Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Roof! The Roof! The Roof Is On My Nerves!

So the Orioles decided to show up and beat the Red Sox last night. And Bartolo Colon shook off 2 straight bad outings and gave the Yankees a good one against Tampa Bay last night. And Robinson Cano gave the Yankees a 2-run homer.

Going into the bottom of the 7th, Yankees 2, Rays 1.

The Curtis Granderson, normally a good center fielder, loses a fly ball. Did he lose it in the roof? (Holy Metrodome, Batman!) Did he lose it in the lights? He said after the game that he might have lost it in the catwalk.

Yeah, the catwalk, in the catwalk, yeah, he lost the little ball in the catwalk.

What kind of a baseball park has a catwalk? The Gianni Versace Memorial Coliseum?

Cue Vince Lombardi: "What the hell's goin' on out here?" Or in here, as the case may be.

Or perhaps, "The roof! The roof! The roof is on... my nerves!"

Stupid Rays, stupid stadium.

Someone I knew in school, who now lives in the Orlando area and is a Rays fan, said to me, "Where else can you go see a baseball game and pet a ray in a tank?"

Nowhere else in the major leagues. Kind of the point: If you've got Major League Baseball, what the hell do you need a fishtank for? The Arizona Diamondbacks have a pool, and even that is bush-league.

It's one thing to have a "ship," as the Seattle Mariners used to have in the Kingdome, firing off blanks from a cannon when the M's hit home runs. They built a real ballpark, and didn't need The S.S. Mariner anymore. And the Pittsburgh Pirates have never had something like that, at Forbes Field, Three Rivers or PNC Park. (The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a pirate ship in an end zone at Raymond James Stadium, but football is a whole other animal.)

Mascots, I don't mind, but "Rays" was a dumb name anyway, perhaps even dumber than its initial form, "Devil Rays" (which led me to call them the Deviled Eggs).

Anyway, after Grandy lost the fly in the roof, the Yankees still could've gotten out of it. Except Joe Girardi called on Boone Logan to relieve Colon.

Big mistake. Logan is back into he-just-can't-pitch mode. Except it wasn't his pitching that did the Yankees in, it was his fielding. He botched a sure double play. Final score, Rays 3, Yankees 2.

WP: Jeremy Hellickson (9-7). SV: Joel Peralta (1). LP: Colon (6-6), but he really didn't deserve it.

I need to make a post about ranking the ballparks, but before that, I need to post a rant about the Devils' new head coach. That should come later today.

But let me finish off this discussion of the Rays, their stupid stadium, and their stupid fans. Last night, in a stadium whose seating capacity is 42,735 -- 34,078 counting seats that aren't tarped over -- the announced crowd was 22,780. The Strays are averaging 19,740 per home game, ahead of only Oakland (with a bad stadium in a bad area) and the other Florida team (with a bad stadium way out in the suburbs, but at least they know they're getting a big improvement next season).

Hey, Rays fans! Or, as Jimmy Fallon might say, "Attention morons!"

You've got a winning team. A team playing over-.500 ball. You won the Division last season. You won a Pennant just 2 years before that. You've beaten both the Yankees (in 2010) and the Red Sox (in 2008) out for Division Titles.

And yet the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that hasn't made the postseason in 18 years, in a hockey town in a hockey country, has more fans showing up than you do.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that hasn't made the postseason in 19 years, or even had a winning season in 19 years, and hasn't won a Pennant in 32 years, in a football town in a football State, has more fans showing up than you do.

The Kansas City Royals, a team that hasn't made the postseason in 26 years, and has had just 1 winning season in the last 19, in a football town, has more fans showing up than you do.

And don't give me "bad economy." No MLB team plays in a city hit harder by the Bush Recession than Detroit. And the Tigers are no better than the 3rd-most-popular team in their city -- and, since Michigan is a football State, would probably be 4th if the Lions ever got their act together enough to get even to .500. Maybe even 6th, if you count the 2 football-playing, basketball-playing and hockey-playing Big 10 schools nearby, Michigan and Michigan State. Yes, the Tigers are in 1st place in their Division (well, tied for it, anyway), but they're in a city that keeps finding new bottoms beneath rock bottom.

St. Petersburg might not be the beach paradise it's often portrayed as, but it's not Detroit. And the Tigers are outdrawing you by 10,000 fans per game.

Show up. You're not an expansion team anymore. Grow up and show up.

I wonder how many of those 22,000 fans were rooting for the Yankees. I'll bet at least half.

I'll quote Jimmy Fallon from Fever Pitch (the U.S. baseball version, not the U.K. soccer version) one more time: "That's Devil Ray dancing. That's Devil Ray. I'm talkin' 'bout... Yankee Dancing!"

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