Final Photo Homage to the “Spittin’ Cobra”


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I really don’t know why it has taken me almost 5 months to finally posting an image homage of Tampa Bay Rays starter Matt Garza’s bobblehead.

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The Rays Marketing gurus’ up in the high floors of Tropicana Field had the vision to have it in place by the time Garza took the hill for his No-Hitter on July 26th, just a day after the David Price image was removed from that same spot in Rightfield. Somehow I lost not only my focus in regards to these Garza photos, but the actual photo file until today.


Maybe the Fathead style comedic image of Garza’s bobblehead that just seemed to keep staring at me through his morphing stages also possibly telepathically transformed my mental facilities in oatmeal after digesting a Garza neurotoxin that had me somehow postpone his 2010 bobblehead photo image transformation until today?

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Could it have been the mystical workings of the “Cobra-Chameleon” that made me hide the images and as he went through his daily metamorphosis at the hands of Rays reliever Andy Sonnanstine, the Rays budding team artist and resident practical jokester.

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Even when Sonnanstine was assigned to the Hudson Valley Renegades (love their name) for a week, the transformation were handled by passing the torch to fellow former Rays Bullpen mate, LHP Randy Choate.

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There has to be some sort of logical reasoning why I could not complete this mental mission before today. It is really not normal for a rabid Rays fan like myself, to forget something as memorable as your team’s first No-Hitter, especially at Dome sweet Dome.

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But ironically I did. Maybe all the glitter that turns to gold surrounding that harmonious July 26th performance was somehow still riding in circles within my mind to this very day.

Maybe I was simply just a emotional and mental wave of cosmic energy that intermittently got frozen in my mind and finally began to thaw and revealed the (file) path to the lost Garza treasure of photos.

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From the transformation of the simple facial hair growing daily to the final image of Garza sans I-Pod and a well placed bubble gum balloon above his cap, it was a set of images I hope I never forget again.

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And now with Garza taking his glove and being traded recently to the city that gave us Vienna beef hot dogs and deep dish pizza, maybe it is apropos that these great images of the changing Garza bobblehead are finally unveiled today.

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I will miss the “Spittin’ Cobra. His heart and fighting spirit were inspirational, and his confidence was always riding in the red zone. Garza was one of those guys who emotionally pitched like his hair was on fire and took every single pitch and hit to heart.

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So I guess this is my way today to officially say “goodbye” to the guy who always signed for the kids on Sunday after he threw on the field. Maybe this is my “thank you” to the player who attended both Gameworks events for Season Ticketholders over the last several years. Maybe this is my photo remembrance of a Rays player who can grow facial hair….unlike me.

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Or possibly it is these lasting images of Garza that I want frozen forever in my mind. Of him showing that smile, wearing those 80’s louvered sunglasses while listening to his music and getting ready to do battle on the mound.

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Maybe there was a cosmic reason his images are locked away in my mind. Maybe he is a Rays player I never wanted to forget.





Aw, you must be sad to see Garza go, especially after losing Crawford and Pena. But I also know you were prepared for their departures and you acquired lots of talent in return.

Jane, That is the weird part people do not realize. For everyone gone we brought in players through trades to mend a few patches and fill a hole or two. Not perfect, but it is a realistic start. Should know more of what this team is capable of in less than a month when the Pitchers and Catchers hit the field. I am getting giddy already.

Rays Renegade

The rays are smart. Although it’s been a ravaging winter ridding the team of the pieces that made them what they are, I’m confident your front office got the returns needed to pace TB where they’ve Bern used to for the past few years.

I have been impressed by the overall great job the Rays Front Office has done since Rays VP of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman tooka hold of the reins.
Sure he has made a few mistakes, but they have not crippled the team to an extent they will not recover.
Since the Rule 5 Josh Hamilton error, his only flaw has been Pat Burrell, but to give him some credit, Burrell was a good hitter before settling in at the DH role in the AL. His great comeback in San Fran shows that maybe he is not suited for the DH role…..yet.

Rays Renegade

Great pix, Renegade! Glad you found them… you are so right about not forgetting Garza. I love how he was always into the game, whether he was pitching or leaning on the rail. I will miss him, but I’m happy for his success and getting to play on a big stage. I completely agree that the Rays are fielding a very strong team this year, even with big names departing. Need a closer and some consistent hitting & Zobrist back to form & I think we’re good. AL East, watch out!

I went to three small photo cards and one somehow made its way into the bottom crease of my backpack.
Had the Garza No-Hitter pics and video and also the Garza bobblehead photos along with the pictures from the Rays players @ Gameworks.
Thought I might have erased them by mistake, but there they were.
Not going to profess a postseason berth, but the team will be more competitive than people are giving them credit for right now.
With little over a month until players start flooding into Port Charlotte, it is time to definitely solidify this roster.

Rays Renegade

It pains me almost as much as it pains you that I gotta see this guy (a pitcher I once really liked) wear those ugly blue pinstripes. Sorry, RR, to me, he’s just an enemy now.

Loved the pics! I’m excited that the Cubs have Garza now too. After reading what you’ve written about him, I am certain that he will fit in well with new teammate Ryan Dempster.


He will get along great with Dempster.
And the other great thing is that the moment he walks into the Arizona Spring Training clubhouse, ex-teammate Carlos Pena will also be there to make it an easier transition.
I think you guys are going to enjoy watching the Spittin’ Cobra along with his dugout rail antics and hijinks.

Rays Renegade

Your hostility towards the “Cobra” is admirable, and warranted since he was brought in to fight the red bird from St. Louis. I am looking forward to seeing if Garza is considered as a # 2 starter or pushed down to # 3 to give him more of an advantage over most of the NL rotations.
Sounds like the Cards and Cubs rivalry is kicking it up a notch or two in 2011….And that is good for baseball.

Rays Renegade

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