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What they're saying about the Rays

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 5, 1999



What are the Rays chances in 99? Join the talk in our Rays forum.


The one thing nearly every preseason magazine agrees on is the Devil Rays will finish last in the American League East. Otherwise, there is general agreement that the pitching is solid and the offense needs lots of help. Here are some excerpts:

Bill Mazeroski’s 1999 Baseball
PREDICTION: 5th AL East.
THE GOOD: “Though limited to a relatively low payroll . . . the Devil Rays should show better results in their second season. At least some of the half-dozen veterans who skidded last year should return to their usual form.”
THE BAD: “Though advancing age is taking its toll on Boggs and McGriff, the Rays gambled that playing at home would rejuvenate both veterans. It didn’t happen.”

Athlon Sports Baseball
PREDICTION: 5th AL East.
THE GOOD: “LaMar was right when he said he would draft, trade for and develop character; this is a hard-working bunch of solid citizens, albeit one with a vanilla disposition.”
THE BAD: “In the affluent AL East, the frugal Rays seem to be stuck in neutral, at least until the team’s farm system matures.”

Street & Smith’s Baseball
PREDICTION: 5th AL East.
THE GOOD: “Devil of a young pitching staff will again provide most of the highlights for Rays.”
THE BAD: “Tampa-St. Petersburg waited nearly two decades to secure a franchise. Hopefully, it won’t take as long for the Devil Rays to gain a personality.”

Sporting News
PREDICTION: 5th AL East.
THE GOOD: “The Rays put an almost NL-style emphasis on pitching, and it helped. Only one other expansion team (the 1962 Houston Colt .45s) had an ERA that was better than the league average. If Jose Canseco jump-starts the offense, the Devil Rays’ pitching is good enough to win more games.”
THE BAD: “His power numbers have decreased steadily the past three seasons, down to a career-low 19 homers last year. At 35 and in the final year of his contract, McGriff must produce to interest suitors for 2000.”

 

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