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Rays attendance not rising with team

Did Pats' Spygate
start with the Bucs?

Former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh gives his first television interview tonight when he appears on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Walsh, one of the key figures in the Patriots' Spygate scandal, was interviewed by Andrea Kremer and there are startling revelations made about the Patriots-Bucs game in 2000, which the Bucs won 21-16.

Here's a portion of what Walsh said to Kremer about that game:

"I had spoken with one of our quarterbacks, uh, that said, he was called into Coach Belichick's office shortly before the Tampa Bay game. In the office was Ernie Adams, Charlie Weis, and Coach Belichick. They closed the door, Charlie said to him, 'You know, we've got tape of the Buccaneers' coaches defensive signals. What we're going to do is have you learn this, then we're going to have you next to Charlie on the sideline, when he's calling in the play to Drew (Bledsoe, the starting quarterback), over the coach to quarterback communication system. Drew's got the, the earpiece in the helmet, and you're going to tell Charlie the defense that's being called, and we're going to relay the information, or use that in calling the play into Drew.' Um, the quarterback, you know, later told me that within two to three seconds of when (Bucs defensive coordinator) Monte Kiffin sent a play call into (Bucs safety) John Lynch, Drew Bledsoe had it in his helmet."

Wow!

See the entire interview at 8 tonight on HBO.

The list

Annika Sorenstam, who said she will retire at the end of current golf season, made an appearance on Wednesday night's Late Show with David Letterman to read the Top 10 list. Appropriately enough, the list was the top 10 reasons she is retiring:

10. "Tired of Tiger Woods stealing my putter."

9. "Became less interested in aiming for the green and more interested in aiming at spectators."

8. "I knew I needed a break when my golf bag began talking to me."

7. "I'm leaving to play Countess Scarlett Worthington on All My Children.''

6. "When I'm in a stressful tournament, I eat golf tees like they're peanuts."

5. "Honestly, this long presidential campaign has sucked the life out of me."

4. "Who can focus on golf when Lauren and Audrina are fighting on The Hills?''

3. "I want to spend more time with Brett Favre's family."

2. "I just want a job where I can sit in a cubicle instead of being stuck on a golf course all day."

1. "The only putts I have to worry about now is my fiance.''

Number of the day

$22,081,561 Career LPGA prize money earnings for Annika Sorenstam, the most all time among female golfers.

Take me out to the ballgame?

This week, the question came up about why more people are not attending Rays games even though the Rays are in first place and a marquee team (the Yankees) was in town. Here are the results of a Times online poll asking why attendance might be down and a few of your responses.

Why aren't you going to Rays games?

Stadium location

Current economic climate

Too expensive

Other things to do

Not buying into recent
on-field success

Total votes: 709

The answer to the subject question is straightforward; it is not the state of the economy, the location of the stadium, ticket price, or other things to do; it is simply that every game is televised. Why go to the stadium when you can watch the game in the comfort of your home? If the Rays want to increase attendance, black out TV coverage within a 50-mile radius of the stadium. This is not rocket science. Please don't get me wrong. I enjoy watching the Rays on TV and attend five to 10 games a year. And if the Rays weren't on TV I would probably go to twice as many games. If a lot of fans are like me that would double attendance. By the way, I won't like it if you stop televising the Rays games, but I'll get over it.

Paul Chiavacci

St. Petersburg

Perhaps the reason the fans aren't turning out to see the Rays this year is because there are just too many other places for their income has to be spent. Gasoline is rapidly heading toward $4 a gallon, food prices are going through the roof, insurance rates for homes and cars keep increasing, as do our taxes. Then on top of all that, the powers that be decide that this year they will resume paid parking at the stadium then add a price increase for tickets to the prime games and a $2 surcharge on all tickets that are not purchased five hours prior to the start of the game. I think the Rays owners and management need to do some serious rethinking.

Jeanne Humphrey

Largo

You ask why more people don't attend the Rays games? I'll tell you why. I have been to three games this year and I'm not sure I'm going back until the St. Petersburg police learn traffic control. At last Saturday's game it took 30 minutes to go from Tampa to St. Pete and 62 minutes to go from the interstate ramp to the parking lot at the Trop down Martin Luther King Street. There were no police north of Central Avenue. Cars were cutting in line from all directions. The traffic lights were not timed for the increased north/south traffic. So three or four cars got through and we sat there with little or no cross traffic. I have to say that the Tampa police do a much better job at Raymond James Stadium with three or four times the number of vehicles and fans.

John Moroney

Tampa

31 percent

30 percent

18 percent

17 percent



4 percent

Best baseball towns

This weekend, the Rays make their first-ever visit to St. Louis, which many claim is the best baseball town in the country.

So Two Cents decided to ask veteran Times baseball writer Marc Topkin, who has covered baseball since 1987, to name his five best baseball towns. Here's what he had to say:

1. St. Louis: A college football atmosphere around the diamond.

2. Boston: Everyone's into the Sox, though some do it for show.

3. New York: The fans know a lot about the game; just ask them.

4. Baltimore: That's why it's so sad to see what's happening now.

5. Cincinnati: Traditionally among the best; but what's up with that chili?

Times staff writer Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

Rays attendance not rising with team 05/15/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 22, 2009 4:47pm]
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