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Tampa Bay Rays 2012 Preview: Evan Longoria, David Price Lead Team That Could Be Franchise's Best

Posted: 04/ 6/2012 12:24 pm Updated: 04/ 6/2012 12:24 pm

Tampa Bay Rays Evan Longoria
Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays takes batting practice prior to a Spring Training Game.

By Martin Burke, Bugs And Cranks

The 2012 Tampa Bay Rays are the most feared team in Rays history. From the constantly stoned look of Jeremy Hellickson to the horrors of Don Zim-bear, this team packs not only an amazing amount of pitching depth, but just enough material to haunt your nightmares for weeks at a time. Forget about the “Hit Show” lineup of the 2000 season that consisted of Vinny Castilla, Jose Canseco, Fred McGriff and Greg Vaughn. Forget about the magic of the worst to first 2008 season. Forget about Quinton McCracken. This Rays team is destined to be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. Move over ’27 Yankees. If the 2012 Rays were a team from “Bases Loaded” they’d be nothing but Pastes and Patsons.

Join me for the highlights of a team you’ll never forget.

Manager, Joe Maddon, "Skipper"
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Joe Maddon is without a doubt the best manager in the Majors. He's a rule book genius, causing MLB to change the rules of baseball thanks to his allowing "Super" Sam Fuld to warm up, buying his reliever a bit more time to get ready. Maddon treats his players like men, allowing them to make decisions on their own, all the while taking shots at the Red Sox. With the Rays having more starting pitching than rotation spots, this is the year that Maddon has the best opportunity to stop managing to the saves rule and simply pitching his best pitcher in the highest leverage situations. Look for everyone to comment on his game changing genius by mid year.

And with that, you have your quick rundown of the most important things you need to know about the Rays for the 2012 season. Now, I have to go give Cristol, Big BGill, and Bay Boy a call to arrange a 2012 remix of their 2008 team anthem.

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