Rays clinch playoff berth
UPDATE, 10:19: The celebration went from the field to the clubhouse then back to the field and back to the clubhouse, with the usual dousing of champagne and beer, as well as some cigars and dancing.
"Now we can put this behind us and put the other goal clearly in our sights that’s to win the division, best record and move on from there,'' manager Joe Maddon said.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are back in the playoffs.
Rafael Soriano got the final out to seal Tuesday's 5-0 win, and the Rays guaranteed their trip to the postseason for the second time in franchise history, with a roaring crowd of 17,891 at Tropicana Field chanting Let's Go Rays!
The Rays pulled out their jerseys and pulled on special light blue T-shirts (with BRayser plaid) and caps, celebrating first in a bouncing circle on the mound, then heading into the clubhouse.
The Rays don’t yet who they’ll play when the best-of-five division series begin on Oct. 6 – and won’t until the AL East race with the Yankees is decided.
The division champ is most likely to face Texas, and have homefield advantage, while the wild-card appears headed to Minnesota to open against the Twins.
“Both are really good teams,’’ manager Joe Maddon said. “They present different looks at you.’’
And, naturally, he said he has no preference – aside from the fact that facing the Rangers would mean they won the division.
“Honestly I don’t,’’ he said. “All that stuff is so arbitrary, it’s just a flip of the coin. Who ever playing better during that time period is going to win.’’