Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Marlins and Rays in First Again

Earlier this year (on April 5th to be exact), I wrote a post chronicling the rarity of the Marlins and Rays being in first place at the same time. In that piece, I noted that it had happened only ten times in baseball history, with April 16th, 2004 being the furthest into a season.

Not so anymore. Both April 27th and 28th, 2008 shattered all previously conceived notions. The Marlins currently lead the NL East at 15-10 and the Rays the AL East at 14-11 (riding a dominating 6 game winning streak). As amazing as that sounds, there are intangibles that make it even more improbable. I'll state the reasons for each team:

1. Florida Marlins - Not only were the Marlins predicted last in the division by every analyst, but the Braves, Phillies, and Mets were supposed to be dominant. Could the Marlins conceivably be in first place after 10 games? Certainly. Any team can ride a 6-4 start out of the gate. What about after 25 games? NOBODY would have predicted it. In fact, most people would have been shocked by a third place standing.

2. Tampa Bay Rays - There was a good deal of optimism surrounding the team this year, but not the kind that has them leading the Yankees and Red Sox. They were the lovable losers, who just might squeak the engine that could to third place for the first time. Somewhere along the way, the Rays forgot to listen. They just dismantled the Red Sox for a punishing three-game sweep, and the division has taken notice. This Rays team is a legitimate threat.

How long will these expected bottom-dwellers slurp the cream at the top of the crop? You can't expect too much, but let's relish it while it lasts. After all, it could be for a while.


Bryce Adams said...

This is nothing short of amazing. No way should both teams be looking this good this far into the season. Just think how crazy the interleague games will be if they are both still on top.

ASponge said...

For once, those 6 Marlins-Rays games will be anticipated by the national media, not joked about. That alone would be a step up.