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And history has not been kind to teams that suddenly appear on the World Series scene.

A year ago, Tampa Bay became the 32nd team in history to finished below .500 one year, and make it to the World Series the next. Only four of the previous 31 were able to repeat the World Series experience the following season: the Braves in 1992, Dodgers in 1966, Tigers in 1935 and Senators in 1925.

Those 1992 Braves do provide hope. Not only were the Braves 65-97 in 1990, but they had finished last in the NL West three consecutive seasons prior to 1991, and suffered 90-plus losses in five of the six previous seasons before and taking off on a professional record-setting 14 consecutive division titles.

There are only two other teams, prior to the Rays, to go from 90 losses on season to the World Series the next — the Boston Red Sox, who were 72-90 in 1966, and lost to the Cardinals in the 1967 World Series, and the Tigers, who were 71-91 in 2005.

The advent of divisional play has made it easier for a team to make the rapid rebound. Since the divisional setup began in 1969, there have been 14 teams bounce back from a losing season to the World Series, and it has happened seven times in the 14 years of the three-division alignment.

Of the six teams prior to the Rays to have made the rapid climb since 1995, only two have followed their World Series appearances with a winning record — the Tigers went 88-74 in 2007 and the Marlins were 83-79 in 2004 after knocking off the Yankees in the 2003 World Series.

Tracy Ringolsby is a regular contributor to FOXSports.com, and is part of the Rockies broadcast crew for FSN Rocky Mountain. He also has a Web site, insidetherockies.com. In his 34th year covering baseball, Ringolsby was voted the J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the BBWAA in 2005, and honored during the 2006 Hall of Fame induction ceremony.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 29, 2009

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News » History doesn't favor Rays repeat


History doesn't favor Rays repeat


History doesn't favor Rays repeat
Tampa Bay, beware.

As much fun as the Rays and their fans had in 2008, history serves as a warning to be prepared for the challenge that waits in 2009.

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