Even divided, Tampa Bay still could stand.
The Rays were beaten by Detroit for a second day in a row Friday, but still were in position to clinch their first division crown in 11 seasons of existence because the Red Sox — who trail them in the race — also trailed the Yankees 13-4 in a game delayed by rain in the top of the fifth.
So, what to do?
Hang around the clubhouse, wait for the game to resume and watch it on the Internet (because it was not available on TV)?
Two team buses actually gave the players other alternatives. One headed for the team's hotel in nearby Dearborn, the other for the MGM Grand Casino a few blocks away in downtown Detroit.
"What about those of us who are staying behind?" reliever Jason Hammel asked semi-rhetorically.
No matter what, the Rays weren't going to be whole for a potential celebration. They'd have to pop champagne corks in at least three different places. Awkward, to say the least, considering most celebrations happen inside a ballpark with everyone there.
Carlos Pena wasn't going to make either of the 11 p.m. (ET) buses.
"I don't know, I've still got to ice," Pena said with a smile and a shake of his head.
Manager Joe Maddon said he planned on waiting out the Yankees-Red Sox rain delay inside his office at the ballpark. Play resumed a little after 11, with the Yankees leading 13-5 in the sixth.
UPDATE: With the Yankees on the verge of victory, the stray Rays have been called back to Comerica Park for team-together celebration. More to come ...
- the Rays