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Rays' Neander: 2023 playoffs 'probably the most disappointing exit we've had'

Julio Aguilar / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tampa Bay Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander is still processing his team's surprising sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers in the wild-card series.

"It's disappointing," Neander said Monday at his season-ending press conference, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "It's the fifth year in a row we've made it. That was to me - I don't want to speak for these guys - but probably the most disappointing exit we've had.

"That's part raising the expectations and part just the way those two games went down, and as quickly as they went down. That's not going to go away."

The Rays scored just one run and made several crucial errors in the short series. However, Neander believes the club still has a lot to build on after an impressive regular season.

"That's what we've got to figure out - I think it's important to take all the positives and make sure two games doesn't represent anything when we're looking at this club," the 39-year-old executive said. "We've got to keep building upon the positives that are there. You don't win 99 games with all that went wrong without a really strong foundation. We're going to be proud of that."

Tampa Bay finished two games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the most wins in the AL despite long-term injuries to starting pitchers Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs.

The Rays also played without Wander Franco since mid-August after the star shortstop was placed on administrative leave amid an MLB investigation.

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