This the first time in seven years the Tampa Bay Rays (77-85) have finished with a losing record. We haven’t seen this type of baseball since the 2007 Devil Rays season. From 2008 to 2013 the Rays have showed what a team with a limited payroll can do . It was quite an impressive six year run but it is now over. The Rays spent the most money in franchise history this last offseason and it came to an ugly end in 2014. This season had so much promise with all the big signings but in the end it was the same problem which was the lack of offense. The Rays need to put more runs on the scoreboard and it is as simple as that. The David Price trade did not ruin the season because the pitching was not the problem this year. It was the inconsistent bats in the lineup. The Rays finished almost last in runs scored this season as they scored the least amount of total runs in their franchise history. The Rays bats also left the most runners on base in the league in 2014. The Rays lineup was at the bottom end of home runs, RBI’s and stolen bases as well. This obviously was not a good formula for success. The pitching staff though looks promising as they just fell short of having the most strikeouts in the MLB in 2014. The Rays did learn a lot about some great young pitchers that this team can be excited for next season.
The Rays will definitely make some moves in the offseason to decrease the payroll. The Rays need a bat though. Wil Myers has even said he did not prepare as much last spring as he did the year before. He was a big letdown this season and nobody can deny that. No fans enjoys a losing team as the Rays finished last in attendance this year once again. The Rays played very poorly at home this season (36-45) which was very unlike the Rays most fans have known from 2008-2013. Even though the Rays played very well on the road the second half of the season it was just not enough to get back in the playoff push as they were eliminated in mid-September. It was a quite an impressive six year run for this low budget team but now it is time to rebound. This year’s expectations just seemed too much for this team to accomplish. Joe Maddon is certainly disappointed but Andrew Friedman will sit down and make the correct decisions and push the right buttons just as he always has in the offseason. There will be budget cuts before next season and some players will hit the road. Ben Zobrist and Joel Peralta have options but should be easy decisions for the Rays. Some other Rays’ players that may be gone could be Grant Balfour, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Joyce, David DeJesus and even Desmond Jennings. There have been trade rumors surrounding all these players before next April. Evan Longoria played in all 162 games this year as he led the team with 22 homers and 91 runs knocked in. The Rays only had four other players in double digit home runs this season.
The Rays finished the season with the Cleveland Indians as they lost the final series of the season on Sunday with 7-2 loss. The Rays managed to only win three of the last ten games as the season ended. The Rays did come away with a winning record on the road this year (41-40). Tampa Bay dropped the last three series of the season against the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. It is disappointing to say Rays’ fans will not be enjoying any baseball in October this season.