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Tom Jones' Two Cents

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Longoria's comments upset fans



longoria.Residents in the Tampa Bay area have not taken kindly to comments made Rays third baseman Evan Longoria regarding the team's attendance. Times baseball writer Marc Topkin wrote this story, in which Longoria and pitcher David Price, on his Twitter feed, slammed local residents for not supporting the team. Well, now the locals are shouting back. Here's a sample of some of the reaction from fans following the comments of Longoria and Price.

What's really embarrassing is having to tell your kids, or your parents that you no longer can afford the mortgage or groceries. I used to go to a couple of dozen Rays games through a season when they were pathetic. Do you think that I would not love to go to every home game now that they are a really fun and exciting team to watch? But yet these young men and coaches express "embarassment " over not having the place packed? Please! These are, for the most part, 20 to 30ish men who have never really had to work! The economy in the real world does not allow me luxuries that these guys take for granted. For the Rays to "have" to play 162 games of good baseball is just a shame!  I have to "work" nearly 270 days a year to pay for my house and groceries. The next time I have $25/$30 dollars to spare, I think I'll give half to a homeless shelter, and the rest for a few extra groceries, not to unappreciative ball players!
Mark S. Lauyans

It's time for the players to forget about how many people are in the stands and play the game. One of the biggest reasons there are fewer fans in the seats is the fans are watching from home. TV ratings for the Rays are the highest ever. If MLB had the same rule as the NFL, we’d see more fans. But then again, they have a salary cap and much more of a competitive balance and as a result more interest. The Bucs have blackouts outs this year in part due to the economy and the Rays have long suffered from a small population base we have to draw from.  However, on a per capita basis, the Rays are 8th in the league. That isn't bad. As a fan, I'll tell you what's "disheartening'' is watching 22 percent of your lineup strikeout at a 0.300 clip.
John Johnsen, Clearwater

I'm not big on commenting, but I thought I could give you a few things to ask Longo.  When he was growing up how many MLB games did he have time to go to between Little League, AAU, fall ball, football, school, and life of a family with involved kids? I am a season ticket holder. I do have to sell some of my tickets because of family obligations. But we went on Sunday and face value for my tickets in section 112 was $42 each . That's $168. We had food and drinks, ended up spending $215. I wasn't complaining until we get a lineup that had
five guys batting under .215. They should have given the fans the day off like they gave to the bats. Should people come see that line-up
from Sunday? If I wanted to see a minor league team I could have spent $50 and went and seen the Threshers!
Mike Degennaro

I am 67, my husband and I still have to  work. My adult kids are struggling to make ends meet. Who wants to hear about overpaid sports personalities crying that us fans do not show at  their games? The population here is much smaller than big cities. We are the worst state for the economic disaster we are in. Tell crybaby Longoria for me please: go make your commercials, count your overpaid  salary and be quiet young boy. We (our family) do watch the Rays on TV, and don't miss a game.
Fran Ogliaruso

This is from a 72-year-old lifetime baseball fan and I've resided in Pinellas Cty since 1992. I'm still full-time employed, helping my family to survive these ecomonic times. Now to Messr's Price and Longoria and the attendance issue. It is known fact that folks enjoy going to the ballpark and watching the games. BUT it would give the players a little insight if they walk on streets in St Pete, Tampa and a lot
of other cities and talk to the people about how one family member is out of work, how they were forced out of their homes, have electric bills and other bills that are sky high. It is scary out there and real. David Price and Evan Longoria are world class athletes and compensated for it. I am happy for them. I am a Rays fan and will be. But gentlemen, get a grasp on reality and what the world is really like for 85 percent of the population.
Bill G

I would like to go to more games, but there are times where I have to decide whether I go to a game or renew my medication. This area is rampant with senior citizens who are in the same boat as me.
Bruce Weiss, Lutz

Regarding the comments made by Evan Longoria, I would like to submit that he remember where he is playing. He has now been on the team for four years or so and would say something like, "Obviously we would like to bring a championship to Tampa.'' He still doesn't know where the Tropicana field is? This is St. Petersburg. He doesn't sound very bright to me to alienate all of us in the very town who he plays to. Does he not read the ratings from Sun Sports on how many people are watching on TV? It's pretty astounding for this area. My husband and I cannot go to every game, but we watch every game on TV. I personally don't think he chose his words very carefully. No matter how he feels, he should not bite off the hand that feeds him!
Brenda Fullerton

I would love to se an article that puts the players salaries in perspective for the average fan to show how out of touch with the community they are what a pampered group of elitists they have become. According to ESPN, some examples of salaries broken down to weekly  paychecks, the way most of us get paid are:

Carlos Pena = $195,000 PER WEEK
Carl Crawford = $192,000 PER WEEK
BJ Upton - $64,000 PER WEEK
Dan Wheeler = $67,000 PER WEEK
Kelly Shoppach = $31,000 PER WEEK
Evan Longoria = $18,750 PER WEEK
And the lowest salary:
John Jaso = $ 7,600 PER WEEK
For the record, I have a 42-game season ticket package, and we attend all  games. I love The Rays, but am very tired of sports in general turning into playgrounds of the rich. The anti-trust laws protect the game form the simple  supply and demand economic controls of the salaries and prices. In any other business, if revenues are down, then costs are reined in. In baseball, and all professional sports, the already obscene salaries MUST rise each and every year. And please don't go there with the Yankees, Phillies, and New York sellouts. I have watched Braves games, who are in a much tighter race than us, and seen many empty seats, and they are in a significantly larger market  than we are. Almost all of the Rays games that I have viewed, with the exception of the above big three, and the Cubs, have vast amounts of empty seating. The  NFL is awash with blackouts as well. People are hurting, they are out of work, have adult children that are out  of work, etc., and if it is embarrassing to the players to see empty stands, then kick in some of that egregious salary, buy some tickets, and distribute them for free, along with some concessions, and they will feel better about the large crowds.
Pat Deruchette

Make no mistake Tampa Bay is a great sports  market. I'm sick and tired of owners and players complaining about a lack of attendence. Get out of your limousine and look around will ya? You are out of touch with your community. Unemployment hovers around 13 percent and every traffic light has a panhandler on each of the four medians. You folks just don't get it. This area is hurting. We aren't New York or L.A. We are Tampa Bay and  businesses are failing everyday. Home foreclosure is at an all-time high. That means families have nowhere to sleep at night but that's not your  concern. After two years of a declining economy, the oil starts leaking and the economy just dries up again.  It's no wonder consumer confidence is down. You people never stop complaining. Get a clue and leave the public alone in this market.  They are doing  the best they can.
Clark Jepson

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:01pm]


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