One would think this season so far for the Tampa Bay Rays would be a bowl of cherries. 2015 was suppose to be a retooling year for the Rays. Yet as we head into the last weekend in June the Rays find themselves in 1st Place in the AL East. Granted the AL East is a very mediocre division but the Rays have played well this season. They have a record of 41-33 and lead the division by 1.5 games over the second place Yankees. However in terms of, off the field issues the Rays have a big one and that is having people come to the ballpark.
There are big market teams, mid market teams, small market teams and then there is the Rays. Quite honestly the Rays attendance is beyond abysmal. The Rays are last in Baseball only averaging 14,254 fans per game. The Rays are on pace to draw slightly above 1.1 million fans to the ballpark this season. There have been many nights where the Rays have drawn 10,000 and change to the ballpark. That has already happened four times in the month of June. In fact twice this season the Rays have drawn under 10,000 fans to their games. The Rays are clearly on pace to finish last in attendance in Baseball for the fourth straight year. The last time the Rays did not finish last in attendance was 2011 where they finished second to last.
Let me start by saying I am not blaming the fans of the Rays or the residences of Tampa. It’s up to the individual if they want to spend their hard earned money on a baseball game. But clearly Major League Baseball has a huge problem and it’s hard to find a solution. In terms of finding a solution for a new stadium in the Tampa area that appears to be dead. This past March another potential resolution was shot down. The location of the Rays ballpark is not advantageous to say the least. The Rays lease with Tropicana Field has 12 more years to go. Continue reading MLB’s Tampa Situation
The Chicago Cubs have had a solid season thus far with a 38 and 30 record .They currently sit third in the National League Central Division. Third baseman Kris Bryant headlines the Cubs crop of young talent. He has a .282 batting average with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs. Addison Russell another rookie has played a solid second base as he is just 21 years of age. Jorge Soler is another young position player at just 23 and don’t forget Anthony Rizzo and Starling Castro are both 25 years old. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have now turned this team into a contender but of course the goal is to win the World Series something the Cubs have not won since 1908 and it is something that Cubs fans have been tortured with. 106 years without a World Series. Will this be the year is something Cubs fans have been asking for generations. The classic trilogy Back to the Future famously predicted the Cubs shockingly beat the team from Miami. Unfortunately for us all Miami is the NL and can not play Chicago in the World Series its impossible. Also I want my hoverboard! Where is that Robert Zemeckis? Anyway the Cubs are now a World Series contender and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get one in the next few seasons. When they do Theo Epstein may go down as the greatest baseball Executive in the history of the game.
Continue reading Chicago Baseball Has Bright Future
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were the worst team in all of baseball in 2007. They showed promise with young players having good seasons such as twenty-three year old B.J Upton, Carl Crawford and rookie sensations Akinori Iwamura and Delmon Young. The pitching was not strong and was a clear need for the club. Andrew Friedman the team’s former GM acquired pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Bartlett and a minor leaguer for Brendan Harris, Jason Pridie and Delmon Young. The Devil Rays became the Rays. much more changes were made that offseason. The Rays won the AL pennant that season.
Today the Rays are powered by third baseman Evan Longoria and one of the best rotations in base ball. The Rays acquire struggling players on short-term minor league contracts and they always gets 100% out of their twenty-five man roster. The real amazing part about the Tampa Bay Rays is a stat from ESPN analyst Jason Stark. He wrote that three injured New York Yankee infielders from 2013 were be paid over 67.5 million dollars this season alone. Those three players are third baseman Alex Rodriguez,first baseman Mark Teixeira and short stop Derek Jeter. Continue reading The Amazing Rays