Talent and pace converge in Tampa

Updated: April 29, 2010, 11:04 AM ET
By Buster Olney

An opposing pitcher drifted over to chat with some of his professional peers on the Rays' roster before a game recently. "I hate playing you guys," he said. "You guys are always running."


We're reaching the end of April this week and the Tampa Bay Rays' run differential already is at a whopping plus-59. It's a staggering pace that they won't maintain, of course, but when you watch their games play out, they look like a team with a plus-59 run differential. Because of Tampa Bay's extraordinary athleticism and depth of talent, they look like they're coming at you in waves.

To read about the style of play that is driving the opposition crazy, a breakdown of Hoffman's hiccups, links and notes from around the league and much more, you must be an ESPN Insider (which costs mere pennies a day).