Why is it that with the Yankees and Devil Rays, you always expect something wacky to happen? Or at the very least, we should be expecting a 20-2 Yankees win, but we’re not that surprised when Tampa Bay (with its $38 million payroll less than 20 percent of the Yankee’s $205 million) goes up 10-2, and even less surprised when the Yankees put up 13 in the eighth to win it.
The Devil Rays are totally the Bizarro Yankees.
The Yankees have no prospects in their system to help them as Yankees, or in trades for established stars; the Devil Rays are loaded with prospects in their system, but won’t trade them for established stars and won’t bring them up to help the big club.
The Yankees play in one of the most historic sports sites in the world, a place with lots of charm and character; the Devil Rays play in an antiseptic dome in The Sunshine State, a “ballpark” with all the character of a mausoleum in a city (that would be St. Petersburg) with absolutely no sports history — unless you count shuffleboard, or the baseball game Jack Kerouac invented and no doubt played when he lived his last days there. There’s more history in the Yankee Stadium sprinkler system than in St. Pete.
With the exception of adding the “NY” to the home jerseys, the Yankees haven’t changed their general uniform design in eight decades; the Devil Rays haven’t existed for a decade and have changed their general uniform design about eight times. (OK, five when you count not one, but two alternate jerseys. Seven if you count two spring training tops.)
So I’m going to the Bronx tomorrow to experience this dichotomy in person.