Thursday, September 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

More fan reaction to Rays trading Evan Longoria

As a 5-year-old growing up in St. Pete, I was a die-hard baseball fan. I cheered for all of the teams that had local spring training ties. I can still tell you the starting lineup for the 1980 world champion Phillies. And the ‘86 Mets.

All that changed when the Rays came to town. I took my 8-year-old daughter to the airport to cheer on the Rays when they made it to the ALCS in 2008. Even after moving to Polk County, we’d make the trek over a few times a year, and we watched over half the games on TV.

And I understood when the Rays had to cut salaries to continue to contend. I hated to see Zobrist go. Even more so, to have to bid goodbye to Price. But I got it. We had to buy low and sell high. And it all made sense as part of a bigger plan.

But this simply doesn’t. The Rays need to develop generations of fans. Kids who grow up cheering on a team will raise the next generation to do the same. And the Rays were getting there.

Today, a friend shared a picture on social media of her daughter getting an autograph by Evan. Her daughter is the same age as mine was when we made the trip to the airport. Her mom is a Cubs fan but was raising her daughter to cheer on the Rays. After today, her daughter said she doesn’t want to go back to a Rays game. Mom said she might become a Cubs fan herself.

It hurts. And it doesn’t make sense. Even when it seems to, it really doesn’t.

— J.J. Gawlowicz, Winter Haven

What Jeter and company failed to grasp on the east coast of football land is that fans actually need a reason to come and cheer. I say that because Longoria provided just that and more for this franchise. He and his family were supportive community members engaged in a variety of projects outside the lines that appeared to be more than agent-driven tax write-offs.

It’s important to consider the emotional well being of fans and their loyalties in relation to their entertainment budgets. If baseball becomes nothing but metrics, then the game will become less inclusive for those seeking escape from the struggles of their daily lives. That includes pay, health care, mortgages, child-care expenses, etc.

At the end of the day this is supposed to be about winning and fun. I suspect it will be a while until the fans can rekindle the fun inside the moldy, beaten-down Trop.

— Bruce Reznick, New York

The Rays were a better manager and a few bullpen arms away from being a playoff team last season. Now they are in self-declared rebuild, and I expect a few more stars to leave soon. However, since the Rays front office proved it doesn’t care about us fans, I will opt not to drive from Orlando to support this team.

— Steve Thomas, Orlando

I think it was a good idea to move Longoria since he is 32 and declining. What’s terrible about the deal is we got another injured key player (Christian Arroyo) in return. Is this Matt Duffy Part 2?

— Jerry O’Grady, Sarasota

Comments
Are these guys threatening to turn AL wild card into a race? Just ask the Rays

Are these guys threatening to turn AL wild card into a race? Just ask the Rays

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays still have got a long way to go and a short time to get there if they're gonna do what they say can't be done.If the Smokey and the Bandit paraphrase doesn't work for you, then let's try another theatrical reference....
Updated: 8 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Rangers game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Rangers game

OF Tommy Pham is playing with a sore groin and a sorer right ring finger, but he is determined, in his words, to "salvage" his season, and his two home runs Wednesday give him 19 total, five in 28 games with the Rays since the trade to go with a .327...
Published: 09/19/18
Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays will get their first look at OF Austin Meadows when he joins them Thursday in Toronto as part of the final wave of callups.And based on what RHP Tyler Glasnow, a former Pirates and now Rays teammate, said, they're go...
Published: 09/19/18
Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Today was rookie dress-up day for the Rays, a long-standing, and recently by rule toned down, tradition among teams to embarrass their first-timers.Masterminded by veteran reliever Sergio Romo the Rays went with a fitting theme for the rookie-laden t...
Published: 09/19/18
Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rays still have a long way to go, and they are going to need a lot of help to get there.But they continue to do their part to try to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot, beating the Rangers 9-3 Wedne...
Published: 09/19/18
Rays calling up Meadows, plus Hu, Milner, Pruitt but not Wong

Rays calling up Meadows, plus Hu, Milner, Pruitt but not Wong

UPDATE, 1:14: Cash said this is expected to be the extent of the callups, so that sounds like a no for Wong and the others. … Meadows is understandably of the most interest and Cash said he is excited to see him, but acknowledged it will be a l...
Published: 09/19/18
For starters: Rays at Rangers, playing for something

For starters: Rays at Rangers, playing for something

UPDATE, 1:09: The Rays are talking a little bit more about the possibilities of making it to the playoffs, RHP Tyler Glasnow sharing a view similar to Snell: "Everybody in this clubhouse is getting ready for  a wild-card game." .. Yarbrough is e...
Published: 09/19/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Why Blake Snell should win the AL Cy Young Award

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Why Blake Snell should win the AL Cy Young Award

Rays pitcher Blake Snell becomes baseball's first 20-game winner and deserves to win the AL Cy Young Award, Rick Stroud says on today's podcast. Snell picks up the victory as the Rays  blank the Rangers to move 18 games above .500.Plus, Buc...
Published: 09/19/18
Blake Snell wins major-league-leading 20th in 4-0 win over Rangers

Blake Snell wins major-league-leading 20th in 4-0 win over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — One of the things that has made Blake Snell so good this season for the Rays is his refusal to be satisfied with anything he does.No matter how well he pitches, he finds flaws in his performance and identifies something ...
Published: 09/19/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Rangers game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Rangers game

LHP Blake Snell certainly gets the bulk of the credit for his remarkable season, and there's definitely some due to pitching coach Kyle Snyder. But don't ignore C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes throwing to and has been both a good target and a calming ...
Published: 09/19/18