If you are a masochist and want to read 1,000 words about how much we suck as a fan base and how much Tampa and St. Pete suck as sports towns, then you should head over to Biz of Baseball, and read Maury Brown’s latest piece.
It reads like an article somebody would write if they wanted a job at ESPN.com. This isn’t the first time Brown has bashed Rays fans. And it is just the same stuff we hear from all talking heads that don’t do any research and just regurgitate numbers they hear on Sportscenter.
[Update: As was pointed out in the comments, Brown was a member of the Portland Baseball Group that failed to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland, Oregon. So when he says "fans in other markets would die to have a team [like the Rays],” he is speaking from first-hand experience. We’ll let you guys decide if that adds any bias to his writing.]
We are going to reserve further comment and just give you the
No, Tampa Bay, you’re safe. But, that doesn’t mean you deserve the Rays. Only by luck are you keeping the team. If the opportunity to relocate or contract the club were available, as fast as you can say, “Bud Selig”, I’m betting they would.
(translation: nobody in their right mind would want a baseball team in Tampa Bay area)
On fans and their priorities:
Fans in other markets dream of an owner and GM the likes of which the Rays enjoy. Tampa Bay yawns, goes to bed early, or flips on a sitcom.
(translation: you don’t care)
On Rays fans that don’t write about the team:
The Rays may have some of the finest writers – both mainstream and new – covering them, but the ones that matter the most – the average fan – are below average. They just aren’t there.
(translation: the fans suck, but I hope the writers will still like me)
On why the excuses are stupid:
There will be apologists that will use the location of The Trop. There are fans that will say it’s the economy. Horse pucky. If it were the economy, the television ratings wouldn’t have crashed harder than a rock falling from The Trop’s roof. And, even if the location is poor (and it is), at least the bandwagon would have shown up in the last week of the regular season, but they didn’t.
(translation: who cares if local TV ratings were 5th in baseball just last year and that they are still good. And location of the stadium doesn’t matter. Even if it does! And a 40 percent increase in fans per game over the last seven home games (~26,000) is a crappy bandwagon! Go talk to the Red Sox, those guys know how to bandwagon!)
On being the next Montreal Expos:
Tampa Bay, your name is apathy. You are the last years of the Montreal Expos in terms of attendance with the team being 1994 before the strike (for the record, the Expos averaged 24,543 in the shortened 1994 season. The Rays in 2011 averaged 18,878).
(translation: the stadium’s location still doesn’t matter, even if it does! And the Rays owners would be better off moving the team to Montreal!)
Here’s to the Rays organization. You’re putting up with more than you should, but you have no choice, and that’s a pity.
(translation: we should feel sorry for millionaire owners that only make millions each year instead of tens of millions. Who cares if most fans are struggling to pay their mortgage. But unfortunately, nobody will take your team away from you, so the rest of us have to suffer.)
See? No comments needed.
[Update: since this post went up, Brown has added a paragraph in which he acknowledges that there are some passionate fans, "just not enough." He also added a line at the end in which he says Stuart Sternberg shouldn't bash the fans.]