Yesterday, the St. Pete Times had a nice feature on the first-half of the Rays season. Mixed into the breakdown were several mentions of the Rays’ awful luck in 2012.
This is a popular topic of conversation.
-The Rays have had several freak injuries;
-The Rays have only had BJ Upton and Evan Longoria in the lineup together for 10 games;
-The Rays have lost a ton of WAR through DL time;
-Drew Sutton saw significant at-bats;
-Brooks Conrad hit cleanup;
Every Rays fan, regardless of their level of dedication, is well-versed in the Rays’ first-half strategy of staying afloat until reinforcements arrive from the DL. Something struck me as I read through and thought back on all the ‘what-might-have-been’ stories. Luck is part of the game. The Rays are not unique in their bad luck. (In fact, they might not even be the unluckiest team in the AL East).
The irony for Rays Republic (are we still trying to make that stick?) is, we know that luck is at the forefront of success and failure in this game. We spent all winter celebrating what amounts to one of the luckiest breaks of all time: Game 162.
Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Game 162 was all luck. There is nothing the Rays did that made a good Boston team go in the tank in the final month (it’s not like Joe Maddon made a strategic decision to call in take out orders from KFC for the Boston clubhouse). The Rays didn’t even play that well down the stretch. And then, when they had a clear shot to control their own fate, they choked once and nearly choked again but for two big swings on — wait for it — lucky pitches that happened to be grooved.
I am not arguing that we shouldn’t celebrate one of the most exciting moments in recent baseball history. Game 162 was seredipity and should revered. But, isn’t it just a little disingenuous to repaint our building to bask in that moment of luck while simultaneously bemoaning the negative effect luck has had 6 months later? In this game, you have to take the good with the bad. Right?