Bob Nightengale of USA Today has a story on Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez and how they will handle the pressure of playing in Boston. Within the piece, Crawford reminisces about playing in the Trop after a big road trip (via TampaBay.com)…

“It was tough last year,” Crawford says. “You’re in first place, you’re coming off a big road series where you beat Boston and New York. You’re coming home with all of that momentum. … You run onto the field all hyped up….Then, you look up at the (empty) stands, and say, ‘Are you serious?’ It gets you down. You want the energy the other teams have, and you don’t have it.”

One thing we have learned about Crawford off the field, is that he doesn’t speak very often, but when he does, he is very blunt and not afraid to be critical.  This being just the latest (remember the Delmon Young comments?).

And the season hasn’t even started. What is Crawford going to have to say when the rest of the media shows up during the regular season and for his first game back at The Trop?

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57 Comments

  1. And I made that video for him? How rude! Forget him.

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  2. RaysFaninNJ says:

    As blunt as that sounds, it's the bottom line truth. An AL East championship run and the stadium wasn't filled til the playoffs. Yes, it's the fans not showing up, but it's also the horrible location.

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  3. Joe says:

    To be more precise, Carl is not upset at Rays fans but the lack of them...It doesn't make it right, but he is more or less questioning the crowd size.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Well, Crawford has certainly seen the Trop filled with Rays fans, so I took it as a shot at those that weren't going. But certainly, he could just be saying he wished there were more fans in general.

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      • Joe says:

        I agree Cork. I have never heard Carl ever say anything bad about Tampa or St. Petersburg people in general. He simply wished he had better crowds to play in front of more of the time.

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  4. Sublime says:

    I think if anyone has/had earned the right to say something about his old organization, it would be Crawford. It may have not been the correct thing to say during the season, but I feel he has the right to voice his feelings, the sh*t was embarrassing.

    It makes me sick to see him in a Redsox uniform, but he's earned that right (to play and earn that sort of imcome). Coming from Pat Burrell, I wouldn't think twice about the statement, he's a herb anyway, but CC earned the right to speak his peace.

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    • Thadw says:

      No offense, but bullcrap.

      First off, I actually don't think CC is being intentionally rude, as much as I think that he's just ignorant about the impact of the words and frankly just doesn't care two hoots about Tampa or its fragile fanbase and never has. He cares about CC and that's it.

      Second, he "earned" the right to say whatever he wants when he was born in the United States of America. That doesn't make his comments appropriate or tasteful or sensitive. Unless you were born under a rock or maybe IN Iraq, it's no secret that the Rays struggle to draw fans. Why continue to pour salt in that wound after you've skipped town for $142 million? Why? Because he really never cared in the first place about the town or its fans, he only cares about CC. How about, "Man, sure we struggled at times to draw fans, but I loved that town and those fans that came and we built something that hopefully they can continue to see more fans come to the games"?

      Third, some players just have an innate sense of how lucky they are (Pena, Hayhurst, etc.). Gifted or not, they ARE lucky as well. CC apparently still does not realize acknowledge lucky he is to be a baseball player at all. In fact, he denies to this day the most lucky aspect of him becoming a baseball player in the first place.

      Witness Exhibit A: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2011/02/13/fine_tools_hard_work/

      He won't even acknowledge or talk about the one day that prob changed his life forever. Instead, its all about him and how much he has worked to become what he is. It's all about CC.

      Look, are all of us self-centered and self-absorbed to some extent? Sure. Am I? No question. Would I take a raise to $142 million? In a heartbeat. But if I had that opportunity, hopefully I'd stop for a minute to smell the roses and maybe thank a few other folks along the way too instead of calling them out again in public for not showing up.

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      • Sublime says:

        "First off, I actually don’t think CC is being intentionally rude, as much as I think that he’s just ignorant about the impact of the words and frankly just doesn’t care two hoots about Tampa or its fragile fanbase and never has. He cares about CC and that’s it"

        I don't think he's being ignorant or intentionally rude; as someone mentioned earlier, the reporter asked a question and he answered the question. It wasn't like the man asked him about Boston Beans and he went into a tirade on Rays Fandom.

        "He only cares about CC???" You know this based on??? Him taking a 142 Million dollar contract??? The Dude played his ass off for the years he was here, period! He never dogged it, he gave maximum effort every game I watched him play. Even when the team was mathematically eliminated in freakin June, he still played hard.

        Plus as fans, this need we have for players to always genuflect on "how lucky they are, he needs to talk about how lucky he is to be in this position..." Why? Do we ask the same of Donald Trump or Mark Zuckerberg? To borrow a line from Chris Rock (and change it somewhat) "He's Carl Crawford not the Maharaji or the Pope"

        No Offense Taken.

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        • Joe says:

          Its highly ignorant, but it plays negatively to everyone. The way it was presented in the paper was another shot at Rays fans. What I don't get from Topkin's perspective, what benefit does this give the Rays or consumers? Yes, its news, but again, it feeds negatively and of course, us diehards will be riled up.

          No offense, again...But I agree, it plays wrong. I bet in his mind, he did nothing wrong.

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  5. Gary says:

    Our very 1st pitch to CC this spring.....in his ribs!!

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  6. Chris says:

    I think when you have a player who played as hard as he did, every game out as Carl did, you get the right to say these things.

    It also doesn't seem like he just held a news conference to say this. He got asked a question, he answered honestly. Refreshing in an age of not saying anything and having endorsement concerns take all.

    To finish it off, he's right. We're not as bad as we're made out to be but it should have been better last year.

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  7. CharlieRay says:

    I'm Sorry HE IS NOW THE ENEMY. Everybody should ware their CC shirts with a big RED CIRCLE with a line through it when he comes. We don't need his BS

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    • Indiana Rays Boy says:

      CharlieRay, I agree 110 percent. If he would had played for any other team but the AL East, I wouldn't mind. The HATED Red Sox is a no-no.

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  8. Thad says:

    There's no denying the accuracy of the statement or his right to say it. Both are undeniable truths. It's just insensitive and classless to continue to pile on after you've left town to go to a hated rival. I don't care how "correct" the statement is. That's a VERY easy question to deflect and spin into a much less derogatory tone. Ask yourself how Pena would (or will) answer the same question and you will understand the difference between a grateful, appreciative athlete and a self-absorbed, self-centered one.

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  9. Don says:

    One thing you brain surgeons DON'T remember... when two of your favorites...Longoria/Price was bad mouthing fans in Tampabay........... CC never said a word...you want to direct your misdirected anger........ do it toward two kids that still play here.....CC does NOT play here anymore...what he says now is.... as being the "enemy".... as you have labeled him.... Maddon's worst nightmare is if one day someone (media) ask CC how it was playing for Maddon and his kindergarten mentality in the clubhouse...then you will hear "The Real Story"....

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    • Joe says:

      You bring up a good point Don. Is Carl Crawford self-absorbed? He may be, I don't know the guy. He has had hiccups here in Tampa Bay like failing to play CF in 2008 in the Kansas City series. I suppose that you won't find a lot of players in this day and age to have "diva" tendencies. All I know is since 2002 when Carl first came up, he never faked an injury. He may not have sounded right or felt right, but he played. He may have played a few more days than what Maddon gave him off, but so be it.

      Stu Sternberg thanked Carl right in the middle of the clubhouse right after Game 5 in the middle of all media and team personnel and thanked him for his time here? Now how upstanding and professional is that? Yes, he thanked him, but wouldn't you want to do that in private where you can have a conversation with the guy, or better yet, buy him a dinner wherever where you can show your appreciation?

      And AGAIN, this comes back to the stewardship of the club. Funny that the Longoria/Price comments come up. None of this would have EVER have been an issue if the owner, president, EVP of Baseball Ops or Rick Vaughn got IN FRONT of these people, profess their love of the area and fans and it would never get to this point!

      Two wrongs don't make a right. CC probably was somewhat immature about his comments. And the anger the fans have is somewhat misdirected. I still can't believe that you got an owner that talked about five better cities than Tampa or St. Pete that don't have baseball and he was let COMPLETELY off the hook on that, other than sites like this. Or talk about hitting the lottery.

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  10. MJ says:

    It's becoming obvious that CC didn't want to be here and doesn't have much of a filter either. Someone should explain to him the numerous reasons WHY the stands were always empty. He is just giving the media the sound bites they want and not really having much tact.

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  11. Thad says:

    Couple things and I'm done with this topic because in the end it really doesn't matter anyway:

    1) Athlete's paychecks are "signed" by the fans (radio, tv, tixx, merchandise). Their very livelihood and personal fortunes only exist because OF the fans. Without interest BY fans, men playing baseball games in dirt wearing polyester leggings would be as trivial and insignificant as an arm-wrestling tournament in Wyoming or say the WNBA. Athletes owe the fans at least some modicum of respect for their fame and fortune.

    2) This topic was about CC not Price/Longo. Bit for the record Price was completely out of line for essentially mocking the fanbase via twitter. Totally uncalled for and immature. Longo was trying to be a leader but his comments were ill-timed, condescending, and insensitive. I get the fact that Rays attendance is a joke around the league, in the media, among your peers, inside the clubhouse. It is. It's a joke. But you just can't do that.

    3) I keep coming back to the way Pena gets it and CC never did and never will. That's the difference for me. I will always root for Pena the way he respected what Tampa made him and how grateful he was for whatever support they got. CC played hard, cashed in his big payday, then bought the Rays employees some BBQ with some change that fell out of his agent's wallet on signing day in Beantown.

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  12. Beth says:

    CC played before plenty of sell outs and near sell-outs during his time in St. Pete. Even if he's asked a question about what it will be like to play in Boston, it's very easy to give an answer like, "I'm looking forward to playing in Boston, but the fans in the Tampa Bay area were great, too." End of statement. Hundreds of athletes have managed to change teams without insulting the fans they left behind.

    Even on a bad night, he was playing in front of 12,000 - 15,000 people who paid good money to watch him. Commenting only on the empty seats is disrespecting everyone who was there. If you throw a party and some of your friends can't come, do you spend the evening dissing those who are absent, or playing host to those who showed up?

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  13. CharlieRay says:

    "My heart is here in Boston"
    "I hope they break his heart and he falls on his face"

    He will not get a warm welcome from us when he comes back.
    I'm a FULL season ticket holder and he never got BOOed but he will NOW

    No warm welcom. You burned your bridge CC

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  14. Rob says:

    I'll actually enjoy it when he has a month of .200 hitting and no homers and they boo the bejesus out of him. I fhe gets off to a slow start he'll make what we do to BJ Upton look like paradise. Enjoy it Carl.

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  15. John says:

    I didn't see it as him calling out the fans, just the lack thereof. More a shot at the area than the fanbase. But mostly, I just see this as CC being CC. He's a great player and he give max effort. For that, I will always appreciate it. But whenever I saw his name in the paper with quotation marks nearby, I cringed even before I read it. Like a lot of the Rays players, he did not do well in cliché management. Look, just b/c somebody asks what you think, doesn't mean you have to tell them. Most people learn this at some point along the line. So far, CC has not. And while that plays well in Boston right now, it's not gonna play real well after a rough day in the office.

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  16. to think I actually mourned him leaving. What an ass.

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  17. Vic says:

    I think Boston is the last place to pick on the Rays fans for attendance numbers, The Red Sox started playing at Fenway in 1912 and from then through 1975, the average game attendance for a season exceeded the 2010 Rays' attendance figures only once, in 1968. It was not until the mid-1980s that Boston began to routinely surpass the Ray's 2010 numbers. That means the great Ted Williams played his entire home career in front of fewer fans than did the Rays did last year.

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  18. D-Rome says:

    What's the big deal? He's right.

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  19. Kelsey says:

    It does hurt hearing him say something like that but I think everyone is taking it way too far. I do understand the issues that go along with attendance and the Rays games and there is more to it then just what other people outside of Tampa see, which they think it is just we do not care about our team. That is not true. Of course we do not have all the history like the Yankees or Boston and being in the AL East we get compared to them ALL the time.

    If the Rays had the money they would have loved to keep CC and he had said all throughout the season he would love to remain a Ray. It sucks Boston has the money and we do not to pay him but this is a business and he is getting prepared to represent and play hard for his team in Boston now.

    I hope when the Sox come to the Trop that people are respectful to CC. The last thing Rays fans need is something else the writers to talk bad about.

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  20. Andy says:

    How is this any different than what Price and Longoria said? Name that quote:

    "We only had like 15,000 fans out there. In 2008, when we clinched, this place was packed. We played 155 games this season and it's kind of like what else do you have to do to draw fans in this place. It's actually embarrassing for us."

    ""A lot of the visiting teams come in and wonder where are all the fans. It's actually a little bit embarrassing for us. We're one game away from clinching a postseason spot. We have enough guys in this room to celebrate with, but we'd love to celebrate it with the fans, too."

    "Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing"

    “You’re in first place, you’re coming off a big road series where you beat Boston and New York. You’re coming home with all of that momentum. … You run onto the field all hyped up….Then, you look up at the (empty) stands, and say, ‘Are you serious?’ It gets you down. You want the energy the other teams have, and you don’t have it.”

    How DARE he say the exact same thing as Longoria and Price, four months after the fact!!!

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    • Andy says:

      Though one thing about Crawfords comments that I didn't see pointed out above: in 2010 there was no road series in which we beat both Boston and New York. He's not paid for his brains I suppose.

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      • Andy says:

        To go a step further, we never even PLAYED both those teams on a road trip last year.

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        • Andy says:

          AND, the last time the Rays did, they lost 7 games in a row to them (September 2009).

          If CC wants to talk about his time here, thats fine by me. But concocting hypotheticals to make our fans look worse...thats wrong.

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    • Steve Michaels says:

      1. I could be wrong, but I thought people were pretty upset when Longoria and Price said those things. In fact, I think it was a much bigger deal then. Of course, it was during the season, so I would expect it to be magnified then.

      2. It is different when it is one of your own. If one of my best friends gets on my case for something, I am more willing to accept the comments than I would from somebody that I dont like.

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  21. Piggy says:

    Since when is stating facts and telling the truth taking shots? I think this must be a slow day in news.... I dont think CC is saying anything now that he didnt say when he was with the Rays....

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    • Andy says:

      When its not stating the facts and telling the truth. From 2008-2010, the Rays never won series against Boston and New York on the same road trip. Look it up yourself if you don't believe me.

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      • Andy says:

        He's basically imagining things that never actually happened, and then using that as a way to tell Boston fans how much better they are than Rays fans. At first glance, I viewed his comments as interchangeable with Price's/Longo's. But he has time to think about what he was going to say. And even with the extra time, he just made crap up.

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  22. David says:

    I'll agree with Carl by making this point:
    A 1st place team deserves a full house.
    The 1st place Rays last year got the attendance of a near last place team.
    That's all Carl is saying, so do not twist his words any longer.

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    • Andy says:

      Nobody is twisting what Crawford said. He said what he said. And what he said happened, in fact, never happened. He could have made his point without making stuff up.

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      • David says:

        You're right about that, but then again, I never mentioned anything about (or did research on like you did) coming off any road series wins. What you're doing is nitpicking. Although his facts were wrong, you know that he meant. Unless you've never been wrong about anything in your whole entire life, you should give CC a pass on what he said and only understand what he meant.

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        • Andy says:

          I'm wrong about things all the time. Everyone is. But as a general rule, if I'm going to criticize others, I make sure I have my facts correct. Crawford failed to do that here, and that falls on him, not me, or Rays fans. He's calling out Rays fans for something that never happened.

          And I get his point. I just think he's shown a lot about himself in the process.

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  23. Rick says:

    CC, Longoria and Price have all said it was discouraging to not have a full house. I've said it before (letter to the editor of the TBT). I guess economics 101 was a failed class for those players. Florida's unemployment rate is higher than the national aveage. Florida is also not a big baseball state, football is the state game of choice. Lets face it when the Bucs can't fill the seats and the games are blacked out, what is that saying? (well besides a losing record)
    CC also seems to be forgetting the losses with a full house. After the comments by Longoria and Price, the Rays gave away free tickets and they lost. They also lost all of their home games during the playoffs. I didn't see them stepping up to apologize for their lack luster play to the fans.
    I personally will not be attending any Rays games this year and will attend minor league games instead. Three reasons for this, cheaper ticket prices, players who seem to still enjoy the game and the park is closer to home for me.
    I hope the Rays have a sucessful season and the fans show up when they can afford to attend. I'll watch from home this year.

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    • David says:

      That's not fair of you to be saying that. It sucks that they lost on games that there was a full house, but that does not mean that every game shouldn't be a full house just because they lost games on a full house. They were in first place! Are you saying that the Rays should be glad that fans don't pack up the Trop because they'll win more games that way? I do not understand your logic at all.

      Now, I understand Tampa Bay's economic problems, but ESPN did research just like you did. Guess what? The Rays are the most affordable team in all of sports. You cannot get any cheaper than the Rays in all of sports. So that is another unfair statement when you say that the Rays need to understand Tampa Bay's economic troubles better.

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  24. David says:

    If anything, I see that CC isn't the best at doing research. lol

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  25. RNAIL says:

    Baseball is a horrible sport for Florida. Seriously, we could care less about anything but football.

    We like some basketball, but really all we want to know is when football starts again..

    Sorry Carl, your awesome, but we just dont give a shit!

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  26. Red Sox Nation says:

    Crawdaddy doesn't give a shit about you guys and why should he? Looks like all that money you guys spent on that newspaper ad was a complete waste of time. I cant wait until 2025 when he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame and he is wearing a Red Sox cap. LMAO!

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    • come on says:

      lol typical douche redsox fan

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    • Mark says:

      When I'm pi$$ed because our home-grown talent gets cherry picked by Boston and NY, moronic posts like yours "Red Sox Nation" always make me feel better because, in the end, I can always say "at least I'm not a Red Sox fan".

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  27. Gus says:

    I guess my heart sinks everytime I see the Trop looking empty too. But still he didn't need to say it. You got your $128M thanks to the franchise promoting you when you were 20 and letting you develop at the MLB level, something Boston or NYY would have never done. So it worked out for you Carl. Stop piling on us. And when the southies from Boston start given you the business when you are 1 for 20, you may appreciate the relaxed Trop a little more.

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  28. Carey says:

    Carl to the Hall? Ummm. . . gonna take some work. Me personaly, I'm not surprised. I always liked what Carl brought as a player, but also thought he was a bit of a prima donna douchbag (see the CF/Leadoff episode in '08). That said, I've always thought Carl would make this "divorce" easy when all was said and done. Just seems to be a little earlier than I thought.

    Lastly, and I'm sure I'll get hammered, but I hope he gets some serious leg-oriented injury and the Sox have to stroke that 140M check and flush it down the toilet. Nothing personal. But in a league with its business model so out of whack as MLB, I hope the same thing on all Red Sox and Yankees.

    It would be awsome to see the Sox fans eat his ass for lunch and see the cutaways of Carl pouting in the dugout.

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  29. Rayhawk says:

    Ok here goes, I hope to hell he goes through a 2 week slump hitting the Mendoza line, and see how well the Boston fans treat him..How come he was quiet here, never spoke out, gets a pant load of green backs, and cant shut up, now NO clapping at all in June from Rays fans PLEASE.

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  30. Cowbell_Kid says:

    Crawford was a heck of a talent, that being said....... I think Tupac's character from the movie "Juice" said it best "you the past bro!"

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  31. Joe says:

    Go ahead and get mad at me, I said it earlier, a lot of the anger is misdirected. Get mad at Stu Sternberg, who didn't have the class to thank Carl Crawford in PRIVATE, rather than grandstand him in public IMMEDIATELY after a Game 5 defeat, where he thanked him in front of the established press corps.

    Again, I do NOT condone what Carl Crawford said and did, but get mad at the source, Stu Sternberg. He establishes the tone of the organization. Where is he defending the honor and prestige of the freaking area? Why is he not talking UP the area in this fight against the national media?! Why are guys like Bobby Jenks saying they signed with the Red Sox "because its the Red Sox"? When someone of profile who the Rays want signs with the Rays "because its the Rays" will be THE FIRST ONE TO DO THAT!!

    I simply what what's fair is fair. Price and Longoria have said just as bad if not worse what Carl has said. Carl said it AFTER he left the Rays. He spent 7 years here. If you want to go ahead and question his maturity, you got every right to. It hurts more because I CARE ABOUT THIS AREA! I just wish we had an owner and team president were willing to love our area more than what they are saying!!!!!

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  32. Joe says:

    Right or wrong, it doesn't matter, I want the freaking owner to defend this area as OUR AREA, not watching it from his home in Rye and letting the talking heads do perceived dirty work! I wish Stu loved Tampa Bay more, it might rub off on his players and staff. Here I am questioning his love of the area and his own fans!

    He could shut Steve Berthiaume and Peter Gammons up with ONE PHONE CALL! Yet he doesn't do it!!! It serves his agenda. Maybe he will prove me wrong and if he does, we all as fans will win!! But it hurts what Carl says again, because we care. And he's right, but he didn't really say that while he was here. But the owner and team president sitting this out because they got a spat with the City is DESPICABLE!!

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