BASEBALL/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.


  • 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]




  1. Charles says:

    Weather permitting, some coworkers & I are going to watch the game at a local bar, where I am 100% certain to be the only person wearing a Rays shirt. If it gets rained out, they'll just have to look at the shirt hanging in my cubicle all day long.

  2. bobrittner says:

    Thank you professor. The first reasonable explanation for the start in Boston I have read. I think there ought to be some way to balance things so small market teams could get the benefit of mid-summer home games and still begin play in better climates, but perhaps the logistics make it impossible.

    For the Rays this year there is an advantage in that 18 of 30 Sept/Oct games are in TB.

  3. Mark says:

    That's a good point with the ticket sales and all. I never thought about those things, however The Heater reports the Rays asked MLB to open the season at home and were denied. It doesn't appear to me that MLB has learned from the snowout of '07 in Cleveland.


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