MLB March Report: Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays captured the imagination of America’s baseball fans again last year when they came off a 2010 offseason that saw their best players depart to monied climates in Fenway Park (Carl Crawford), Yankee Stadium (Rafael Soriano) and Wrigley Field (Matt Garza). All they did was hang on the periphery of the race all year and then in an unforgettable September chased down the very Red Sox team that stole Crawford and won the wild-card berth in the greatest regular season comeback in baseball history. As a Boston fan, as sick as the whole experience made me, there was nothing to do but salute a team that has every card in the deck stacked against it, but still manages to keep dealing aces (literally, as we’ll see when we talk about their pitching). TheSportsNotebook previews the 2012 Tampa Bay Rays, with an eye, as usual, towards the ability to get on base, hit for power, starting pitching and relief pitching.