Results tagged ‘ Raysvision ’

2010 Maddon’s Maniacs Video Shoot



I always seem to get a bit giddy when the Tampa Bay Rays Fan Experience department sends out an email seeking out members of the “Maddon’s Maniac’s group to come on down to Tropicana Field and participate in a in-game video promotional shoot for the upcoming Rays baseball season.

Not only has this become a recent yearly adventure for members of the group, but one that we all look forward to, and is a clear indication to all of us just how soon we will all assemble again for Rays home games. And the air around the group waiting outside the Trop. Was filled with great anticipation and excitement in the air as we collectively get ready to again pop our mugs upon the Jumbotron for another video to show our support for our Rays team.

And even with the rain darkened skies outside looking a bit more menacing by the minute, the enthusiasm of the Maniacs’ was sky high, even with the reports of a tornado touching down across the bay in Tampa. But outside in a drizzle of rain stood some of the core of the Maniacs group that currently hold over 1,500 card carrying members to the organization.

The video shoot today was going to be an in-game promos piece to include our loveable Seadog mascot Raymond, and include both young and young-at-heart Maniacs dancing and swaying to the music of Naughty by Nature and their hit “Hip Hop Hooray!”



Our first location of the day would be at the end of the long corridor down Leftfield Street at the Mountain Dew Extreme Zone to begin our video shoot. I was excited to again be down in this section of the Trop. The area was inspired to resemble an inner city stickball court with hubcaps strung up along the netting, an old Lincoln Continental for ambiance’, and colorful paintings and graffiti all over the walls to bring to life that city personality to the area. It would make the perfect backdrop for the urban hit, and also give a more hip-hop feel to the video. So the group took our places among the backdrop as the Raysvision production crew let us know what they wanted from us today.


I decided to park myself right nest to the banana-yellow Lincoln and the oil drum can. I had brought some drumsticks to use during the video on the oil drum that I knew was in the scene (I helped set-up this area years ago), but there was a little girl who had a broken leg, and we set her on top of the drum instead so she could participate without having to stand for a long time. It was great to see everyone so excited as we did a few run through of the song before trying a first complete shooting of the video.

We stayed in this area of the Trop for about another 45 minutes before finally switching to the Centerfield gate location where the Rays had positioned their Hummer for a second segment of the video shoot. In this scene, we were all suppose to run up to the Hummer, with Raymond on top and again do the hand sways and mannerisms of the song to give a second groove to the production. The Raysvision film crew decided to do a high angle shot from the top of the outfield stands looking down on us as we did our thing.


Again the kids were tremendous in this part of the taping, but some of them were a bit hyped up and go real close to the Hummer and might not have been in the shots. But again, it was a great moment for everyone, even the parents, to promote some team spirit and also do some dancing in the background.


So after another 40 minutes or so of grinding and moving to the music, we were done for the day, but most of us were still standing around chatting about what had happened during the off season in our lives, or the excitement of the upcoming Rays Fan Fest on February 20th. I have to again thank the Raysvision crew, the Fan Experience department and the countless fans who came out on Friday to again help promote our Rays team.

I always have a great time doing these types of ventures with the Rays, and hope that more of you can also do it in the future too. Again during this season’s Fan Fest, the Rays will be setting up a Maddon’s Maniac’s table near the Home Plate section of Tropicana Field to provide information and an opportunity for other Rays fans to also join this group.


In closing today I am going to post a pirated copy of the Maddon’s Maniac’s 2008 Rays production to promote the Major League Baseball set of “Ground Rules” that are broadcasted before each game. I am actually only in the first minute of this production as I went to the back section of the stands just after the first segments of shots to give some kids and other Rays fans an opportunity to see themselves up on the Jumbotron before all 81 games last season.

Again, this is just a small part of what this Maniac’s group does for the Rays during the season, but it is great that the Rays Front Office and their staff (Darcy Raymond, Eric Weinberg, Sean Liston )gives the Maniacs a chance every season to help show our support and our fandom for our favorite team. Can’t wait until they call on us again! Hopefully for a Postseason video version in 2010.


Cartoons and Power Outages


During today’s afternoon baseball game the Rays had one of their annual Park and Recreation days. If you are unaware of this special day for Rays fans, it is the time of the year where 5,000 plus youngster from all over the Rays viewing area get to come out to the ballpark for an afternoon contest and get the best gift ever from the Rays………. Rays Thunderstix!  Now if you are one of those people who complain about the cowbells and their constant clanging, you would have a field day during the Thunderstix days.

Sure they have a lighter sound, but the constant pounding of the two stix together, or off the kid next to you tend to get on your nerves after 7 innings. And the greatest thing about this promotion, the stadium looks full and the only ones who really complain are the people who clean up the Trop after the kid tornadoes tend to wreck havoc and trash everywhere. This is not to mean that kids can be a bit…well, messy, but more to the fact that once a Thunderstix is not usable, it is discarded like a old useless Popsicle stick to the floor of the stadium.

I mean as you leave the game the carnage you see all over the stadium floor of damaged and forgotten Thunderstix can be kind of overwhelming to someone who values collectibles. But to most of these kids they are just props to keep them occupied and happy for at least half the game before they get their hot dogs, cracker jacks and soda. I actually love these days more for the facts it is the one time during the entire year you can sit behind 10 rows of kids and even if they all stand up, you can still see the field. It is not like when adults, who tend to be above 5 feet tall occupy those same seats and become instant black-out elements at any time during the game.

But things did get a bit testy for a few moments when a few of the Trop’s banks of lights flickered and the umpires decided that we needed to wait for 20 minutes until the light came back full force again. You could see up in the Raysvision booth that they were scrambling to find some suitable entertainment for the young crowd and actually brought out a Bugs Bunny classic “Baseball Bugs”, where the frisky rabbit takes on the Gas-House Gorillas in a game of baseball.

But for some reason the Rays forgot they had the best cartoons in the business, and it featured players and people that the kids have seen over and over on television and on the Trop’s big screen. The Rays came up with a cartoon based on the “Defenders of the Game” which featured Carl Crawford, B J Upton, Scott Kazmir, James Shields and Carlos Pena. They even had special places for Rays Manager Joe Maddon and Rays Senior Advisor Don Zimmer. What a special cartoon moment that would have been as even the players were sitting on the dugout steps and near the bullpen grass checking out the action on the screen above rightfield.

Raysvision and the Rays had a captive audience that they could have used to parlay their “Defenders of the Game” scenarios for a long time, but instead went with a old Bugs Bunny cartoon. Now do not get me wrong, I love Bugs, and the cartoon they did show is a sure baseball classic, but at least they did not show that Rockey the Mudhen “Infield Fly Rule” buzz kill video that sometimes pops up late in the games on Sundays. Kudos to the boys in the booth for not subjecting us to that baseball definition video one more time.

And even during his post-game interview Maddon spoke about the Bugs Bunny cartoon about how the guys were enjoying it and that it seemed to go over well with the mostly kid crowd. Maddon did ask via the assembled media in the clubhouse if they can maybe get some Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote videos for the next rain delay/power outage. Because we do not have rain delays, but power outages in Tampa Bay, and we do not have to wait for a tarp or a grounds crew to signal the go ahead to resume play.

So with that recommendation by Maddon I decided to try and find some alternative cartoon if the Raysvision crew could not find a baseball-related Warner Brothers cartoon. I decided to dig into the dusty cartoon vault really deep and into the dark recesses of the bowl to see if they did have any cartoon with the road runner and the coyote that might have a baseball background. I could not come up with a single episode, but I did come up with a few where  the coyote had decided that a baseball bat would be a good weapon of choice against that pesky sprinting bird.

The “Defender of the Game” cartoons can be found on Youtube right now from the first episode , to the final one after their second season. They are classic cartoon where the Defenders tackle the evil Umpreror, and then Doctor Stats. They are pretty tongue-in-cheek cartoons, but are fun to watch during a power outage/rain delay. But there are other variation out there like a classic Woody Woodpecker cartoon called, The Screwball” where he tries to get into an outdoor baseball field. Then you have the old 1948 classic cartoon “Baseball Brawl” which featured woodland animals as players in the baseball game. 

But the end result is that during the outage, the cartoon did bring about some sense of order to the stands and kept the kids occupied with harmless fun for everyone. And that is the special problem that can surface on a day like today with a crowded house of pre-teens all coming out to watch a baseball game.

But in the end, everyone left with a smile both in regards to a Rays victory, and from the classic baseball cartoon they will be telling their parents about tonight. And who knows, that might transfer into a Family Fun Day this Sunday where the family of four can come to the ballpark with FREE parking and discounted food and tickets. I guess the cartoon could be called a community ticket experience now.