Salsa Please!


I have admit, it was not one of those night that I was really looking forward to in the Rays Saturday night Concert Series, but in the end, it was a great time seeing a stadium full of people swaying and dancing to a very distinctive Latin beat. I know there are a couple of people, including Rays Bullpen Coach Bobby Ramos who were looking forward to the concert by Salsa king Tito Nieves last night.

All around the stadium you could see fans just taking in the definite Latin inspired beats and fully reminding me and a lot of other people that the Tampa Bay area has the second highest Hispanic population in the state of Florida.  For last night was a celebration of Latino Night, and with Rays starter Matt Garza throwing a shutout, it gave the home crowd more of a reason to celebrate last night.

And the Rays have a definite Latin flair to their team with veterans like Carlos Pena, Matt Garza, Dioner Navarro,Willy Aybar and Rays coaches Dave Martinez and Ramos. And with former Los Angeles Dodger star Pedro Guerrero throwing out the first pitch and signed for fans in Centerfield Street before the game fans were feeling En Fuego early last night.

So I decided to stay with the theme of the night and hit one of the only Latin inspired concession stands in the stadium. I got a nice pressed and hot Cuban sandwich with a huge amount of melted cheese, a bowl of black beans and rice and two chicken empanada for after the game during the concert. All three items were doused in a fine hot sauce and were marinating quite nicely by the time I got back to my seat.

And the night had its hot and spicy moments from the 4-run barrage of the first inning to the home town crowd booing Rays Manager Joe Maddon when he came out to take Garza out of the game. The crowd made sure they voiced their displeasure in the action, but also made sure Garza got a good sendoff if this might be his last home start of the season. Garza left the game with most of the 22,750 fans on their feet showing their love for a long and difficult season.

But the highlight of the night was still the fans who stayed behind for the Nieves concert who were swaying and singing to his music in the stands. Multitudes of Salsa fans were using the flat regions of the stadium up at the top of the bowl, including space down by the Bullpens dancing the Rumba and the Salsa  for the adoring crowds. That is a dance I have never attempted, but after seeing the style and fluid grace of the movements, it is one I want to learn just for the sex appeal.

So as we are winding down this season with about 10 home games left, the excitement and the exhilaration of this exotic and erotic dance might have been the boost of energy I needed to get me through the rest of the season. One of the characteristics of the Salsa that I did not know before last night was that it the intense passion and tight movements needed to make it seem so effortless and graceful.

It was a night I was not looking forward to before entering the stadium, but it was one I was glad we had before the end of the night. For years in my job with Pepsi I coordinated the Puerto Rican Festival in Pinellas Park, and I was working so hard and never really took in the majesty and the tradition of it all. But last night I took it in, and all to the last drop or note.

It was a night that ended up as one of the  highlights of this season because I let myself learn more about Salsa and even Latin music last night. And that is something that I will never forget. And the sight of seeing Ramos striding up in front  of the band also doing the Salsa on the turf of the Trop will stay with me for a long time. Before last night the pulse of the Salsa beat was foreign to me, but now it is something I am yearning to hear again, to dance to, and to just celebrate life.



Great post! Glad to hear your night turned out better than expected! I’ve never been big into Latin music, based on your experience, it sounds like I just need to give it more of a chance. As for the rumba? Well, I don’t really know my dances, but I’ve heard that it’s a vertical expression of a horizontal desire. So, learning it for the sex appeal? That seems to fall in line.

I was told almost that exact thing about the Rumba last night, but she had a wild way of showing me too (lol).
I guess it just goes to show you that if you open yourself up to new cultures and adventures, you might have fun.
I am a bit of a dancer, but not at their level for sure.
but it is now on my list of “things to do/learn before I die”.
And I am not asking Bobby Ramos to dance with me lol.

Rays Renegade

Cliff – where is the video of you dancing?? It is great that the Rays cover all different types of music in their concert series. It is always good when we learn new things.


You might see a few videos of me over the years, but none will see me dancing unless I want people to see it.
I agree new things make you feel young.
Besides that, sometimes learning to do different things makes us a more well-rounded individual.

Rays Renegade

Glad to hear that the night was an unexpected one, that really soothed the soul. Its always nice to get one of those in your system, it makes one happy. The Rays aren’t making the playoffs this year, but at least you don’t have to deal with 8 losses in a row like the Indians!

Great post. I loved the Dancing W/ The Stars video, made me laugh. I love that show. Never really was into Latin Music but you kinda make me wanna listen.

Ted –

I actually wrote it while sitting in the stadium today before the game.
The girl behind me picked the video from the ones on Youtube today.
Never seen Dancing With The Stars myself on television.
Not caring much about the playoffs this season, but reality says do not count them out in the future.

Rays Renegade

Awesome Ramos footage! That’s that Montreal swing, ain’t it? Haha. Looks like my dad shakin’ his rump at a wedding reception with no self-censoring at all. Priceless.

I used to do Salsa & Merengue…been a long time though and don’t remember how! I just keep hoping no one has video of it….LOL


So glad you had fun! It’s great when events turn out better than we expected them to. Are the Rays planning any musical extravaganzas for the final series when the Yankees will be in town?

This season I must have about 10 videos like that of Bobby Ramos dancing and having a fun time before the game with Scott Cursi and the guys in the Bullpen.
He has fast become one of my favorite people to talk with and just watch have fun before, during and after a game.
I am thinking of doing just a Ramos channel on Youtube with all of the great dance moves he has done over the past season.
And they would be edited and done in classic style because I love his zest for life, not to embarrass him or the Rays.

Rays Renegade

All of us have those pictures or videos out there.
My photos and video of my Fraternity life would shock some people, but it was all done in fun and no one was hurt, not even a single squirrel.
Best thing about some of them is the simple fact they can make me laugh again and remember some great friends and great times.
That is one of the reasons my passion for this team tops out so high. It is one of my treasure I hope to be able to attend and enjoy well into my old and gray days.
So enjoy the videos and the photos of yourself in wild and crazy moments. Usually the memories of the event are worse than the photos and videos anyways…usually.

Rays Renegade

No musical acts, but it is the “Fandemonium” celebration, which is a 4-game celebration by the team for the fans and the accumulation of another year.
Prizes and scratch off tickets will be available to get an opportunity to get a Game-Used jersey right off the players back at the end of the Sunday game.
That is an occasion all its own.
I was 8-8 before two years ago I got stumped from a jersey, and really did not buy any tickets last season becuase of my employment situation.
But this season, job or no job, at least # 200 is set aside for just that event.

Rays Renegade

Sounds like you had a great time. Latin music can be so energizing!!

I am learning that fact right now.
I guess my Russian and German roots tend to keep me near the Polka set (not), but the reality is that it is music I have heard so many times playing in the background while working that it went deaf on my ears instead of perked them up.
It is not like i am rushing out to buy Salsa music, but I will keep my ears tuned to good music and remember that on every channel there can be a new sond that enlightens more than the heart, but also the soul.

Rays Renegade

Well being a Latina, I love all the Latin dances. I hear the music and it makes me want to dance. I wish they would mix more of the music at the Viva Los Dodgers festival with some Merenge and Salsa.

It was a new experience to see the dancing and the outward sexual expression I had never seen in the movements before.
Nothing wrong with that at all, becuase it was not X-rated, but a sensual movement.
It opened my eyes to a new level of dancing, and also a new culture that had been right before my eyes.
It was a great time just being a viewer of an amazing time.

Rays Renegade

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