Losing Game 1 of a seven-game series is not good. (Yea, yea, losing Game 1 of any series isn’t good, smart ass.) So with the pressure already on the lovable Tampa Bay Rays, I believe we should up the stakes on this somewhat uninteresting World Series.
If Tampa Bay loses, Major League Baseball should move the team to a new city. The league should probably do this anyway, but seeing as how they won the American League East and made it to the championship, they kind of deserve a chance to stay where they are. But seriously, the World Series at Tropicana Field is kind of sad, and if anyone really thought the Rays would ever make it this far, they probably would have forced them to build a suitable playing field.
Tropicana has special rules for when the ball hits the ceiling. Professional baseball — and the freaking World Series — should not be played in such a place. When you’re a kid you have to make up ground rules for when the ball hits a power line or the closest neighbor’s house. Even children know that these rules have to be accepted before the contest and respected during it. But when little Timmy smashes one off the power line and it hits the neighbor’s house, all hell breaks loose. MLB shouldn’t have to worry about such complications.
The Fox broadcast last night didn’t help the Rays’ public perception — right from the start it made the young Rays team take turns saying their name and batting order into a camera, an embarrassing minor-league type stunt that the broadcasters nearly laughed about afterward. “They won’t be willing to do that once they’ve been in the league a couple years,” ha ha ha. It didn’t help that a bug flew into Carl Crawford’s eye and made him look like a jackass.
The largest crowd in Tropicana Field history was for a New Kids on the Block concert. The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, when playing at this crappy place, is just another freak show for the retirees and bankers who live in that barely reachable town. Those old people won’t pay for a new stadium because they’re spending all their money on bran cereals and birdwatching equipment.
The Rays have a giant fish tank in the outfield. This ranks number two on baseball’s “Cheesiest Architectural Promotion” list, right ahead of the Reds’ Pepsi Smoke Stacks but behind San Francisco’s giant Coke bottle. How are the stingrays in that giant tank not biting the kids’ hands that are poking into the water between every inning? Are those animals even real?
So good luck in Game 2, Tampa Bay Rays. The future of the franchise is in your hands for at least one more game, and each of you should probably start considering your own futures as well. Most of you are under contract for multiple years and the only way you’re going to get out of Florida is to play well enough to deserve a raise. In fact, just take the bet, lose now and pack your bags for Las Vegas.