‘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

Tune in on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports GO for the debut of “Inside the Rays: Worst to First,” and be sure to follow @FOXSportsRays on Twitter for exclusive Rays content.

Show Schedule:

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

ABOUT FOX SPORTS FLORIDA / FOX SPORTS SUN

FOX Sports Florida & FOX Sports Sun are the regional television homes of the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. The regional sports networks have been fixtures in the homes of sports fans throughout the Sunshine State for 30 years. Today, the networks combine to produce more than 700 live sporting events and over 300 studio based and original programs year round. FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Sun are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve by engaging our audiences and providing award winning TV and web coverage of Florida’s hometown sports teams. For more information, channel listings and how you can get involved with FOX Sports Florida / FOX Sports Sun, visit www.foxsportsflorida.com.