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The Sweet, Fleeting Taste of Success

Well. That was something, wasn’t it?

So much drama and action for a Sunday afternoon of baseball.

Thanks to a little help – ok, a nice boost – from Boston, the Rays became the AL East champions with a Yankee loss. (PS: Thank you, Jed Lowrie.) For a while there – ok, most of the afternoon – it looked like that boost was going to be the only thing giving us the title. But an offensive jolt and a bit of gritty determination gave the team an extra-innings win, putting the Rays atop the division on their own merit.  Even though the ice in the impromptu champagne chillers was soggy, the celebration was worth the wait.

But that was yesterday. The moments of festivity shared by team and fans at the airport as the conquering heroes returned home are but memories. Business is afoot again.

That was fast, wasn’t it?

With the announcement of the playoff pitching rotations, virtual tongues are wagging about the inclusion of the struggling James Shields as the starter for Game Two of the ALDS. 

Maddon’s a idiot! Go Rays!

Maddon knows what he’s doing! Go Rays!

 Questions abound as well... Who’s going to be on the playoff roster? Will the team be able to handle Cliff Lee (by the way: Lee’s record versus the Rays this season = 0-3) How many times will the TBS announcers bring up the Attendance Issue – and should we start making up the rules for a drinking game to go along with it?

Even the Trop itself is part of the playoff action, with the catwalk rules changed for the postseason.

No matter what is being discussed and speculated upon and debated – the fact that the Rays are the champions of what is arguably the toughest division in baseball is, in a word, fan-freakin’-tastic.

Our team is in the playoffs, ya’ll. For only the second time in its history.

What’s past is past. What’s to come will come.

This is now. October baseball. Being played by the Rays.

Ain’t it sweet.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.