For the better part of a decade, the Tampa Bay Rays have attracted certain buzzwords that stick to them like a sweat-soaked shirt in a Pinellas County summer.
Innovative. Disruptive. Efficient.
Here’s one that should really haunt the American League East Division hierarchy: powerhouse.
Yes, the franchise that brought you Joe Maddon’s managerial zaniness, four-man outfields and the “Opener” has now amassed a roster that, through the season’s first 19 games, performed exactly as the Rays envisioned.
That’s a little scary.
In an industry where most of the proprietary edges have vanished as teams rush headlong into the analytics era, the Rays — off to a 14-5 start entering Friday — have managed to stay ahead of the game and, for the moment, ahead of their big-money