ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Rays and the rest of Major League Baseball made it through a full season and through the first round of playoffs.
It didn't look all that promising when the Marlins had 17 positive COVID-19 tests during the first week of the season. Tampa Bay outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said it feels good to be able to reach this point of the 2020 season.
"To be where we are right now… it’s great," Kiermaier said, before Friday's workout. "I know a lot of our guys really took the protocols and everything they asked us, guys took that very seriously. We knew everything we did on and off the field had an effect to the people around us."
There's no better way to compete in a playoff series than when it's against the rival Yankees. Those two teams will square off in a bubble-style, best-of-five American League Division Series in San Diego.
"They don’t like us. We don’t like them. It’s going to continue to stay that way," Kiermaier said. "I know that each team is going try and put it to the opposition."
There have been a handful of verbal jabs thrown between the two teams this season, and there was a pitch thrown over the head of Rays batter Mike Brosseau during their last series.
But Rays manager Kevin Cash is confident his team will be focused on winning a playoff series once they take the field.
"I think our players have shown time and time again that they handle whatever outside factors are present. They handle their business on the field really, really well," Cash said, before the team's final workout. "Our focus is going to go to win a series. Find a way to win a series against a very good team."
Game one is on Wednesday at Petco Park.