Workout Day………….Checking Out the Sites



Great part about being a Tampa Bay Rays fan is the fact that we have not gotten cocky or jaded yet on our teams’ new success. Now that is not to mean that there are not any Rays’ fans out there who are beyond the term”civil”, but that we have enjoyed this ride to the top without the benefit of expectations or illogical  thinking. We have been lucky enough to get a ride on this shooting star, and it should shine for a while, but we will not take it for granted and respect the wins and take the losses as we have for the last 10 years in St. Petersburg, Florida.


But, some of the Red Sox faithful have already pulled the plug on Boston’s life support system. They forget the only reason there is a Game 5 is that their Game 1 pitcher had the game of his career at the right moment. Daiska Matsuzaka had the kind of game most pitchers’ dream of in the major leagues. He was not in total control of his pitches, but they found the right spots and  he held out long enough to awaken the Red Sox bats and escape with a rare win in Tropicana Field by the opposition.


Do not under estimate the severe positive that played not only on your team’s minds, but on the Rays’ faithful that this was going to be a bloody knuckle fight to the death. Little did we know that after we left the Trop., we would see even more success at Fenway Park than we have seen in years. Even with that in mind, this series is not over, and the Red Sox have come back from a worse setting to win the ALCS, twice.

So the games are not decided, the pitchers’ not icing down their arms, and the hitters are not bracing for another at bat tonight. It is a day of rest before the 5th battle in this war of titans in the American League East. This series is not even the end of this war, it will go on again next season for a minimum of 17 games, before maybe meeting again in the playoffs………..and part 2.



As usual, I spend my waking moments in the morning hitting the opposing team’s local newspapers and blogs to see what kind of interaction is brewing on the fan-front. One of the thing I found on  was this Confidience Meter.


You would think it is the mentality of a team who has been here in 2 of the last 4 years to not surrender or put up even a beige flag so early in the ALCS series. But by the posted responses, it seems that the hidden voice of the Red Sox Nation might be at best, quiet optimisim, with a dash of pessimestic tendancies.


What I find surprising is that the Red Sox fans have come into our home park and screamed, growled and never went out with a whimper even in a bad loss. But to read this meter today on the website, it is like there is a sub culture ready to pack it in and get to the Boston Bruins games. In recent games, the Rays have made the Boston faithful basically put their hands under themselves early in the games.


This is not a casual response, but more of one of a teams’ followers who are in disbelief that this is happening to them. Shock has already set into the mindset of the Red Sox Nation. The next move is one of either panic or re-establishing the positive building blocks and rebuilding the support from the bleachers down to the guy behind home plate.


I have come to expect more from the Boston sports fan, and want them to be that cocky, arrogant, and vocal force until the 3rd out of the 9th inning. the question now is:  Do they still have the passion in them, or is it already packed up in wardrobe boxes and ready for shipping to Fort Meyers for Spring Training?


The thing you got to love about the Red Sox fans’ is their undying support and quick come-backs to the opposing teams’ fans.  I was at Ferg’s after the game last weekend and a Red Sox fan came up and asked me how I could be a “Rays” fan. I explained that first off, I was not fresh off the bandwagon and was with the original wagon train that pulled into the Trop even before we had a team.

I have worn several teams colors before the Rays. I was a Florida White Sox, Tampa Bay Mariner, Tampa Bay A’s, Tampa Bay Giant, Tampa Bay Twin, and a overlooked Expansion choice in favor of the Florida Marlins. But in the beginning, even before the MLB whispered, “If We build it, they will come…” I was a firm supporter of the St. Petersburg Cardinals, out Class-A team here for a long time. I even met current TV guru, Joe Mcgrane when he was a striking young lad on the diamond at Al Lang Field a long time ago.

I told her that I was there the first night when Wilson Alvarez threw that first pitch for a strike. And that I was there when current Toronto pitcher Jesse Litsch used to guard the Bullpen guys in the early 2000’s. And I was there when two of my dear friends pitched for the Rays before their untimely deaths, one from a unforseen heart aliment, and another in a tragic plane accident.

I was a born and bred St. Peterburg resident who did not move here from anywhere but from Central Avenue north to the Tyrone area. And that I used to play in the current Tropicana Feild site when it was a City of St. Petersburg Gas Plant used by the city for it vehicles and was full of underground passages and concrete bunkers surrounding the area.

In closing, I was a true Rays fan. Not the kind that is spotted wearing a mohawk to fit in, or the guy who is wearing the Rays shirt to meet that cute brunette at the end of the bar. I was the real thing, just like her…..A native who is rooting for his home team and loving every minute of this dream season. And with that, I asked her where she was born up north, she replied without battling an eyelash, “oh, I was born at Tampa General Hospital, and i have lived here all my life.”

Guess that is why I am who I am, and she is cruising back over the Howard Franklin home to her home 1,400 miles away from the city on her chest. I guess the bandwagon can go in reverse too……….but I am trying to break that gear on the transfer case as we speak.




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