With the Rays epic comeback last night to send them to the playoffs I thought it would be good to look back at where things stood at the All Star Break to see if we could put some perspective on things. Back in July USA Today wrote an article, “Whose bandwagon to jump on in the second half? Pirates or Rays?“. At the time the Pirates were 1 game out of first with a 47-43 record and the Rays were 6 games out with a 49-41 record. That seems like a plausible question, right? Sure, until you take into account that it is the Pirates that you are talking about.
Since the All Star break the Pirates were a train wreck of AJ Burnett proportions. They compiled a 25-49 record (.337 win percentage) and finished 24 games out of first. Their best young prospect, Pedro Alvarez, hit .173 with 2 HR’s and 9 RBI’s after the break and .191 for the entire year. Yep, there’s the future of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Rays, on the other hand, compiled an impressive 42-30 record (.583 win percentage) and won the AL Wildcard despite having the second lowest payroll in all of baseball. Had you made a bet with a friend and taken the Rays in the second half over the Pirates you would have won by 18 games. Thank God hockey is almost here to bring Pittsburgh fans back to life.