Dan Johnson’s career with the Rays lasted a grand total of 10 games and 28 trips to the plate. But with one mighty swing of the bat at Fenway last fall (right), he will always be remembered for what he contributed to the franchise.
Rain is threatening the cancellation of today’s opening day game in Boston and there has been some chatter about how silly it is for Major League Baseball to schedule opening day games in cold weather cities.
While it would be nice for the defending American League champions to open at home, it is quite possible the Tampa Bay Rays don’t want to be at The Trop this week. Or possibly Major League Baseball does not want small market teams at home this week in order to maximize ticket revenue.
Fewer home games in April and May mean more home games in June and July after schools let out. From a ticket sale perspective, it is better to give the big market clubs more games early in the year, and it just so happens that most of those clubs are in the northeast where weather is not favorable this time of year. And while any team can sell out opening day, it is the rest of that first week that suffers with low attendance in small markets.
In April, the Rays play 15 games on the road and only 8 games at The Trop.
As for opening day itself? Major League Baseball is well aware of the problem with weather. This is why the Rays and Red Sox have an off-day tomorrow. Bad weather is not new to baseball.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Today is the greatest day of the year, opening day…We will be back in a little while with our annual “State of the Franchise.” And then a little later will are going to try out a couple of new features for the 2009 season…The first part is a gameday thread, but like everything else, we are going to give the traditional gameday thread a little Rays Index twist. The second part is another contest for a chance to win tickets to a game to watch the Rays this season…So be sure to check back later for all the details.
- Marc Lancaster has some quotes from Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon on Jason Hammel, Jeff Niemann and Aneury Rodriguez. [Rays Report]
- Marc Topkin and Tom Jones provide an audio (with pics) preview of the 2009 Tampa Bay Rays. [St. Pete Times]