Friday, September 27, 2013

Next week, I may have to root for the Tampa Rays

I never had use for Tampa. Took the kids to Busch Gardens once. It rained. Tampa was the place where Yankee prospects seemed to vanish in sinkholes, the city that couldn't stand a team being called the "Devil Rays" - you know, because it is a victory for Satan - which set a new record for pathetic-ness, even in Florida. And Tampa always tried to hate the Yankees, probably because the town has so many Yankee fans.

Manager Joe Maddon, in particular, had a stand-your-ground thing about the Yankees. He was a mini-Buck Showalter, because - let's face it: Other AL East teams want to mimic the Redsock marketing model: If you can't sell your team, just promote your hatred for the Yankees. The Rays tried to despise us more than Boston, but - hey - the Redsocks are World Champs of Hate. And when it rained that day at Busch Gardens, well, that sealed it for me: Tampa is no Sarasota.

Last night, the Rays did us right. They stood and cheered. They took off their caps and walked to the field, and they stood with us and they cheered, as Andy and Mariano took final calls. They refused to take the field until Andy emerged for a last bow. It was a classy gesture, and it will surely cost them fans within the lucrative Yankee-hate market. But last night, they gained one fan - at least for the next month.

Why not? Somebody needs to whack Boston. (If the Redsocks fail to win the World Series, theoretically, they cannot shave their bears until October 2014. That's worth seeing.)  We still owe the Tigers for multiple beatings (though their manager did the right thing with Mo in the All-Star Game.) Yes, the Dodgers have Don Mattingly, but - come on - LA is LA. The Pirates haven't hurt me since Mazeroski. I was planning to back them. But if Pittsburgh makes it to the series against Boston - yeesh: I fear they'll get massacred.

I might have to throw in with Tampa.  Last night, they won my juju.

Go Rays.


Mikey said...

I was thinking the same thing. I read that David Price was saying about Mo last night, "That was hands down the coolest"

Billy Martin, former manager, NY Yankees & Oakland Athletics said...

Nah. Go Athletics.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone root for the Texass Ragers? Or even the Tigers, the evilest of evil empires buying out the weakest division in baseball?