TMS Team Preview: The 2016 Tampa Bay Devil Rays

March 07, 2016 | Comments (1) | by Governor X

Over the coming weeks, Thunder Matt's Saloon will have previews of all 30 MLB teams. We're starting at the bottom and working our way up based on the current Vegas odds for winning the 2016 World Series.

Today we look at the Tampa Bay Devil Rays...yeah I know they dropped the devil years ago, but what are you gonna do about it?

Did your white trash great aunt in Clearwater die? Give her the gift of eternity.

2015 Finish: 80-82 (4th place in the AL East)

So Long: Boog Powell, Nate Karns, J.P. Arencibia, Daniel Nava, Jake McGee, Asdrubal Cabrera, John Jaso, Grady Sizemore

Welcome: Brad Miller, Logan Morrison, Hank Conger, Steve Pearce, Corey Dickerson

Projected Lineup (via
1. Corey Dickerson OF
2. Steven Souza OF
3. Evan Longoria 3B
4. Logan Morrison DH
5. Logan Forsythe 2B
6. James Loney 1B
7. Kevin Kiermaier OF
8. Tim Beckham SS
9. Hank Conger C

Starting Rotation: Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly, Erasmo Ramirez, Matt Moore
Setup: Enny Romero, Danny Farquhar, Alex Colome, Steve Geltz, Xavier Cedeno
Closer: Brad Boxberger

Rap Lyric That Describes Their 2015 Season or Something: 
"Louboutin shoes, she got too much pride/Her feet are killing her. I call it shoe-icide."
 - Fabulous, You Be Killin Em

Let's be honest, you don't care about this team. I know it, you know it, the American people know it. Instead I have a cautionary tale about canned cochinita pibil (aka puerco pibil). I saw it at the Food4Less (which is the type of discount grocery chain you can find in Tampa) and couldn't help but grab a can. What magic awaits inside?!?!?!

Christ. I no longer fear death. I opened the can and a powerful stink like metallic dog food swept over the kitchen. I immediately regretted my decision, but cheered on by the TMS crew, I pressed on. I scooped it out and heated it up in the pan, the stink filling the house as it cooked. Finally it was ready and I dumped it on a plate.

The serving size on the nutrition label was 1/4 cup, which seems absurd for heavily seasoned shredded pork. One pound sounds more like it. In this case, 1/4 cup was accurate. That's all I could choke down. Imagine if you filled a pot with shredded credit card statements, doused it in as much salt as possible, and warmed it up. There is nothing quite like a lunch that proves there is no god and reminds you that we all die alone. Go Rays!

Like looking into the cold nothingness of a black hole

Reason To Watch: The internets tell me Tampa has "too much" pitching. Well there you go. There is also a reasonable chance your Google search for Evan Longoria will bring up pictures of Eva Longoria.

Reason To Drink: You live in Tampa. Also that problem of too much pitching? Well guess what, I have seen at least three of your starters come up in trade rumors. Hope you like minor leaguers as much as you seem to like strip malls, trailer parks, and oppressive humidity.

The Fans: Approximately 55% illiterate swampbillies, 30% Walmart clerks, 14% strippers, 1% all of the above.

Their Worst Contract: Most of the roster is a bargain, so the obvious choice is their lease at Tropicana Field which will keep them playing in that IKEA warehouse for another decade or so. Matt Moore is pretty terrible too I guess.

Fantasy Standout: Chris Archer? Sure. Why not. He has solid numbers which are likely to improve once he's traded to a real team.

Fantasy Bust: James Loney and/or Evan Longoria, but you really don't expect much out of them anymore do you? I certainly don't.

The Pop Culture Equivalent To This Team Is: Whatever TV show you forgot still exists. Bones is still on I think.

Thou art banished! Be gone from this place!