The Rays, through a barrage of injuries, somehow came away with the 2020 AL East crown. They’ll likely finish the top seed in the American League, with the best record, despite missing key players and potentially relying on prospects who haven’t made the majors yet. This fascinating season is the Rays sixth trip to the postseason in club history and third AL East crown. This is their first since 2010. Let’s look at the landscape of the world in 2010.
The Rays starting lineup featured the highlight of their past. Third baseman Evan Longoria was in his final year as an All-Star and only a third year Big Leaguer. Carl Crawford was in his final year with the club. Their starting shortstop was Jason Bartlett and their catcher was John Jaso. Generational closer Wade Davis was still starting ballgames, while players such as Hank Blalock, Brad Hawpe and current Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli saw playing time. James Shields and Matt Garza were the team’s #1 and #2 starting pitchers.
2010 was an extremely different time for Major League Baseball. It was the year that recently retired Alex Gordon gave up third base at Kauffman. Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals was also primarily a third baseman. It was the first of three Giant even year championship squads. Current Mariners General Manager Jerry DiPoto was hired as the GM of the Diamondbacks. Alex Anthopoulos is the current Braves president, and he just taken the Blue Jays GM job. Andruw Jones, as a member of the Chicago White Sox, hit his 400th career homerun. It was the season that Armando Galaragga had the imperfect perfect game.
It was the year Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds in his first career postseason start. Halladay has posthumously inducted into Cooperstown. Rookie of the Year was Buster Posey. King Felix won the Cy Young. Joey Votto was National League MVP. A Ken Macha led Brewers club had players such as Jeff Suppan, Casey McGeehee, Rickie Weeks and Mike McLendon.
In 2010, the landscape of sports were vastly different, especially in Tampa. This year’s NHL finals feature a Lightning core of Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Brayden Point, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Ondrej Palat, Victor Hedman and Yanni Gourde. Their captain is Steven Stamkos. The 2010-11 season for the Bolts were captained by Vincent LeCavalier, and outside of Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, there’s no ties to the club. The team, which finished in the Conference Finals in 7 against Boston, saw big seasons from Simon Gagne, Ryan Malone, Teddy Purcell and Dominic Moore. It was the year Sean Bergenheim destroyed the hopes of the Steel City.
The Bucs starting quarterback wasn’t Tom Brady, but Josh Freeman. Kellen Winslow was the team’s starting tight end, the runningback duties for Raheem Morris were split between Cadillac Williams and LeGarrette Blount.
The New Orlean Saints won the 2010 Super Bowl with Bountygate after head coach Sean Payton put a bounty to injure other players. Shawn Michaels competed at his final WrestleMania, a retirement match against the Undertaker. Edge made his return winning the 2010 Royal Rumble and still had three World Heavyweight Championship reigns before the neck injury forced him into premature retirement. Shane Carwin defeated Frank Mir at UFC 111 to become UFC Heavyweight Champion. The United States won nine gold medals in the Winter Olympics.
Music in 2010
In 2010, Corey Taylor and Stone Sour released Audio Secrecy, headlined by hit single “Say You’ll Haunt Me.” The day after Audio Secrecy hit stores, Linkin Park’s A Thousand Son’s hit stores. It was the year Eminem and Rihanna loved the way we lied while Taylor Swift went Back to December. Clay Walker released “She Won’t Be Lonely Long,” Katy Perry released “California Gurls” and Avenged Sevenfold released “Nightmare.”
Movies in 2010
In 2010, Studio Ghibli’s big movie was “The Secret World of Arietty.” In 2010, film saw the first installment of Stallone’s “Expendables” trilogy opposite Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Steve Austin, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren. The Rock, the current biggest movie star on the planet, was releasing under the radar flicks such as “Faster.” Marvel Cinematic Universe was picking up steam with Iron Man 2. Toy Story 3 was released and Andy gifted Woody, Rex, Jessie, Buzz and the entire gang to Bonnie.
Other Events in 2010
In 2010, Amy Bishop opened fire at the University of Alabama. Barack Obama was in his second year in office and passed the Affordable Care Act. Dawn Brancheau was killed by the killer whale at SeaWorld. The US was still at war with Iraq. In June of 2010, Apple released the iPhone 4.
A lot has certainly changed since the Rays last won the AL East.
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