The Tampa Bay Rays began their 2012 Spring Training on Monday with the official reporting of pitchers and catchers. As a part of the camp's beginnings, the team's manager, Joe Maddon, and VP of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, spoke with the media in a brief Q&A session.
The Tampa Bay Times shares a little clip of that mini-presser, in which the two architects discuss expectations for the 2012 season:
The Rays enter the season with a strong chance at returning to the playoffs, having finished 3 of the last 4 seasons with one of the top three records in the American League. Moreover, the Rays' 2012 roster promises to feature some of the league's best fielding and pitching, as well as one of the fastest lineups around.
With young starters like Matt Moore, Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson filling out a roster featuring establish stats in James Shields, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria and David Price, it makes sense that the Rays are thinking World Series. Moreover, with a second Wild card now, the AL East seems poised to send its preeminently excellent top three teams to the 2012 playoffs.
Life is good for Rays fans right now.