Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays say little about Yankees' claim that they conceded 2010 AL East title

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays put considerable effort and emotion into winning the 2010 American League East title, battling to the final day of the season then rallying in extra innings to beat out the Yankees by one game.

But Sunday, New York GM Brian Cashman said his team wasn't trying — and that the championship "really meant nothing more than a T-shirt and a hat."

Rays officials, who take great pride in the two division championships they consider the ultimate measure of success, were limited in their response.

"Our focus," team president Matt Silverman said, "is on 2012 and the challenges and opportunities that it will bring."

Cashman, speaking as Yankees camp opened in Tampa, was talking about the potential new playoff format that adds a second wild-card team and puts a considerable premium on winning the division, since the two wild cards would meet first.

He said since that wasn't the case in 2010, his team was more concerned with getting ready for the postseason — and facing the Twins rather than the Rangers, and was willing to give up homefield advantage to do so. (Yankees manager Joe Girardi, for what it's worth, had previously refuted this.)

"We conceded the division two years ago cause of the previous setup," Cashman said. "I'm not taking away from Tampa Bay's Eastern Division title, but we didn't try to win the division. We tried to line up ourselves for the playoffs, and that worked.

"We wound up sweeping Minnesota and going to play the Texas Rangers two years ago because we got our guys healthy and ready to go. Because, the division title, in essence — the way the wild-card situation was sitting, it was rendered meaningless the way the setup was. Whether you're a wild card or division champ, it really meant nothing more than a T-shirt and a hat."

The Rays obviously felt differently, going 12 innings on the final day to win the title outright (though they had the tiebreaker when the Yankees lost earlier), then celebrating it. "It meant a whole lot to us," manager Joe Maddon said then. "Just to validate the whole thing, to get one more win than the other team."

MLB officials have until March 1 to announce if the new format will take effect this season.

BANNER DAYS: The Rays will add a banner marking last year's wild-card berth to the two AL East banners that hang at Tropicana Field. The design has not been finalized, but it is likely to be similar.

TICKET INFO: In advance of Saturday's launch of single-game ticket sales, the Rays are offering an "early access" presale starting at 10 a.m. today via, with tickets available for prices "that start" at $10 above the regular cost. There is also a Friday presale for season-ticket holders and Rays Insider subscribers.

MISCELLANY: Maddon and executive VP Andrew Friedman will hold their spring-opening media session at noon today. … The 30 pitchers and eight catchers on the spring roster are due to check in at the Charlotte Sports Park today in advance of Tuesday's first official workout. … LHP J.P. Howell was the only unexpected no-show at FanFest.

Tampa Bay Rays say little about Yankees' claim that they conceded 2010 AL East title 02/19/12 [Last modified: Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.