Let us play Conspiracy Theorist for a moment…
We weren’t going to write about this topic, but it has come up in a couple of places including the comments section of this blog.
The question: Was there a deeper motive behind the comments by David Price and Evan Longoria about the Rays attendance?
- The comments came from two players, not one. If it were just Longoria’s comments or Price’s comments, the story likely would not have been nearly as big. In fact, when we read Longo’s comments we thought they were interesting. It wasn’t until we read Price’s tweet that we knew something big was happening.
- The comments were
made by arguably the Rays two biggest stars. Well, at least the two biggest starts that will be back next season.
- The comments were made by two players that are normally very soft-spoken and whose comments are usually very careful and well-measured. That is, they never say anything controversial.
- To take it a step further, there is symmetry to the players that made the comments. One position player, one pitcher. One black, one white. If one were picking two players to represent the entire team, these are without a doubt, the two you would pick.
- Reports are that Longoria, who did not play in the game, was waiting in the locker room for the reporters. Something that one beat writer deemed “unusual.” That is, his comment was not a response to a question. Rather, it was more like a prepared statement.
- Longoria’s comments to reporters and Price’s Tweet, were made within minutes of each other. And both players used the word “embarassing.”
Anytime one thinks that something nefarious is going on and one wants to know who is behind the plot, the first question to ask is: who benefits?
Were Price and Longoria just trying to get more fans to The Trop? Not likely. There were only two home games remaining in the regular season. Any “bump” would hardly be noticeable for a series with the Orioles and would mean little to overall attendance. And of course, there shouldn’t be any concern about playoff attendance.
No. The real benefactor here is the front office. First of all, the comments created a buzz about the Rays that surprisingly hasn’t been there this year. And even if much of the commentary was negative, any buzz is better than no buzz.
But more importantly, the comments stirred nationwide commentary on the state of the Rays franchise and the lack of support in their current situation. And all of this commentary supports the notion that the Rays can’t survive in The Trop or even St. Pete. The comments by Price and Longoria led to much of the media calling for the Rays to move and find a better home.
Don’t think for one moment that Stuart Sternberg and Matt Silverman weren’t grinning from ear-to-ear yesterday. The entire national media just made the Rays case without Sternberg or Silverman having to say a word.
Or maybe Longoria and Price were just frustrated and it was a coincidence that they both sounded-off with the same expression within minutes of each other.