It was hard not to get excited back in July when Stu Sternberg said he would break the bank on this year's Rays. He was going all in for this special team, willing to make deals in order to give them to best chance to win. The glaring need was another bat in the lineup. But when the fury of the trade deadline calmed, Sternberg had done nothing.
No bat, no wild spending, no blockbuster deal. There was nothing.
The Rays are now a loss away from elimination with the same problem they've had for most of the season - a sputtering offense. Sternberg knew the team wasn't good enough to win as is in July, which is why he vowed to make improvements. So what were we to expect from this team that admittedly wasn't good enough to win in July, when there have been no changes?
The most obvious player that was dangling and waiting to be picked was Manny Ramirez. Whatever people’s opinions are of him, that was almost irrelevant. All they needed him for was half a season. And if he had come in and hit .250, he would have been one of the best hitters on the team. But Sternberg didn’t bite, possibly hoping Ramirez came through waivers, bu
t that’s not the stuff of going all out.
Surely there were others available that the Rays wouldn’t have had to sacrifice their future for.
Oh wait, there was Brad Hawpe, who played in 15 games and was politely shown the door at the end of the regular season.
Though Sternberg said Rays management was going to be a power player for once, what it turned out to be was the same old, same old. And maybe the same old would have been fine. It’s what Rays fans are used to. Go with what you got.But to promise big moves and deliver nothing is bad business. And no one should be surprised the Rays’ inconsistent, sluggish offense remains inconsistent and sluggish. Someone thought to fix it, but never did.