Maddon: Rays could be special this season

Maddon: Rays could be special this season

ST. PETERSBURG -- Now that the Rays are playing well, the inevitable comparisons have begun.

Specifically, does this year's team have a chance to be the best the Rays have put on the field? The question was posed to manager Joe Maddon.

"It's hard ... [in] 2008, it started to flip," Maddon said. "Regarding the team or the moment, I don't know, that was a good ballclub. Also, 2010 was an outstanding team.

"I just think that right now we're starting to play up to our capabilities, what we thought we had in the offseason, going into the offseason, going into the Spring Training. We lost too many games earlier this season where we pretty much had them in tow and gave them up. But now we're locking them down. And we'll see by the end of the season where they rank with the better teams here. But there's been some very special groups, and this one can be also."

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