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Rays’ Matt Silverman thinks the Rays can still turn their season around

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Despite the losing streak, despite fifth place, despite the empty seats, Matt Silverman believes.

Furthermore, he believes the Tampa Bay Rays believe, too.

Silverman, speaking before Monday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, conceded that the team’s record hasn’t matched expectations, but he said there was still time to turn things around.

“It’s been a really rough stretch for us,” said Silverman, the president of baseball operations. “It dates back to when we lost (Kevin) Kiermaier. Since then, we’ve had a series of unfortunate events. We’ve had more losing baseball than we’re used to. We’re going to fight our way out of this. But so far, our performance isn’t what we’re used to.

“Our depth has been challenged. We’re pretty dissatisfid, but we stil thing there is time to turn this around.”

Silverman refused to place the blame on manager Kevin Cash (16 games under .500 in his year and a half).

“Up and down the organization, we’re all responsible,” Silverman said. “The players, the coaches, the front office. We’re all looking in the mirror to see what we can do to right the ship.

“There is a lot of fight in this ballclub. A lot of grit. We have the belief. The talent.”

Silverman acknowledged that the Rays made their brand based on starting pitching. That has not measured up so far.

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 garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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