The Tampa Rays are a baseball team that is only interested in winning baseball games. They could care less about individual records and do not need a face for the franchise. and every one of them cares as much about each other as they do about themselves.
And when Mike Brosseau stepped to the plate against Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the 8th inning I am sure their minds drifted to the intentional attempted beaning he was subjected to earlier in the season at Yankee Stadium and the fact is during that series he responded the very next day with 2 home runs off the Yankees.
And during this at-bat you can see he was getting closer and closer to timing the fastball of the most overrated closer in the sport. And as the ball sailed over the fence, Chapman became the first hurler in major league history to give up game winning season ending homers in back to back seasons. And that is not even counting the game tying homer he gave up in Game 7 of The World Series as a Cub that almost crushed the dreams of another team.
At the start of this season, all we heard from baseball experts was that a Yankee/Dodger World Series was inevitable because the Yankee roster was so deep. And entering this series, we all heard how the Yankees injuries were the cause of the Rays regular season domination.
My take on all of that is with a Yankee payroll that is so much higher than the Rays why did they have better depth in both the bullpen and bench than the Yankees? Why would the Yankees need to try to circumvent Game 2 with a faulty pitching strategy?
The answer is simple–The Rays despite their low payroll spend money wisely and look everywhere for talent. What is the payroll difference? Well I will just say this–the combination of Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole make more than the entire Rays roster.
Add in the fact that Kevin Cash has buy-in from EVERY player while when you listened in Jay Happ after Game 2 you quickly realize that is not the case in the Yankee clubhouse.
A magical night for the Rays last night which they totally earned. It would be like a poker player sitting at the table with far less money than all the other players and walking away with all of the money.
Meanwhile the Yankees have now gone 11 straight years without getting to a World Series let alone win one. And they have a bunch of off-season decisions to make with Masahiro Tanaka, DJ LeMahieu and James Paxton all entering free agency which could only lift the Yankee payroll.
I am sure that entered the minds of the Yankee brain trust as the Rays were celebrating yet another win over The Bronx Bombers.