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Former Rays’ architect Andrew Friedman returns home to Trop

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Now that Andrew Friedman is coming home, will the winning return as well?

That’s the way a lot of people see it, mind you. Friedman was the general manager in charge during most of the Rays’ good days; therefore he enabled them. Right?

Well, it isn’t that simple. Friedman, now in charge of the Los Angeles Dodgers, actually had a lousy season  (77-85) the last time he (and Joe Maddon) were in charge of the Rays. They ran a team that had run aground, and one that would take some major retooling before it would win again.

Friedman has been gone one season and 24 games. But just look at how different the roster looks under Matt Silverman.

The common themes: The hitting is non-existent, and the pitching hasn’t performed up to expectations.

For the Rays, however, Friedman will forever be linked with the good old days for Tampa Bay. The team reached the post-season four times in six seasons, including a trip to the World Series in 2008. Friedman built a reputation for beating rich teams with nickels.There finally seemed to be a blueprint.

It hurt when the Rays began to draft later in the rounds.

Still, it’s easy to suggest that getting rid of Wil Myers hasn’t been the boon that getting rid of Delmon Young turned out to be, or that trading for Brad Miller hasn’t been the same as trading for Ben Zobrist.

Perhaps it will work out yet. Perhaps Silverman will indeed be the next Friedman.

So far, however, he has some work to do.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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