SAN DIEGO – The three-day growing unrest turned into a night of dinner for the rays of Tampa Bay, who became the new American League champions on Saturday night after finally beating the Houston Astros 2-2 in seven games to advance to the MLB Play World Series.
“The last three days have been very painful,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “We’ve definitely added to our stress levels. They’re a really good team out there. I’d have gotten them in the game or in the game or in.”
There may have been more than 2,000,000 aeronautical miles between the house of rays in the area of Petco Park and Tropic, where the game would have taken place under normal circumstances, but the way they participated in the game, despite not playing, did little to reduce it. A game against fans all season.
“I feel bad that the fans couldn’t come to the parks,” said Champley Morton, a Tampa Bay starter who also won Game 7. “Our families couldn’t see us until we were in quarantine. My mom flew from New Jersey, but I can only see her from 15 feet away. But there’s a silver lining to this side, get to the postseason and it’s not the same. But I dig. Looked at and I know the guys we’re playing; they care, and they want to win.
“Probably more this year than any other, this year the motivation is for each other. You follow protocols; you are socially separated from the family at home. Their children can’t embrace them. This has turned out to be a result of humanity and empathy.” Levels you wouldn’t see in a normal season. “
The atmosphere would probably be similar to a travel team game at 8 a.m., with no empty stands and little outside leave. But the intensity on the field during the games was key to the quality of the league. The celebrations on the field were a bit awkward, with players looking vague about what they should do as they accept the AL Championship Trophy.
“It’s been very, very intense,” Cash said. “I can’t sit here and say that if we were at Trope, our house, or Yankee Stadium or Minute Maid, they wouldn’t be so intense in those bubble parks. But the intensity of what our players show and what the cons are. Just made stressful [sleep last night]. I don’t know if I went to sleep or not. Many worries. We’ve all seen ‘Four Days in October’. I don’t want to see it again. “
Ray, who holds the best record in the American League, will end his 16-day stay in San Diego on Sunday and travel to Arlington, Texas on Sunday to attend the franchise’s second World Series. It hardly matters that only a few hundred people, mostly family and journalists, security guards and the strange, stadium DJ, witnessed in person what really happened in Petco Park in the last two weeks.
The 2020 American League Pennant will weigh as much as any previous championship flag, even if it comes in the epidemic short-term 60-game regular season. Someone will be crowned AL Champs this season, and even if it takes them four more tense days after taking the -0-0 series command, the Rio were eager to replace some winning cigars. In a seven-day marathon to keep the Astros away.
Tampa Bay played an unprecedented 12 postseason games in just 13 days: five games in five days against the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series, one day off and then seven against Houston. At the same time, Ray shared the same hotel with the Yankees and then a five-story resort in Astros, nearby Carlsbad where one club occupied two floors, the other two separate floors and one floor buffer.
“This wasn’t easy,” said Tampa Bay Catcher Mike Zunino. “We played five straight days in this [division series], Seven straight days [championship series]. These individuals responded. “
The Rays players were quarantined during the final weekend of a regular season at a hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, sharing that space with the Philadelphia Phillies and then the Toronto Blue Jazz during the wild-card round before reaching San. Diego.
Some Rays players chose to join different wives and children. However, parents were not allowed to do so, shouting and screaming at their sons about 20 feet away after the games.
Tampa Bay reliever Shane McLennan made his big league debut against the Yankees during the ALDS and gave Kyle Higashioka a full countdown move, which he handled for the second time. After that, McClanahan could only talk to his parents on the phone. He said his father first told him, “So, walk 3-2, huh?” He said he replied, “Yeah, nice to talk to Dad even with you.”
2020 is such a big league life.
Another big difference that these players are already accustomed to: no wild, champagne-filled clubhouse celebrations. This is considered a no-no this season, at least until the World Series. Instead, Ray danced in front of his digs after killing the Yankees. This time, they slipped inside their clubhouse, but it was the usual “animal house” style craze you could see in any year other than 2020. Let’s just say the clubhouse carpet doesn’t need to be deep cleaned. .
“We’ve done a great job of making it as fun as possible,” Zunino said. “There’s a confetti and a silly string. But there’s nothing better than throwing bottles and mixing them in your eyes and burning them.”
Rays playing in the field of the 30-year-old Tropic initially pushed the clubhouse of Pedres ’luxury and spacious home which has been their home for the past two weeks. Upon arriving at his home in October, immediately after being asked about the difference between his home and Petco facilities, he asked rescuer Nick Anderson, “Are you trying to get me in trouble?”
No amount of ready crowded noise can ever mimic the real, 40,000 plus crowd sensation. But none of them value these rays. They are playing under as bright lights as possible, even though some bezel ball fans will have a hard time knowing who they are watching.
“We don’t have a lot of household names that a ton of people know,” said P We outfielder Kevin Kiermeyer. “But we know a lot of good-average players out there that we keep there. We’re just boys who fight, play hard, and we show them on the field and we know how to win games – and that’s for us. It’s all important. “