Via Ken Rosenthal -
“I see a [Tampa Bay Rays] team deep in pitching, a team with great defense, a team with young, emerging position players, a team that knows how to win,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says.
“On paper, they’re better than they were last year. And last year, obviously, they were the best in the league.”
Finally, there is the question of luck: The Rays last season produced 45 come-from-behind victories and finished 29-18 in one-run games.
“Everything went right for them,” Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi says. “Not to take anything away from them — they’re a force to be reckoned with. They’ve got good management, good young players. But it was a magical year.”
Cashman does not necessarily agree.
“I understand that (argument),” he says. “But at the end of the day, they’re so young, so talented, that even if there was some luck along the way, now it’s a new year.
“They go into this year knowing they’re good. They don’t have to learn how to win now. That’s a huge hurdle they’ve passed mentally. Now they have to deal with being the hunted instead of the hunter. That’s a different mentality, too.
“But no one can dispute their talent. No one can dispute their ability. They match up with anybody in the game. That’s a fact.”
Agreed, the Rays are good. And, the Red Sox are good too.
Further, the Blue Jays are no push-overs either.
If the Orioles can somehow manage to be a .500 team this year, it makes things in the A.L. very interesting.
In a way, the Yankees will almost have to play .650 baseball against all teams not from the A.L. East this season to win 95 games. Can they do it? What do you think?