Offensively, no one player, other than Dioner Navarro, had his career-best year. But the team enjoyed timely hitting galore while producing one come-from-behind win after the next. American League Rookie of the Year Evan Longoria gave the team a big offensive boost at third base, but the heroics were shared for the most part. The Rays came from behind 45 times to win games in 2008. Joe Maddon was named AL Manager of the Year for guiding the club to 97 wins and the Series, where the Rays lost to the Phils in five games.
Throughout Spring Training Rays manager Joe Maddon harped on the importance of the Rays getting off to a good start in 2010. And the troops responded with a 17-6 mark in the opening month, establishing the club's best ever record for April. Perhaps most significant was the fact the Rays went 9-1 on the road in April after struggling on the road in 2009. Using a lineup that had great versatility, the Rays were able to start many different lineups hitting in countless batting orders on any given night, which kept everybody fresh and sharp throughout the season. David Price would emerge as one of the top pitchers in baseball in his second full season in the Major Leagues while Carl Crawford experienced his best season. In his third season in the Major Leagues, Evan Longoria made his third All-Star team and drove in 100 runs for the second time in his career. He played in 151 of the first 152 games of the season before missing the final 10 games of the season with a left-quad problem. Despite the Rays fast start, Maddon cautioned all along that deciding the American League East would go down to the end, and the Rays skipper proved to be prophetic as the Rays and Yankees went to the final day of the season and the Rays came out on top, popping the corks on champagne bottles for the second time during the 2010 season.
The Rays advanced to the postseason for the third time in four seasons, making their first trip to the playoffs as the American League Wild Card winner. In doing so, the Ryas became the third Major League team and first AL team to advance to the postseason after starting the season 0-6 and just the second Major League team to advance to the postseason after starting 1-8. The Rays went 90-63 after their 1-8 start, posting the third-best record in the AL behind the Yankees and Tigers, both at 92-61.
Hours later, we (Carl & I) were standing in front of said Porsche Cayenne, unassumingly in the middle of a 20,000 square foot showroom, chocked full of things like Maserati Quattroportes, Mercedes-Benz C Class 6.9 AMGs (a personal favorite), and a bustling staff of non-commissioned sales people, almost unvarying in their hipster style. I swear on a stack of Haynes Manuals that one guy was wearing a floppy, buff-colored cowboy hat, stolen from the third best Jack White impersonator in town. 076b4e4f54