100-win Rays come up short again, which is where this is all heading

In the bottom of the ninth, the Rays were beaten 6-5 by the Red Sox. This was another walkoff, and the end of a series that usually sees 1,000 ships with annoying narratives. This series revealed the Rays' ruthless approach to managing their team, which was essentially based on their positionless pitching staff. It is difficult to label a team that wins 100 games as a failure just because it loses two coin flips in Game 3 and 4, which could easily have been either way. It doesn't mean anything. It ignores the fact Boston's GM is a former Tampa exec.


The scariest outcome of this is not the Rays methods being discovered but the Red Soxs being confirmed. It is the same ownership that traded Mookie Betts. To win 93 games, it had to be at its maximum in each department. 93 wins is rare, if ever, to win the division. It didn't win this year. Given the current state of the division, it is likely that it won't win next year. Fenway Sports Group could sell tickets again, to make up any losses from last year's season. However, they didn't make much of a splash in signing the previous two years.

However, 93 wins are likely to get you into Wild Card Game. All it takes is a few bounces and one or more surprising performances and you have an ALCS trip. It looks like a hugely successful season. Because it is easier to see and cheaper, the Red Sox will likely continue to aim for 90-93 wins. This certainly does not match their resources.

However, Sox fans will not care about it tonight or for the majority of winter. They don't really need to. This is what all owners want and why they will push for expanded playoffs in new CBA. It can.

It is possible to put in the effort and money to win 100-105 matches, but it can all go wrong. With their 106 wins, the Dodgers are at the brink of collapse. All it took was Brandon Crawford to channel Spud Webbs hops in one play.

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The ninth was a windy, unnatural breeze that kept Gavin Luxs from ever reaching the warning track.


You thought that the Red Sox were bad on principle.