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Young, Harris recognize Rays' success

Young, Harris recognize Rays' success

ST. PETERSBURG -- Delmon Young and Brendan Harris returned to Tropicana Field on Thursday for the first time since being traded from the Rays to the Twins on Nov. 28, 2007.

In return for Young, Harris and Jason Pridie, Tampa Bay received Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza and Minor League pitching prospect Eduardo Morlan from Minnesota.

Young said he has not been surprised by the Rays' success this season.

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"You guys saw what happened last year," Young told reporters. "[Edwin] Jackson turned it around. [Andy] Sonnanstine started pitching well. The starters were pitching well. ... They've fixed [the mental mistakes] and the bullpen. They're going to win games with their pitching staff. That's how they win games over here. They don't score many runs, but they don't give up many runs. ...

"[The Rays are] having fun, a young team that very much stayed healthy most of the year except for a couple of injuries. Everybody thought they were going to fall after that. I didn't really think they were; they came this far. They're not going to let two little injuries take away from their season. Everybody stepped up and played well."

Harris hasn't been surprised at the Rays' success, either.

"But until it happens, I don't think anybody can say they really saw it coming, but I definitely could see them having a winning record and turning it around significantly more than the record last year," Harris said.

Young smiled when asked if he has followed his old team this season.

"You have no choice -- they're on every ESPN game," Young said. "Every time you turn on the TV, they've got Wednesday night, Sunday night, Monday night, the FOX game, so it's a lot easier to follow them now than before."

Harris has followed the Rays, too.

"Yeah, especially the last month and a half," Harris said. "It's been fun to watch. They're on ESPN once a week, so it's tough not to watch them. So it's been fun watching them and I'm happy for them."

When the Rays' former right fielder was asked if he found it ironic that the Rays now need an everyday right fielder, Young again laughed.

"Because that right-handed-hitting [right fielder they had] got them Garza," Young said. "So I think it worked out well [for both teams].

"It worked out, because now they have five dominant starters to go out there, so any one of them on any day can go out and get you a 'W,' which they've been doing all year. I don't know which way you can rank them, because you can throw any one of them out there and they can all win you a game."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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