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Game 55 Open Thread- Royals (19-35) at Devil Rays (22-29)

The Devil Rays have only existed since 1998, and while its been a magical ten seasons in Tampa, contrary to the perceptions of many, the Devil Rays have not been the worst team in the American League over that span.

That would be the Royals.

Since '98 the Devil Rays have been terrible, no doubt, but they've also displayed an ability to avoid 100 loses per season with some regularity. This despite playing the nuclear powers in the AL East close to 40 games a season. The Devil Yars broke the plane in 2001 (100 Ls), 2002 (106 Ls) and 2006 (edging the Royals for worst record, 101-100). In that same span, 1998-2006, the Royals began with a considerably stronger talent base, yet skirted ahead to an even greater futility, posting four 100 loss seasons, all since 2001.

The Royals 4-3 edge in 100-lossdom can be partly attributed to Devil Ray clutchness. In 2003 the Devil Rays won their final two games against Boston to stick at 99 losses. (In their virgin season the Rays also finished with 99 losses, but lost 8 of 9 after reacing 62 wins to close the campaign.)

Worse still, despite the considerable amount of random noise in the data, the Devil Rays have also owned the Royals in the post-2003 era:

Royals versus Devil Rays Post-2003:

-2004: 3-6
-2005: 3-5
-2006: 1-5

So to recap, in the past three years, the Royals have been dominated by the Orioles and Devil Rays, the dregs of the AL East.

Royals versus the Rays & Orioles Post 2003:

-2004: 6-12
-2005: 5-9
-2006: 2-10

Lest we forget, the Royals were just swept by the Orioles on the year.

Of course, all this negative energy ("you cannot drag this negative energy into the tournament") means absolutely nothing because the Royals have Brian Bannister (0-3, 4.54 ERA) gunning for them tonight. Scott Kazmir (3-2, 3.95 ERA) has nothing on Banny.

One final note, last week Lookout Landing did a little bit of math regarding our Banny:

Brian Bannister, son of ex-Mariner Floyd Bannister, was born on February 28th, 1981. That means he was conceived somewhere around May 28th, 1980 - possibly one day later, as Floyd looked to relax in anticipation of his May 30th start in Cleveland. In that start, he allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings in pushing the Mariners to a rare victory, so between a strong performance on the mound and spawning a Major League-caliber starting pitcher, that might've been the most productive sex of all time.

That being said, the Royals may be intimidated by the Rays new web (and soon to be uniform) color scheme of "blue moon" and their famous fan/advertising prop. Who do the Royals have in this regard?? Some random country singer?