When I was in Sarasota, Florida, last month visiting my grandmother (who hits the century mark next year!), my sons and I took in a couple of Rays games at the Trop up in St. Pete.
Just from observing how they interacted in batting practice before the game, and then watching their behavior in the dugout, it was obvious there was a good vibe around the team, which has the best home record in the Majors this season at 45-17 and is 73-47 overall.
The Rays played OAK last night, so I was on their website when I came across this article that claims the team's excellent play is the result of "the harmonious meshing of individuals working toward achieving one goal."
Based on quotes from two Rays players in the article, it's a unique situation in Tampa this season and a good example of how getting a team to focus can have big results:
Carl Crawford: "We've just got a group of guys who all have the same goal. Seems like there aren't any egos in this clubhouse, it's just one of those things where we're all together right now. None of this over here, that over there, everybody is just one in this clubhouse. It's just a good feel. Everybody's reaching for that same one goal. It's like everybody seems to have put their personal stuff aside to winning. And that's the big difference with this team this year."
Scott Kazmir: "It's not like we're waiting for one guy to carry us. Everybody has their role. And no one is selfish, no one is greedy, they just do their part. That's what it takes to be a winning team."