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Around the bay area: Keeping tabs on the Rays

He’s a fan: Gov. Charlie Crist sports a Rays tie and emblem during a stop at the company Techno-Solis in St. Petersburg.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

He’s a fan: Gov. Charlie Crist sports a Rays tie and emblem during a stop at the company Techno-Solis in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG — Of the nearly 80 televisions on display in Best Buy at Tyrone Square, only one was tuned to the Rays playing at Boston in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

That meant Juan Figueroa and Justin Anderson served as the store's unofficial sportscasters for the other employees Monday.

Who's up now? What's the score? Who's on third?

"People keep talking back and forth asking me what's going on," said Anderson, a sales associate in the home theater section, pointing to the headset and walkie-talkie strapped to his hip. "So we're keeping them up to date."

A big storm last year wiped out one of the store's antennas, so the majority of the high-definition, big-screen televisions on display run on a closed-circuit channel.

While the Rays took a 5-0 lead over the Red Sox, a Spanish-speaking rapper promoted his upcoming album on the rest of the televisions throughout the store.

In between helping a customer select a receiver and helping another choose the best remote control, Figueroa and Anderson sneaked peeks at the game on the TV behind their register — the only one in the section that was not high-definition.

"I'm a Yankees fan," Figueroa confessed.

"But this year, I went for the Rays."

Crist support: Gov. Charlie Crist toured two Pinellas County businesses, sporting a Rays tie and a Rays emblem on his dress shirt.

Crist, who moved to St. Petersburg as a child, said he hopes to watch the Rays play again at Tropicana Field in the ALCS. If they don't win the next two in Boston, the Rays will return to St. Petersburg for Game 6 Saturday and possibly Game 7 Sunday.

But Crist said he would face the same problem that many fans do: He needs tickets.

Trop empty, but store open: The Rays are playing in Boston now, but fans can still go to the team store at the Trop if they need a new cap or T-shirt commemorating the ALCS.

After the Rays earned a playoff berth, the team store began staying open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. During home games, the store opens when the Trop's gates open.

Just for the record: The $1 playoff special cowbells are still in stock.

Around the bay area: Keeping tabs on the Rays 10/13/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 6:44pm]
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