Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Last night, by losing 4-3 to Seattle, the Tampa Bay Rays were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Good fucking riddance.
I've never like the Tampa Bay franchise. Ever since its inception. It doesn't deserve to exist. Why have an expansion team in a city that already has a massive following loyal to another team? The Yankees have held spring training down there for decades, and built up a sizeable fanbase. So why send some low grade expansion team to try and compete with that?
Then there were the constant beanball wars. Every time the Sox played the Devil Rays, you'd anticipate Ortiz getting hit on the wrists, or Manny buzzed by a near-miss over his head. It was planned, and it was ridiculous.
They were also a financial drain on the League. They'd spend $25 million on payroll, and collect almost that much from MLB. They'd whine and moan about big market teams, but happily absorb the attendance boost when Boston and New York came down to play.
Last year they got good. But instead of being a plucky, blue collar, likable bunch; they were cocky and self-entitled. They felt like the World Series should be given to them, and the Red Sox tried their best to hand it over. There was no respect for their opponents, and I've never been happier to see a Philadelphia team have success than I was last October.
So welcome back to Earth, "Rays." Everyone had a career year in '08, no such luck in '09. The Red Sox and Yankees remembered how to play. And although you still beat the Sox, you couldn't beat anyone else. And down the stretch, you choked it away on your own. A nice 11 game losing streak in September was your cause of death. A record of 4-17 from August 26th to September 16th.
Bye bye Tampa.