Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria says team is embarrassed by poor attendance

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays had a chance to clinch the second playoff berth in franchise history Monday night and had the fourth-smallest crowd of the season with 12,446 at Tropicana Field.

And All-Star Evan Longoria had enough, calling the small gathering on the big night "embarrassing" and "disheartening."

The attendance issue has been bothering Longoria — the team's most nationally known player — for a while, and he decided to speak out.

"We go out there and play hard for 162 games," Longoria said, "and for the fans to show the kind of support they're showing right now, you kind of wonder what else you have to do as a player."

Longoria wasn't the only Rays star to feel that way.

David Price expressed his feeling on his Twitter page with this post: "Had a chance to clinch a postseason spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands … embarrassing."

Longoria said the lack of support — the Rays are averaging 22,913, 22nd most in the majors — had been a topic among the players until they got tired of talking about it.

"It's kind of become something that's really not talked about anymore because we just kind of expect it," he said. "But it's really not something we want to come to expect; we want to be able to go out there and know there's going to be 30- to 35,000. Especially at a time like this. That's the biggest thing for me.

"The middle of the year when we're not playing very well and we haven't had a track record of playing very well, then that's kind of acceptable I guess because of the way the Tampa Bay franchise has been.

"But at this point of the year, you'd expect some fans to come out."

Longoria cited how the Rays drew significantly larger crowds during the 2008 stretch run and how much of a boost that provided, and he said he didn't want his comments to come across as "a low blow" about the fans but an appeal to "rally the troops" for larger crowds, at least for the postseason.

"I don't think there's any more time for rationalizations. We figured if we have a chance at the beginning of September then maybe the fans will come, and now it's the end of September and it's almost October and we're still kind of looking up in the seats going, 'Where is everybody?' " Longoria said.

"Obviously we want to bring a championship to Tampa. And we'd like more than 12,000 to 15,000 to know about it."

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria says team is embarrassed by poor attendance 09/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  2. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  3. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  4. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.
  5. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win


    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …