‘Inside the Rays: Worst to First’ premieres Sept. 4 on FOX Sports Sun
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 2, 2018) – FOX Sports Sun, the statewide television home of the Tampa Bay Rays, will premiere an all-new episode of “Inside the Rays” this coming Tuesday, Sept. 4, upon conclusion of Tampa Bay’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. “Inside the Rays: Worst to First” recaps the historic 2008 season as the team went from losing 96 games in 2007, to winning 97 games in 2008 and becoming American League Champions.
The 2007 season ended with 96 losses in the standings for Tampa Bay; however, the team started to turn things around at the end of that year. With a few key off-season additions, including a trade that netted shortstop Jason Bartlett and pitcher Matt Garza, the team entered 2008 with a new winning attitude. Pitcher Scott Kazmir even predicted that the Rays would make the World Series that season.
The 2008 season started well and the winning became contagious. After a back and forth battle for first place with the Red Sox for much of the first half, the Rays took sole possession of first with a win in the first game following the All-Star break and remained there for the rest of the season. It was also a season of firsts as the Rays would go on to secure the first playoff berth in franchise history, and subsequently, the franchise’s first playoff win and playoff series win, each coming against the Chicago White Sox.
The ALCS pitted the Rays against a familiar AL East Foe, the defending World Series Champion Red Sox. The Rays jumped out to a 3-1 series lead and took a 7-0 lead in Game 5 heading into the 8th inning. Unfortunately, the Rays wound up losing that game in devastating fashion by a score of 8-7. The Rays would also fall in Game 6, setting up a pivotal Game 7. Behind a great effort from Garza, the Rays prevailed in Game 7, a win preserved thanks to a great Aki Iwamura catch to end the game and send Tampa to their first World Series.
A drained Rays team faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series and lost Game 1, but rebounded and captured Game 2 by a 4-2 score thanks in large part to the shut-down pitching of James Shields and David Price. The Rays would fall in all three games in Philadelphia, including a weather-marred Game 5 that brought the Phillies the World Series crown. Nevertheless, it was still a magical 2008 season for the Rays, with an extremely impressive turnaround and a year that set the standard for the Rays franchise to this day.
The episode features interviews with:
Rays Principal Owner Stu Sternberg
Rays President Brian Auld
Rays President Matt Silverman
Rays Special Assistant Tom Foley
Former Rays Executive VP, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman
Former Rays Manager Joe Maddon
Former Rays teammates Scott Kazmir, Jason Bartlett, James Shields, Aki Iwamura, Carl Crawford, Grant Balfour, B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria
PREMIERE: Tue. 9/04 10:30 PM
Wed. 9/05 10:30 PM
Fri. 9/07 10:30 PM
Sat. 9/08 4:30 PM
Sun. 9/09 4:30 PM
Mon. 9/10 6 PM
Tue. 9/11 10:30 PM
Wed. 9/12 4:30 PM
Thu. 9/13 3 PM
Fri. 9/14 10:30 PM
Sun. 9/16 4:30 PM
Mon. 9/17 6:30 PM
Mon. 9/17 11:30 PM
Tue. 9/18 7 PM
Wed. 9/19 12:30 PM
Wed. 9/19 5:30 PM
Thu. 9/20 10:30 PM
Fri. 9/21 6 PM
Sat. 9/22 7:30 PM
Sun. 9/23 4:30 PM
Mon. 9/24 10:30 PM
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