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What they're saying about the Rays

Whether human- or computer-generated, projections by and large are optimistic about the Rays' chances to not only improve this season but approach, and even surpass, .500 for the first time in franchise history.

"They have dropped the 'Devil' and changed their uniforms. They also exorcised Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes in a strong attempt to change the clubhouse culture. The franchise has finished out of last place in the AL East only once in 10 years (fourth in 2004), but it should make it twice this summer. There are some legitimately good young players here that should push the Rays toward contention within the next few seasons. No, this is not a misprint."

Scott Miller, sportsline.com

(projected finish: fourth)

"I think Tampa Bay should just be an interesting team. I think they're not going to be a pushover by any means. They're going to battle hard all season long. But I think they're still going to struggle or just get to a .500 record."

Steve Phillips, ESPN

(projected finish: fourth)

"Really, when you have a history like the one the Rays have, any cause for optimism or excitement is to be embraced. But this year's Rays actually have good reason to believe they're not a last-place team. They have more talent on the pitching staff than ever before, along with talented kids coming up through the system at several positions."

Sporting News Baseball 2008

(projected finish: fourth)

"Is it far-fetched to think that the Rays could compete next season? Probably, but only because of the league and the division in which they play. … However, the .500 mark is a very achievable near-term goal, and the Rays only have room to grow thereafter."

Baseball Prospectus

"Surprise AL team: Tampa Bay. (Last year: Cleveland. Dead on.) The Rays won't challenge for a playoff spot, but they could have a winning record if everything breaks right. What would that mean? Evan Longoria is Rookie of the Year and David Price, if his elbow issue is minor, joins (Scott) Kazmir, James Shields and Matt Garza in the rotation in the second half."

Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated (SI picks the Rays to finish fourth at 80-82)

>>FAST FACTS

Computer projections

System Source Rays' W-L Place

PECOTA Baseball Prospectus 88-74 Third

CHONE Sean Smith, blogger 89-73 Third

Diamond Mind Tom Tippett 80-82 Fourth

ZiPS Dan Szymborski, 77-85 Fourth

Baseball Think Factory

Hardball Times David Gassko, Chris Constancio 81-81 Fourth

CAIRO Replacement Level Yankees Weblog 81-81 Fourth

What they're saying about the Rays 03/30/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:06am]

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