The 2008 Tampa Bay Rays shocked the world when, after finishing nine finishes in their previous 10 seasons – the first in the franchise’s existence – they won the American League pennant.
The Rays’ payroll was a hair’s breadth under $44 million that year, the second-lowest in baseball, and they were one of the youngest teams in the league.
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For most of the roster, this was their first playoff appearance.
A member of that team, Jonny Gomes, admitted the AL East celebration had gotten a little too rowdy and, in fact, almost deadly.
“We don’t even know how to celebrate, this team,” Gomes said on the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast. “Go back and look at the list. You talk about young and stupid and you don’t even know what’s going on. Sprinkle in a Carlos Peña, Cliff Floyd, Eric Hinske, who, you know, were babysitters.
“We stalled in Detroit, and we’re going to get through this. We’re just going out, tornadoing the place, and I thought it would be a good idea to pull the fire extinguisher out of the wall and blow it up. guys in the shower. with the fire extinguisher. Think about it for a second. It’s like confetti. We’re just throwing fire extinguishers. Sounds like a great idea. Everyone’s gonna be powdered and stuff. So, I take it in the shower, and I blow it up in the shower. Well, that wasn’t a very good idea.
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“So it turns out my firefighters over there, they’re gonna be like, ‘Duh.’ This powder or whatever, it’s sucking oxygen out of the air to put out the fire So I literally almost killed the team Everyone came running out of the shower, and they were waving their arms , and I was just blasting them, going, “Yeah, I know! It’s too cool, right? Fire extinguisher joke!” and then I thought we were going to need CPR on a few guys.”
Those Rays lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games — host Rob Bradford joked they lost the World Series because they were “half dead” because of Gomes’ actions.
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Gomes won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 – he was traded to the Kansas City Royals in time for their title shot in 2015, but he didn’t play for them in the playoffs.