Originally written August 29, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
Mlb_rays_vs_7b30
ARLINGTON, Texas-- One has won American League Manager of the Year honors twice over the last four seasons and led his team to its first-ever World Series while the other guided his club to back-to-back American League championships, the first two pennants in franchise history. The parties in question here are Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon and Texas manager Ron Washington. Not only have the Rays and Rangers met in the opening round of the playoffs in both 2010 and 2011, but there are more than a few similarities between these two clubs. For one, neither franchise had experienced much in the way of playoff success until quite recently. Tampa earned its first trip to the postseason in 2008 by virtue of winning the AL East title and advanced all the way to the World Series before falling to Philadelphia in the Fall Classic. The Rays repeated as division champs in 2010 and made their third postseason in their short history last season in truly dramatic fashion, clinching the AL Wild C...
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