The Rays played a game last night in which a win would have clinched their ticket to playing in October. You would never have known as just over twelve thousand were in attendance to watch a potential clinch game at Tropican Field in Tampa. Carl Crawford, manager Joe Maddon and Cy Young candidate David Price remarked that is was embarrassing that so few people showed up to support the team.
But if you’ve ever seen Tropicana field, it’s understandable why nobody wants to go there to watch a game. The building is metallic heap, and hardly a place anyone would like to spend a night to watch baseball. At the same time, the Rays shouldn’t be surprised that Tampa residents don’t care about baseball. It’s not like the Florida Marlins are a hot ticket either and they have at least won a World Series. People in Florida are either retired and too old to get to the park, they’d rather stay home and gamble online. Oh and perhaps the Rays forgot, it’s football season! You don’t see the Buccaneers complaining.
People in Florida care more about football, and they’d rather stay home and watch the Monday Night Football game than watch the Rays clinch a playoff spot. If the Rays were in New York or California, they’d probably outsell the Mets and the Dodgers, but they still wouldn’t be able to compete with the lowly Raiders.
The Rays should at least take comfort in knowing that gamblers are watching their games all the time and many have them picked to win the AL Championship. And at least when they fail and lose to the Yankees, nobody outside of the team will be disappointed.