Trades And Rivalries And Debuts -- Oh My!

 

This was quite the week that was for our Tampa Bay Rays.

Over the course of seven days, we saw…

 

… a no-hitter.

 

… one of the most anticipated, if not the most emotional series played at the Trop since, well, the 2008 ALCS.  The Yankees came, they saw – we conquered. This round, anyway.

 

…the major league debut of Jeremy Hellickson, Boy Wonder.  With a slyness to his pitches, Mr. Hellickson introduced himself to the Big League in a memorable manner, notching a win and throwing a highly entertaining game.

 

What’s not on this list? A lot of trade deadline wheeling and dealing data.

 

As the window on trades for the season closed, the Rays made one move to shore up the bullpen. One move. That’s it. (Hello Chad Qualls!)

Am I disappointed there wasn’t more action? A little. I personally would have liked to have seen an impact bat added to the mix, but the fact that one wasn’t doesn’t fuss me too much.  Although following the rumors (some legit and some simply ridiculous) and the “will they/won’t they” chatter was quite entertaining on deadline day.  While, say, Luke Scott would have been a nice add, color me thankful that we don’t have to deal with Manny Being Manny here in Tampa Bay. Can you imagine?

Am I surprised there wasn’t more action? Not really.

The Rays’ philosophy, as I see it, is to cultivate/promote from within.  And it’s working – tied for the best record in baseball at the moment, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?  There are other schools of thought afoot in this area. Some teams opt to spend cash to not only shore up lineups but to play keep-away from their more serious rivals (ahem.) The Rays opted to stay with what’s working for them – promoting from within.  Need examples? See Johnson, Dan and the aforementioned Mr. Hellickson.

What’s interesting to me is that the teams with those stellar records – the Rays and the Yankees – are the poster dudes for these two very different personnel acquisition philosophies.  There’s a lot more ball to be played before the post-season kicks in and I don’t expect the race for the AL East to be anything but a nail-biter until the end. My loyalties and cheers are very biased, but I’m curious if the mad money the Yanks tossed around will prove to be a wise investment and if the Rays’ “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset holds up.

Like Mom used to say -- we’ll see.

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