Great example of the power of teaming from Ted Keith at Sports Illustrated:
“The quote of the day posted on the Tampa Bay Rays lineup card on their clubhouse door at Yankee Stadium on Sunday may have… spoken to exactly what is ailing the defending American League champions one year after electrifying the baseball world with a stunning run to the World Series. It read: I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to simply depend upon himself.
In the great undertaking that is a 162-game baseball season, it is never enough to rely on one man, or even two or three men, and expect to find success. It is a lesson the Rays learned well last season, when they surged from last place in 2007 to their first-ever postseason appearance despite not having a single player bat .300 or reach base 40 percent of the time, and not having a pitcher win more than 14 games.
It is a suddenly apt message for a team that is threatening to do something never seen in the history of baseball: have four different players lead their league in batting average (Jason Bartlett, .373), home runs (Carlos Pena, 17, tied with Mark Teixeira), RBIs (Evan Longoria, 55, tied with Jason Bay) and stolen bases (Carl Crawford, 34). Yet because the Rays have been forced to depend on that cadre of individual performances, and have not gotten the same balanced effort that carried them to the Fall Classic a year ago, they sit mired at 29-30, in fourth place in the AL East, six games behind the Yankees and five games out of a playoff spot. They no longer resemble the bungling, dysfunctional Rays of their early existence, but they are still a far cry from the powerhouse that flowered a year ago and was a popular pick to return to the postseason this year.”
i am so excited for the Rays. we lived in Tampa for a few years when they were struggling, if you could even call it that. to see the turn around the team has made is tremendous. they are a great lesson in perseverance and team work. thanks.