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Why Do The Yankees Struggle In Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Rays
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In recent years, the Yankees have really fallen apart in Tampa Bay.  Let’s have a look at the reasons why.    

Tom in Latham, a listener of 104.5 The Team, recently emailed in this question to me:  Just wondering if the Yankee problems in Tampa Bay have anything to do with the Yankee corporate offices being in Tampa?  Good question.  Simple answer.  George Steinbrenner isn’t around anymore, so there isn’t as much pressure on the team to win down in Florida with The Boss breathing down the team’s necks (The Boss spent a lot of time in Florida of course during the season).  So it isn’t that, in my opinion.

There are three key reasons why the Yanks have struggled in Tampa Bay.  One is that the Rays’ pitching is so good.  That old cliche “good pitching beats good hitting” really proves true in this match-up.  New York has trouble with active, young arms who can move the ball all over the strike zone and around the plate.  That is the prototypical Rays pitcher and that is who they scout.  See Alex Cobb and Matt Moore and David Price.

Secondly, the Yankees look old and slow against Tampa Bay.  The Rays’ young kids seem to thrive against New York.  They want to beat the best baseball team in history.  It means something to them.  Tampa Bay always seems to get the late hit or make the diving catch or get the key break against New York in Tampa Bay.

Thirdly, Tropicana Field is a joke of a baseball park, but it works for the Rays, especially against New York, with its quirky dimensions and odd spacing.  A ball goes off the roof or a ball hits the foul pole and stays fair for a home run, all in the Rays’ favor.  Baseball is a game of inches, and the Rays always get miles of home bounces against the Yanks.

New York has lost nine straight series and 13 of the last 16 games against the Rays in Tampa Bay.  And now you know why.

By:  Mike Lindsley, “Mid-Day with Mike,” 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.

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