As for you, city of Tampa Bay, you do not get off that easy. For ten long years you have suffered...give me a break! Suffering is not ten years of occasionally taking your family to the game in the summer to watch the Rays only because they are playing only the Red Sox or the Yankees. Suffering is watching Bill Buckner and Aaron Boone ruin your childhood dreams crumble before you. Suffering is waiting twenty years and counting for a World Series, like Dodgers fans. (Of course, I mean the ones that don't go to the game for just the third through seventh innings. That is a completely different blog.) Suffering is being a Padres fan, who have never won the World Series. Suffering is being a Pirates fan, because, well, they aren't very good. And the ultimate suffering in baseball belongs to the Chicago Cubs, whose story was mentioned in an earlier blog.
No, no, Tampa Bay, you can't call yourselves suffering fans. Sure, the franchise has been one of the worst teams over the last ten years. Maybe you didn't have reason to cheer, but this team was good all year. Instead, you wait until September to go to the games. The Rays (formerly the Devil Rays) averaged what must of been around 15,000 fans a game until mid-September. All of you front runners waited until the playoff spot was almost clinched to start showing up. Remember the Tampa Bay Lightning? I'm sure some of you do. You started going to their games when they won the Stanley Cup. Where are you now? Nowhere to be seen. Maybe hockey doesn't belong in Tampa Bay, but that's beside the point. If you call yourself a fan, you stick with the team for the good and bad, no matter how the bad may get.
Half of you probably couldn't have even named five players before this season began. You probably wondered what Eva Longoria was doing playing on a baseball team. That being the case, please do me a favor. Go back to your shuffleboard, your Tampa Bay Buccaneers, your semi-annual trips to Orlando to see Disney World, and your retirement homes. Nobody needs to see you prancing around just because your "team" won something. Because God knows, three fourths of you will be back to not watching baseball again next spring, even if this team returns the majority of it's players. You don't deserve a championship, even if the team does.
Feels better to get that off my chest. It's been brewing for a few weeks and tipped over last night. Sometimes, I can't control this anger. Especially since last night I wanted to watch Jonathan Papelbon do his Irish Jig and then go jump into the tank of sting rays behind the outfield wall at Tropicana field. Oh well, maybe next year.