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Thanks For An Incredibly Weird Ride, Rays

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You kind of figured it would end this way. Well, not exactly the way it did, but you knew it would end...strangely. Win or lose, the 2010 Rays were not a team that would go out in any kind of orthodox fashion. This was the team that got no-hit twice, was third in the league in runs scored while having the next-to-worst batting average, that could go out and beat CC Sabathia or Justin Verlander or yes, even Cliff Lee on a given night but were just as likely to get two-hit by the likes of Bruce Chen.

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In a season where the Rays seemed to post almost as many never befores and not sinces than Joe Maddon had lineups, it's not a huge surprise that they became the first team to lose a postgame series by losing all their home games to a team that had never won a postseason series before, is it?

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Of course not. So now there's nothing left to do but say congratulations to the Texas Rangers and wish them the best against the Yankees and beyond (if we had to lose, let it be to the team that wins it all, right?), give sincere thanks to all the people in the Rays organization who made the whole experience possible (because for all our cussing and moaning, at the end of the day, you know we loved it...if we didn't, we wouldn't cuss and moan), say bittersweet good-byes to players we know won't be a part of the ride going forward (Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Rafael Soriano...Joaquin Benoit? Matt Garza? Jason Bartlett?) and count the days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Port Charlotte (Feb. 19, 2011).

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