On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL East title for the first time since 2010 — and the third time in franchise history — behind an 8-5 victory over the New York Mets. The Rays aren’t done yet though, over the next three games they will attempt to lock up the number one seed in the American League.
Tampa Bay enters the last off-day of the regular season with a record of 37-20, 17 games over .500. They currently maintain the best record in the American League by two games over Minnesota with three games left to play. The Rays have lost just one of the team’s last 15 series.
Due to the pandemic, the Rays celebrated the accomplishment with another round of imaginary champagne, in a room covered in imaginary plastic given the COVID-19 protocols and restrictions.
Rays manager Kevin Cash acknowledged that the team is missing out on one of the best parts of winning, although he acknowledged the tradeoff involved.
I do think we all should recognize that these players are missing out, but we’re missing out like we said for good reason. And being respectful of the situation and not putting any of us at risk. We’re going to the postseason. We definitely don’t want a celebration or anything like that to derail all the accomplishments of the season.— Kevin Cash
The Rays will welcome the Philadelphia Phillies into the Trop for a three-game series (the final set of the 2020 season), starting Friday. More on things later, it’s, well … getting late. Congratulations, guys!