The ultimate Tampa Bay Rays quiz

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Ryan Murphy

October 19th, 2020

Few teams better exemplify the growing divide between baseball’s haves and have-nots than the Tampa Bay Rays, whose $28 million payroll is nearly four times smaller than those of the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that would put the Rays at a tremendous disadvantage, but Tampa Bay has managed to keep up with the big boys through innovation. It begins with their use of relievers as occasional "openers," which began during the 2018 season, and continues with their habit of playing pitchers at first base to optimize platoon matchups. The Rays just do things differently, and so far, it seems to be working.

Kevin Cash and his band of misfits won 96 games a year ago, and the Rays toppled the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros in the 2020 MLB Playoffs to reach the World Series for just the second time in franchise history.

Making it to the Fall Classic is a remarkable achievement for any club, but especially for the small-market, penny-pinching Rays, who entered the season with distant +2200 odds to win a title.

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