World News – CA – Is Rays’ World Series strategy the model of the Rockies and other MLB teams?


The Los Angeles Dodgers are Goliath, armed with dear stars like Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw and the second-highest payroll in baseball

The Tampa Bay Rays are David, with a relatively unknown player cast, third lowest payroll and a philosophy rooted in the era of baseball analytics

The Rays, who opened the World Series on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX, may have created a plan other teams can follow, including a mid-size team like the Rockies  » Could ”is the key word here, as the Rays present a unique case and not all teams will choose to adopt

« We’re not a team built with a superstar after a superstar, » said manager Kevin Cash after the Rays beat Houston in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series « We’re a team that maximizes opportunities and tries to get games to help us win games, and we have done really well this year. »

Tampa Bay, with a payroll of $ 28 million (prorated for the 60-game season, according to spotraccom) posted a 40-20 record, the American League’s best The Dodgers, who won their eighth consecutive title in NL West with a best major league record 43-17, had a payroll of $ 1079 million The Rockies spent $ 61 8 million (15th) for a team that produced a 26-34 record

The relatively conventional Rockies, which see themselves as a draft and development organization, have paid big bucks for stars and fan favorites such as third Nolan Arenado and right-back Charlie Blackmon ahead of the 2019 season , Arenado has signed an eight-year, $ 260 million contract, although he may withdraw from the deal after the 2021 season At the start of the 2018 season, Blackmon signed a six-year, $ 108 million contract that includes player options for 2022 and 23

Drawing cards like Arenado and Blackmon, as well as Todd Helton, who spent his entire 17-year career in Colorado, have long been central to the philosophy of the Rockies. And, in terms of attendance, they did it In 2019, the Rockies drew 29 million fans to Coors Field, number six in the majors, despite a record 71-91

Conversely, the Rays, who made the 2019 playoffs with a 96-66 record, drew 2 million fans at gloomy Tropicana Field, ranked 29th among the participants

Yet undeterred by economic realities and its lack of popularity at home, Tampa Bay has found a consistent formula for winning baseball Even Yankees general manager Brian Cashman rocked his hat after the Rays beat the Yankees in five games in the ALDS, saying, « They are a better franchise than we are right now. »The Yankees » $ 109 Prorated payroll, by the way, was the highest of the majors

There are a number of pillars in the Rays plan, the main one being strict adherence to analytics, frequent listing renewal, reliance on trades, and refusal to hand out large contracts. price, regardless of player popularity

The Rays’ confidence in their front-office math whistles was fully visible when they won Game 7 against the Astros Rays ace Charlie Morton, the team’s highest paid player, threw a magnificent two-stroke shutout in the sixth inning He had only thrown 66 shots and appeared to be in control Nonetheless, Cash got out of the canoe with two strikeouts and gave the hook to Morton’s strategy, based on analytics rather than gut instincts and baseball lore, worked flawlessly The backup duo of Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks recorded the last 10 strikeouts, sending the Rays to the World Series for the first time since 2008

All season, the Rays have relied heavily on their enclosure, letting a starter make more than seven innings in the regular season and no more than six in the playoffs

« This is what we are doing », explained Cash « We believe in our process and we will continue to do so »

“Racks are good for parity,” wrote Dan Shaughnessy, Baseball Hall of Fame columnist for the Boston Globe “They’re good for small markets They’re good for truth, justice and the American way But they are bad for baseball…

« Spike Rays are all three of the real outcomes: strikeouts, walks and homers They make sure no pitcher faces a batter more than twice in a boring game »

Maybe, but the Tampa Bay MVP was the analysis service The Rays were one of baseball’s first converts to use the field changes and in 2018 they started using relievers. as « openers » to start matches, which have now become popular Above all, the flexible use of starters and lifters has become the gold mine of the Rays During the regular season, in just 60 games, 12 Rays pitchers made at least one start and 12 recorded at least one save.

Morton, who signed a two-year, $ 30 million contract ahead of the 2019 season, is one of two Rays players with an annual salary of $ 10 million or more this season The other is the $ 10 16million center fielder Kevin Kiermaier The Dodgers, on the other hand, gave Betts a $ 365 million 12-year contract

Although Tampa Bay has the fifth best baseball record since 2008, she was not afraid to trade her stars David Price, Ben Zobrist and Chris Archer are just a few of the players that have been distributed Over the past three years, the Rays have essentially remade their roster Only five of the 43 players who have appeared in the majors for them this season have played for the Big League club in 2017 At the start of the playoffs, half of the players on the Rays’ 28-player roster had been acquired through trade

Other teams have certainly taken note of how far Tampa Bay has come to success It’s no coincidence that the Red Sox (baseball general manager Chaim Bloom) and Astros (general manager James Click) handed the leading their baseball operations departments last winter to former Rays executives

« I love Cash, but I hate any manager using the word ‘process' » he wrote « Come on, Dodgers Come on, Mookie Rays innovative, aspiring and smarter than you will bring us closer to the baseball death « 

But for the Rays and other teams – maybe even the Rockies someday – religious adherence to analysis and the little « Moneyball » might be the road to success

« We are a team of small markets, not the most popular team in the market, » said Kiermaier, the Rays’ longest-serving member. « But if you do all the little things right in a consistent way, big things can happen, and we’ve shown that this year »

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World Series, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers

World News – CA – Is Rays World Series strategy the model for the Rockies and other MLB teams?



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