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Hey, Rays fans: That was weak

That was a woeful performance by the Tampa Bay Rays fans Wednesday night during the Rays' thrilling 8-7 win over the New York Yankees in 12 innings to clinch a playoff berth.

All night, the noise level at Tropicana Field seemed muted, hardly befitting a gritty, never-say-die team fighting for its life, a team that rallied from a huge deficit in the biggest game of the season.

Then came the ninth inning. Remember the scene? Two outs, Rays trail by a run, the season on the line and Dan Johnson at the plate -- and the Trop sounded like it was hosting an RV show.

As the TV cameras zeroed in on Johnson, his face a grim mask of concentration in the seconds before he lined a homer over the right-field wall to tie the score at 7, here's what you saw in the stands behind him: nobody standing, nobody cheering wildly, nobody stomping their feet. 

In fact, what you saw were a lot of folks who, quite frankly, looked bored and ready to go home.

OK, TV can give you a distorted picture of fan reaction at times. Maybe a sweeping panoramic shot of the stadium would have revealed fans in other sections on their feet and screaming their lungs out.

But, again, the Trop seemed strangely quiet all night, at least until Evan Longoria's walk-off homer in the 12th brought the Rays all the way back from the dead.

It reminded you -- again -- of why Rays fans get such a bad rap from their own players and the Tampa Bay media.

Attendance at Rays games has been an issue for years. And remember when the Rays clinched the AL East title last year and several players, notably Evan Longoria and David Price, ripped the fans for not packing the Trop?

Fairly or unfairly, Tampa Bay fans are perceived by many as apathetic and undeserving of the gritty, never-say-die Rays franchise that has done so much with limited financial resources.

The fans didn't help their rep last night, that's for sure.


2008 US Presswire photo


You have no business speaking of other teams fans. I was there. You weren't. The atmosphere was crazy. Even after some of the fans left after the 7-0 lead.

And I just want to point out that in a dome, the noise is amplified. You obviously are deaf or just seeing what you want to see. Or in this case, hearing what you want to hear.

Nobody outside of St Pete has any clue why the fans are the way they are. But when they finally do show up and are supportive, don't insult them just because you have a hearing problem. Stop writing about stuff you don't know in the future. Thanks.

What do you want? It's Tampa.

It's Geriatric City down there. Do you want their fans to break a collective hip?

Having lived in Tampa for two years and attended several Rays games, the fans deserve their reputation. They cram the place for Opening Day, and then quit going. Yes, the stadium is awful, but the team is great. Still, they don't go.

The fans that do follow the Rays are often quite cynical and unforgiving. Part of the problem is that Tampa/ St. Pete is full of transplants from the northeast who, in the style of Red Sox and Yankee fans, expect them to win every game. A large part of the fan base greatly contrasts with the likeable team.

Again, however, the stadium is AWFUL. Just seeing the dim, gloomy field always brought me down.

It looked to me like there were less than 5000 people left in the stands at the end.

I really hope they get that new stadium in Tampa. I hate to make excuses, that the commute to get over to St. Pete really is a detriment. A stadium in Tampa would definitely see a huge increase in attendance, IMO.

Sounds like you missed the comments from Shields last night, who used his first words to the media to thank the fans for being so into the game despite the 7-0 deficit. I'm really not sure what game you were watching, but it was very, very loud, even at the start of the 8th inning when the Rays were still down 7. I've actually not been able to conduct business as usual today, because the voice is shot. There are many others. Unfortunately thousands did give up early, but those who stayed (which was most) were engaged, enthusiastic and ON IT, baby. It's really an old, tired storyline anyway, but we appreciate your interest in the fan experience. True Rays fans aren't at all apathetic... there just aren't enough of us.

Don't worry about it, it should not be a concern to anyone other then fans in the bay area, never have understood how attendance, fan participation, etc, have become newsworthy to anyone other then the locals to whom it matters?? .

Perhaps, Mr. Cowherd, it's time you pay a visit to an audiologist.

Might I recommend Dr. Craig Johnson. You can find his information by tuning into The Tom Marr Show on WCBM 680.

Must not have panned on section 124, we were all on our feet saying a silen prayer for Dan....

We love our Rays and even if they had lost that night would never have left early as he desereved a standing ovation for the season they had.

Listening to Tom Marr should not send you to an audiologist. It should send you to a psychiatrist.

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