Something is Missing. Maybe It’s Finally Time To Go


I am done. I am completely done like a bad steak left on the grill too long.

Over the past 14 seasons I have been fooling myself. Somehow I have circumvented my own mind and thrust a faslehood dead center between my eyes. Today I have finally come to the reality that maybe, just maybe I am not the Rays fan I put out there for everyone else to see at Tampa Bay Rays games.

Maybe it was final obeservation that I am treated like a second class citizen by most baseball fans because I do not have a big “B” or pinstripes on my game day wear. Maybe I am just tired of the whole charade and need some time along, in my room with the lights out and some Barry Manalow playing on the stereo…Maybe.

Possibly the truth and vivid reality that I am still chasing the dream of the “underdog” and possibly I fell headfirst into a deep rut or evasive trap to the point where I do not have a way, or a reason to want anything different anymore. Maybe I liked the “Lonesome Loser” moniker more than I realized. 

Maybe it was the final observation that over the past few Rays season little by little my past Rays special moments have been whittled away from me, I am just a number now (#730186 to be exact). After missing just ONE Rays game in the last 162, possibly I need a break.

It is sad that today I will get a huge bag of charcoal, fire that backyard grill up and throw my 50+ autographed wooden bats, tons of player photos with the Renegade and game-used jerseys into the blaze to let it all finally return to the heavens. Maybe the offseason frustration level just got so bad in my head and my heart that change had to happen to save my soul.

The stark reality that things have slowly been taken somewhere deep within me. Maybe my devoted fanatic committment of the Rays and the huge roster overhaul has been a initial stepping stone introducing me to my darkened path in regard to this funk.

It is time to release the devil or demon within my chest and set it free to maybe take the soul of the “Happy Heckler” again. Now it really looks like a deliberate move by the Rays to remove my presence from their fan base with slow and methodical surgical moves to cut the umbilical cord. I suddenly feel more like an outsider than a part of something…great.

Maybe it was the reality that even though I am a kid at heart at the ballpark, I can no longer complete my baseball collection each season getting some of the harder autograph because I was not under 14 years of age, which is the current age limit for getting player’s autographs in the lines on Sundays.

Maybe that was strike two in my obvious heart. For this hurt my 2011 adventure to have an autograph of everyone who was on the Rays 25-man roster during the season and now I am left with trading with young fans who want cold hard cash for their signed balls instead of trading Rays collectibles.

AP/Chris O’Meara

Maybe the final blow was finding out today that even thought I have been faithfully writing paragraph after paragraph over the last few years into this very blog, that I am viewed as an angry fan and not someone willing to post positive or even news about the team in a “Rays fan’s point of view”.

I am flabbergasted that my over 1,035 posts have been viewed as trash, that they have been proposed as fan propaganda with hidden agendas and motives. That my fan worship has been all about the all mighty dollar and not about the baseball and friendships that sometimes come with it all.

So I guess all that is left to say is that I am done. I am finished. I am going to fade into the dark abyss. Sure I might have paid nothing yet for my Rays seats, but it will make a nice fire tonight. I can not fanthom following or even writing about a team who can not feel a kinship bond with me, even though some of them are my closest friends.

I guess today is the day I am not longer a Tampa Bay Rays fan.

Like a bad relationship or marriage, this break-up is coming with a heavy heart. It was not anticipated, planned or even thought possible even 24 hours ago, but now it is here and is a final nail in the coffin as I watch that shaved down Jose Canseco bat burning on the grill putting grill marks on the white pine shaft of that game-used bat.

Next will be my “Jersey Off Their Back” game used jerseys of Edwin Jackson or Aubrey Huff jerseys with the whole episode finalizing with me burning my 1998 Game Used Wade Boggs jersey hopefully around game time.

It is said to sometimes say goodbye, but maybe this one has been 14 years long overdue. Maybe on this April 1, 2011 I finally found out that I am just a number.

That my significance is minimal and insignificant to the Rays with every fiber of my being. Maybe on this first day of April, even with the season about to unfold… seat will be empty for 81 games, I know it is empty tonight as the 2010 AL East Championship banner is raised and applauded. I am missing in action.




 yaD slooF lirpA yppaH A



I realized that today was April 1st when I first started reading this…but you seemed pretty serious! Props for making me just a little bit worried, some people definitely don’t put the kind of effort that you did into this joke. Hope you can find your Rays background again soon!

Never been one to do anything haflway. But I have been thinking of doing this for a long time, but it ususally only happens for 24 hours from midnight to 11:59 pm on this very date.
Not a huge prankster unless I know it will have beer/soda/milk spurting out of your mouth or have you cursing me for revenge…Then I am in it to win it!

Rays Renegade

Great post, Renegade! I have to admit, you had me, hook, line and sinker! I was so worried with the (ugh) Mariners wallpaper, and so relieved at the end, that I didn’t even mind being such a sucker :-)

But my second favorite team is the compass-aided M’s. It is my second favorite region of the country (after Florida), and their city has one of the most versatile and vibrant food and music cultures in the country…..Plus I like living on the water and seeing snow on the mountain tops….
Can’t let this day get by without some kind of fun.

Rays Renegade

Well done, Rays Renegade! You had me wondering if this was an April Fool’s joke or if a delegation of bloggers was going to have to go to the Sunshine State and stage an intervention, LOL.
This is a very simple game…

A scouting party of bloggers could not find me now. I am so off the grid the postman has to ring 7 times. Seriously, the post is more real than you think, but I do not think this will happen unless something happens to the franchise.
Not mincing words here, but I heard a few sound bytes yesterday that are not encouraging as a fan, hence the post is a veiled effort to rid me of that negative energy.

Rays Renegade

I knew from the first sentence this was a joke. Nice try, RR!

You rat! Had me going all the way!

Good work RR. Much better than the brain dead April Fools the Rays(Raymond leaving town) pulled. If they were going for stupid, it was a resounding success.

Once a year you got to have your cake and eat it too…..April 1st is that day for me.
Worst thing is it ended with a loss, not a win. But that is reality, while my little baneter was…….a bit more fictional at best.

Rays Renegade

Thanks Razzle,
I actually played into the “Raymond” farce a bit throwing up a Tweet or two, but knew the outcome.
Still, a healthy ” thinning” of Raymond might be viewed with positive feedback….Maybe a healthy switch from hotdog to chicken and Raymond could be transformed into a more thinner self like the Orioles bird or the Blue Jay…just a post_April Fool’s thought for 2012.

Rays Renegade

You have just been seeing my writing for so long you can almost perdict the…..future?
Gosh, if you could, I would really like 5 of the 6 Powerball numbers. No greedy, you can have all 6.

Rays Renegade

Ha – that’s what I get for waiting 3 days too late to read this…didn’t get the April Fool’s gag until the bottom when I was about to slam you for bailing. Nice job! Happy Blogging…and hang in there, there are some cool things coming here in next couple of weeks hopefully, will keep everyone posted. Mark/

Could not go without doing something on that special day. Hurt that it was also Opening Day for us, but I did my thing.
Looking forward to the changes, and I have shoved off offers to leave before….This just feels like home to me…So I stay.

Rays Renegade

Like Mark, I came here late and you had me going, even though I saw post afterwards. I was like “What? Cliff? Not our Cliff!” I had not realized I was reading a post from April Fools day until I read the letters backwards. haha.

I had a great idea to write an April Fool’s joke where Manny Ramirez stormed out of the Rays clubhouse after a clubbie accidently threw away his herbal hair balm that keeps his dreds in such pristine shape. Had the same clubbie motoring via a Rays jet to the “Little Haiti” region of Miami searching for Manny’s personal hair biologist…..But who would believe ManRam would depart a team on such a trivial note…

Rays Renegade

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