improved, has yet to produce a big-league player. Their inability to find productive DHs, or better catchers, is perplexing and vexing.

Tampa Bay Times

Scott Kazmir, Getty Images Scott Kazmir, Getty Images
April 2, 2013  09:41 AM ET

It sounds like the minor league well has run dry.

Comment #2 has been removed
April 2, 2013  09:45 AM ET

Perplexed and vexed. Cool sounding words.

April 2, 2013  09:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

But their scouts sure are good at identifying quality pitchers...you do that, you'll always be in contention.

Imagine how much better their pitching staff would be though with an experienced major league catcher to throw to?

April 2, 2013  10:03 AM ET

Being the resident Rays fan, I have to agree with most. I can't understand how the Rays can be so good at evaluating and producing pitchers, but can't come up with a decent catcher!

April 2, 2013  10:10 AM ET

Pretty wild that at the start of a season, when hope springs eternal, this writer decides it's a good time to get out a magnifying glass and look for blemishes.

Over the last five seasons, the Rays have averaged 92 wins, earned two AL East titles, three playoff berths and a trip to the World Series. All of this out of a division that, up until this season, has been considered head and shoulders better than any other in the majors. Also while at an EXTREME financial disadvantage. In those five seasons, they've been outspent by the Yankees and the Red Sox by 258% and 165% respectively.

April 2, 2013  12:23 PM ET

To me, everything starts at World Series Championships. If you haven't been in one or been victorious in one, you have to look at how to improve. It's a natural process.

Comment #8 has been removed
April 2, 2013  12:56 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Imagine how much better their pitching staff would be though with an experienced major league catcher to throw to?

Well, they did have Jose Molina.

April 2, 2013  01:00 PM ET

....it was easier whne noone was doing the same thing....but now everyone is trying to do more with less proven players...so dont expect tampa bay to rise up anytime soon....even the yankees and red sox are trying to get in on it....

April 2, 2013  01:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

but now everyone is trying to do more with less proven players...

Yes. It's vastly different now than it was when everyone was trying to do less with more proven players...

April 2, 2013  01:51 PM ET

Given the fan support (terrible) and local newspaper articles like this (ridiculous), it is apparent that Tampa/St. Pete doesn't deserve a major league baseball team. Houston, Pittsburgh, KC and others would love to have a team like this.

April 2, 2013  01:59 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Yes. It's vastly different now than it was when everyone was trying to do less with more proven players...

....oh, you mean the yanks and red sux models of the last few years....when they overypay for ****, washed up players???.....the rest of baseball continues to have a good laugh....

April 2, 2013  02:02 PM ET

.......the rays front office fails miserably year after year in the most important category of all for continued employment.....turning a healthy profit....yet they are viewed as the best front office over the rangers???.....yeah right...

April 2, 2013  02:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Perplexed and vexed. Cool sounding words.

The world is coming to an end and the writer is looking for a Scape Goat!!!

April 2, 2013  02:59 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

....oh, you mean the yanks and red sux models of the last few years....when they overypay for ****, washed up players???.....the rest of baseball continues to have a good laugh....

I'm not talking about the Red Sox, I'm talking about the Yankees, and their models of the last few years, say five, have gotten them an average of 96 wins (in the best division in baseball), 3 AL East titles, 4 playoff berths, three trips to the ALCS and a World Series championship.

Over that time period, with the exception of the Giants, I'd say the rest of baseball would love that model.

April 2, 2013  03:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

.......the rays front office fails miserably year after year in the most important category of all for continued employment.....turning a healthy profit....yet they are viewed as the best front office over the rangers???.....yeah right...

Well, in fairness, the Rays front office, from an on-field perspective, has accomplished more than the Rangers and has done it with more disadvantages in a more competitive environment.

 
April 2, 2013  03:17 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

.......the rays front office fails miserably year after year in the most important category of all for continued employment.....turning a healthy profit....yet they are viewed as the best front office over the rangers???.....yeah right...

Further, I'd also say that, generally speaking, the term "front office" relates to a franchise's baseball opperations, not the financial aspect.

However, if you base your evaluations of a team's "front office" on "the most important category of all for continued employment.....turning a healthy profit," then you should be using your posts on here to sing the Yankees' front office's praises, as that franchise makes money hand over fist.

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