Thursday, October 10, 2019

Good-bye, Rays. And Good Riddance.

Yeah, it was a bummer that the Tampa Bay Rays, formerly devils, could not knock off the Astros for our playoff-following pleasure.

It can't be denied:  your New York Yankees would have had an exponentially better chance to beat TB than Houston.

But you can take this to the bank:  it would not have been fun.

The Rays are about the dullest team ever to play the game.  You remember how Mike Hargrove used to be called "the human rain delay"?  Well, the Rays are 25 human rain delays.

Their clever invention of "the opener" has served to make the most important player on the field, the pitcher, virtually anonymous.  Their need to constantly put six, or seven, or nine or ten pitchers out there, even when they don't start with an "opener," has slowed baseball to a crawl, especially in the playoffs.

Beyond their interchangeable pitchers is...an anonymous, interchangeable team of role players, none of whom do anything especially well, and none of whom do anything very badly.  Hurrah.

The worst thing about the Rays is being forced to listen to all the encomia inevitably showered upon them by sportswriters and broadcasters alike—the moral superiority bestowed on them as a team of plucky overachievers.

Lost in all the blather is the fact that, as mentioned in this space a couple days ago, the Rays are only poor because they're run by a pair of former Goldman Sachs partners, who have hit upon a whole new business in which to ceaselessly bilk their customers.

Their fans have essentially been taken hostage, subjected to endless games played by unknown ballplayers in probably the most depressing major-league park ever built.  This is the baseball equivalent of waterboarding, visited upon the paying customers until they crack and approve whatever ridiculous extravaganza of a ballpark/condo village/theme park the brigands who own the team have demanded.

To their infinite credit, the locals have stood firm, simply boycotting most of the season.  Hence, another franchise in what should be the baseball-mad state of Florida is abandoned to corporate greed.

And the overall brand, product, or...what was it again?  oh, yeah:  game of baseball...is once again diminished.

Well, runaway, self-destructive corporate greed is par for the course in baseball, and today's America.    But it rarely comes attached to such tedium.

Rot in hell, 2019 Tampa Bay Rays.  And I mean that in the nicest way possible.









9 comments:

smurfy said...

Horacw, you're sick,man. Take two Yankee uppers, and let's go beat tne Nasty Astro's. Hell, let's keep the same order, with James Big Maple foist in the forest, then Tiger 'gainst former Tiger, followed by Sevy falling the tallest ree in the free agent forest. Don't get lost!

13bit said...

Brilliant post, Hoss, and dead on. Grazie.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

I have been enamored of the Nationals in this series: they have played some of the most edge-of-your-seat emotional games I have ever watched, and their fans are the cat's meow. I have actually shed real tears of happiness and relief at some of their wins.

But I swear - no matter how well-rested I have been (watching games in the wee hours of the morning) - there has not been a single Rays game in which I have not fallen asleep, sometimes for an inning, sometimes for the majority of a game.

Perhaps it's the Blue Screen of Death run by MLB.TV during commercial breaks, of which there were dozens last night, every time a Rays pitcher was sloooooly coaxed to take a walk back to the dugout and another slooooly persuaded to slog out to the mound and slooooly take a few warm-up tosses, face one batter, and then be lured back to the oblivion of the dugout of doom.

I swear there was more time devoted to commercials than to actual play last night. And it was so cool watching Gerrit Cole stay out there, so red-hot (still tossing at 99 mph after 100 pitches) and so cool it was like he was flying on automated pilot.

Ma Boone's revolving door will probably be a major attraction for the NYC fans. I'll probably fall asleep again (the games start at 02:08 a.m. here). Maybe the cheers of victory from the Houston fans will awaken me.

ranger_lp said...

@Hoss Spot On!

@Austria...who wins with the Opener strategy? The corporations with the more commercials they can show within 9 innings. Who wins when a batter steps out of the batter's box or when a ball in the dirt is exchanged? The corporations with more in-stadium advert viewing time over the visual media. And that is on top of every friggin inning on radio being sponsored by some corporate entity. MLB games have be relegated to advert feasts selling all sorts of cars, phones, cell phone service, and beer...for starters...all the things a baseball fan is told that they need to buy.

And MLB is fortunate that they don't have agreements in China presently. That shit-storm with the NBA will lose that league billions...which will have to be made up in more advertising...those NBA uniforms with be full running and shooting adverts for everything...yes I'm having a sad.

ranger_lp said...

@el duque...Sorry I forgot liquor...we all need that too.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And spot on to you, ranger and Austria.

This does indeed smack of corporate skullduggery. The commercials ARE endless. They are also for so few companies, and repeated so often, that even the ones I originally found charming or funny now make me want to retch.

"Capitalism...it fucks things up."

TheWinWarblist said...

"... probably the most depressing major-league park ever built." You're correct about that.
The Kingdome was dreadful, like a prison yard with artificial turf, but at least the superstructure of the roof WASN'T IN PLAY!! Who the fuck thought catwalks should be in fair territory!?

"Oh yeah, just let 'em play the carom off that stuff up there. It'll be exciting baseball!
Like how we played stickball back in Brooklyn when we wuz kids. Yeah, the Ford's in play, but that delivery truck is in foul territory. Anything off a pedestrian is a live ball. Anything off the mailman is a do over."



Fuck MLB for letting that happen. And fuck Hal too.

Anonymous said...

No doubt. Watching a TB game is BORING. But...I could have definitely survived that boredom and watched the Yankees go to the World Series. Game 1 is an absolute must win in my book. The Yankees have never hit Verlander and no one can hit Cole. We've got to end the series in 6 games so we do not have to see him twice. I'm not optimistic.

The only "good" (??) thing is that no one expects the Yankees to beat the Astros. The pressure to beat TB would have been immense. Had they not beaten TB...oh, man.

Brett

Anonymous said...

"It can't be denied: your New York Yankees would have had an exponentially better chance to beat TB than Houston." Actually, I think Tampa would almost certainly beat us in a short series. I think we have a slightly better chance against Houston, believe it or not.