It is “Put Up or Shut Up” Time for the Rays

 

And so it begins.

The Texas Rangers are the first team that has been mathematically eliminated from any chance at a 2014 post season berth.

From this point on that number will grow constantly until the final 10 spots are secure and the celebration champagne flows around the league.

1378648_10151724900023429_1227590394_nSure I want to see the Tampa Bay Rays in that hunt until the end, and possibly get a chance to fight again even if it is Game 163 to claim that glistening trophy. If this team needs any visual reminder of how they are respected around baseball……just play the video above.

It sucks that once again the Rays are not included in clips showing spectacular game ending plays, walk-off heroics or even a hint of pitching brilliance. That video in itself would make me work a bit harder, grind a bit longer and produce a bay of salty sweat to grip another post season chance.

Sure time is passing quickly for any rise of the Rays to get within single digits of even a chance at an American League East title. But maybe, just maybe if this team can duplicate their recent road magical essence at home, they could easily erase a few competitors, start a righteous climb up the Wild Card ladder and grasp a chance of baseball in October.

mlb-tampa-bay-rays-minnesota-twinsI am one of those fans who believes until the door is shut. That Destiny, Hope and even her twin Faith can embrace this Rays squad and help them on their journey.

This Rays home stand will decide if they travel upward or slide down further out of any contention.

. To add a little bit of spice and additional drama to the mix is the pure fact the Rays play 22 of these final 28 game against their A L East rivals.

That’s right, the Rays only have 2 sets of 3-game series against the Chicago White Sox (@ home) and the Cleveland Indians (in C-town) outside the confines of the A L East.

The Rays have will play Baltimore Orioles only 3 more time ( 3-Home) this season, the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees  each 6 more times ( 3-Home, 3-Away) this season.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay RaysBut there is a bright and shining light as the Rays will get the chance to face the current cellar dwelling Boston Red Sox 7 times (4-Home, 3-Away) before the season wraps up.    

It is no longer about playing .500 ball over the rest of the season.

During their current AL East only home stand, the Rays might have to win 7-8 of these contests to make their future  a bit brighter before they head on a 6-game New York, Toronto road trip.

Now is the time to win at all costs, it is truly time for this Rays squad to fully articulate and embrace that this home stand is the true essence of a proverbial “Put up or shut up” moment.

mlb_a_postseasonsign_576With only 28 games left in the 2014 schedule the Rays have to intensify their game and win at least 18-20 of these contests at a minimum to be within the last cloud of dust for a post season slot.

Now is the time for the Rays to truly leave it all on the field.

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