Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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SI likes Rays for World Series
Posted Mar 30, 2010 by Tribune Sports
Updated Mar 30, 2010 at 08:09 PM
The Rays will finish second in the American League East behind the Yankees, earn the wild-card berth and advance to the World Series, where they will lose to the Phillies for the second time in three years.
At least Sports Illustrated thinks so.
This week’s SI is the magazine’s Major League Baseball Preview Issue, and the Rays are projected to win 95 games and finish two games ahead of the Red Sox.
The Rays’ page, by Joe Lemire, features pitcher Jeff Niemann as the player to watch and suggests this development will be a key to the club’s success. Niemann led the Rays in wins (11) and starters’ ERA (3.61) last year and worked with a sports psychologist this offseason.
In an ancillary item on the Rays’ bullpen titled “Modest Proposal,” Lemire says new acquisition Rafael Soriano is a “nominal closer” but the return to a “flexible approach” should help manager Joe Maddon better leverage the “live arms” of J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler.”
Skip Milos wrote the AL East preview and says the Rays have All-Star-caliber players at six positions and one of baseball’s best young rotations.
- Tony Fabrizio