Tampa Bay Rolls into Playoffs, Team Hopes Someone In
Tampa Will Care – (Boston, MA)
The Tampa Bay Rays, winners of two straight elimination games, begin their Division Series today against the Red Sox. Having looked strong in both elimination games, spirits are high in the Tampa clubhouse…for the most part.
“Price looked great in his outing and Cobbster really pitched well in some tough spots,” said shortstop Evan Longoria. “If we can hold off Boston’s offense, I think we can take control of the series. We just wish someone in Tampa cared…”
Tampa, who has ranked last in the league in attendance 9 of the last 13 years, sees crowds two to three times larger on the road. They’ve tried numerous sales campaigns over the years including, ‘Kid’s Night’, ‘Senior’s Night’, ‘Family Night’, ‘Buy one, Get one FREE!’, ‘5-Dollar Footlong and a free ticket’, and ‘We will pay YOU to come’. And though the Rays have made the playoffs three of the past four seasons, the crowds continue to shrink.
“I was all excited when I got called up,” says rookie sensation Will Meyers. “Then when I got here, it was like, shit…send me back.” Meyers is the lead candidate for Rookie of the Year, though he has repeatedly begged to be sent back to AAA.
Apathy is shared by almost everyone on the Tampa roster. “We have such a great team,” says ace David Price. “But you find yourself thinking sometimes, what the point? I have to text message all my friends before the game, put out shouts on facebook, and still no one shows. Gets me pretty low just talking about it.”
The Miami Marlins of the National League have experienced the same problems finishing last in attendance 7 of the last 8 years. “I think it’s Florida,” says Miami skipper Mike Redmond. “I used to love baseball, I mean love it. Now sometimes I fake being sick just to keep away from the ballpark. I stay home watching other team’s games on TV. Florida just sucks for baseball.”
You can’t help but feel sorry for these Florida teams, but you really shouldn’t. You should be angry that they still exist after this many years. The experiment is over Florida. Give it up. You have no attendance so you have no money to invest in the ballpark (which sucks). Sell your joke of a franchise and be done with it.
First pitch is at 3:07 P.M. this afternoon. Good luck Rays.
Photos are courtesy of Tina Marney. You can view the rest of her work here, www.tinamarney.com
The lineup for the 2013 festival
Brett West (MA)
Jonah Tolchin (NJ)
Dan Blakeslee (MA)
Guy Capecelatro III (NH)
Anthony Caligagan (France)
People Skills (NH)
Rick Rude (NH)
Happy Jawbone Family Band (VT)
Fire Tower (NH)
Moonlight Nightgown Squad (NY and NH)
Art by Sam Paolini, Ryan Harrison, and Joel Kutylowski
– along with other fantastical installations by the Pratt family.