Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Rays: If You Build It, They Won't Come.
In the classic film, "Field of Dreams," Shoeless Joe Jackson tells a farmer that if he builds it his late father will come. In retrospect, the Tampa Bay Rays have built an exciting ball club; yet hardly anyone comes. You can argue like President Clinton and say, "Its the economy, stupid;" or perhaps you like to watch baseball in the comfort of your home. If you subscribe to the latter, you're in the minority. You see, baseball is enjoying record attendance all over the country except in Tampa Bay and Miami. The lack of support here, however, is staggering. Against Toronto, reporter, Todd Kalas, described Tuesday's crowd as lite. From the looks of things, The Rays drew less than 16,000. The Little League World Series will draw that many for batting practice. The Rays, on the other hand, are a club in the midst of one of the most memorable seasons in major league history. A team with a paltry payroll of $44-million is leading the Yankees and Red Sox who routinely pay half that amount to one player. Despite the lack of fan support, the Rays hustle, never give up, and compete until their last at bat...and then some. Unfortunately, all those attributes may not be enough to hold off the well heeled Yankees and Red Sox. Believe me, both teams are charging fast. In fact, Boston will be here Sept 8th; and if you decide to wait until then, it may be too late for the Rays.