With the always-packed Fan Fest just around the corner — and with the ever-looming threat of the boys of summer dumping us for nicer digs — we decided to count the ways we love those Rays. • Well, for the most part. • Let's be honest: It's a fickle relationship. "We need couples therapy," City Council member Leslie Curran said last week. Oh, we love the guys' winning ways, the passionate pitching staff, the lovable civic-minded coach. But when we created our swoony list, we couldn't help but find a few flaws that get under our skin.
Anne Glover and Sean Daly, Times staff writers
We love: Escaping the blistering summer heat in an air-conditioned dome.
Not so much: Getting balls lost in the catwalks is cringe-inducing.
We love: That Rays Fan Fest has free admission.
Not so much: That as soon as the doors open, the Trop becomes as crowded as a Cecil B. DeMille scene. Good grief, where are all of these people at actual games?
We love: Seeing the team at spring training in the warm sun.
Not so much: Having to drive almost two hours to get there.
We love: Luke Scott's Wolverine sideburns.
Not so much: When the not-so-superhero whiffs 40 times in a row.
We love: Bunyanesque backstop Jose Molina's catching.
Not so much: His running the bases as if he has bunions.
We love: Sam Fuld's sprawled-out, no-he-didn't acrobatic catches.
Not so much: How he's usually sprawled out on the bench instead.
We love: Fernando Rodney's tilted cap.
Not so much: Clueless national broadcasters who don't get it. It's called style, gang.
We love: Evan Longoria's many heroics.
Not so much: That he apparently only has one song on his iPod, Down and Out by Tantric, the screechy-violin walkup music he refuses to change. Duuuude, enough already. How about some Foo Fighters? AC/DC?
We love: Everything about Ben Zobrist . . .
Not so much: . . . That is, except when our lil' angel tries to sprout facial hair.
We love: Joel Peralta's bulging biceps.
Not so much: Former teammates who rat him out. (We're looking at you, Nats!)
We love: DJ Kitty.
Not so much: That he's not on the scoreboard every inning. In fact, we wouldn't mind if he pinch ran for Molina now and then, too.
We love: That vendor who chants "Beer, beer, beer, beer, beer!"
No so much: When he charges us a semester's worth of college tuition for two Bud Lights.
We love: Real bottle races for the Pepsi products.
Not so much: The lame video ones they show on the scoreboard.
We love: That Ferg's is Rays Central on game days.
Not so much: That Ferg's is Red Sox Central when the bad guys are in town.
We love: Joe Maddon. And Desmond Jennings. And David Price.
Not so much: Anyone who doesn't.