Grantland's Pierce: Rays are 'the most fun team in baseball'
"More than a few baseball teams behave as though, sometime in February, a federal court in either Florida or Arizona has sentenced them to play 162 baseball games and to home confinement in America's luxury hotels," Charles P. Pierce writes for Grantland.com, a website on sports and American culture featuring some of the country's top sportswriters. "Since the Soviet Union fell, there are no more miserably unhappy places on earth than unhappy baseball clubhouses."
Not so for the Rays, who Pierce calls a "giddy caravan of goofballs without an apparent care in the world" — a first-place giddy caravan of goofballs, he notes.
"There have been very few teams that have managed to balance the grown-up business of being professional baseball players with the clownish joy of playing a children's game as well as the Rays have. ... In a way, they're a throwback to the very oldest days when road trips went from Philadelphia to St. Louis and back again by train, and Babe Ruth caroused the aisles, taking bites out of straw hats, only to sober up just enough the next day and take some poor Browns pitcher halfway to Jefferson City. On Friday night, for example, the Rays took off the bow ties and the horse-blanket suits and whacked the tar out of Boston left-hander Jon Lester, 7-4, in a game that ended with both benches clearing."
More in the full article — recommended reading — here.