Evan Longoria was in Connecticut last Friday and made an appearance with Mike Francessa on WFAN.

Most of the interview (you can hear the interview at WFAN) was spent talking about Longo’s role in the heroics of the final day of the regular season. But once they moved on, Longoria had a couple of interesting soundbites, including one in which he says the famous ticket giveaway at the end of the 2010 season was an apology to fans for comments he made a few days earlier.

On a side note, it is hard to criticize ESPN and the rest of the national media for not knowing where the Rays play if Longoria can’t get it right either…

On whether it bothers him to play in front of small crowds…

I can’t lie and say I haven’t said [can you believe nobody is here?] once or twice…It’s very tough. Because I did say one time. I think it was in 2010, we were making a playoff push towards the end of the season. And there was probably 12,000 fans in the seats on September 15th [Ed. note: It was actually Sept. 27, with 12,446 fans]. And we were about to get into the playoffs. I had to kinda eat my words and give out 20,000 free tickets the next day…My hope for the long run. I really enjoy playing in Tampa (sic). I mean, I love, the fans that do come are supportive. I just hope it doesn’t get to the point where we don’t have enough fans to financially support a team anymore…Everybody wants a new stadium. Everybody wants the team to be on the Tampa side, or wherever they want to build a new stadium. You need revenue for that. And that’s what it comes down to. Are people coming? Or are they not?

On expectations for 2012…

We really don’t have an excuse this year. We pretty much brought back most if not all of the team. Obviously Johnny [Damon] was a huge part of our ballclub last year. And Casey Kotchman was great for us too. But the pieces we have added are able to fill those shoes. We lost a ton of guys the year before. And if there was ever a rebuilding year, I guess you could have called last year a rebuilding year. But we kinda surprised everybody and ourselves again.

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10 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Although I am quick to jump on the national media when they make that "Tampa" error, I vote to cut him some slack. As long as he continues to be a top player and class act who reps our region well, I can accept the idea that geography isn't his strong suit.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Honestly, most of the time, I am not bothered when the national media does it unless it was specifically something said out of ignorance. I just don't think they understand the relationship between the two cities as well as we do. Tampa and St. Pete are almost Twin Cities. Well, at least St. Pete would like to think so :) But, even if that is not truly the case, St. Pete is definitely more than a suburb. And I think the perception nationally is that it is a suburb. Nobody cares that the Buffalo Bills actually play in Orchard Park.

      My biggest beef is when somebody calls them the "Tampa Rays." That is just being lazy, or dumb, or both. Nobody calls the football team the "Tampa Bucs" or the hockey team the "Tampa Lightning." Or at least it doesnt happen as often.

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      • Sarah says:

        Or the "England Patriots."

        I'm just figuring out why I reply scornfully to some who make this mistake but want to give Longoria a pass. I guess the point is that the journalists are paid to get their facts right, whereas Longo is paid to play baseball.

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  2. Lane Meyer says:

    Evan still has some maturing to do. He needs to realize that the fans are here, it's just that they can't afford to attend all the games. The Tampa fans mostly just complain about the drive but the Pinellas fans that I know come as often as they can. Also the TV ratings are huge for a market this size, it's not the fans fault that the Rays made a crummy TV deal last time around.

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    • Sarah says:

      Lane, if all the Pinellas folks are coming as often as they can, and you all still can't fill a stadium, that just lends credence to the claim that St. Pete is a poor location for the team!

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      • J 2.0 says:

        I forward my comments by stating I live in Clearwater.

        The team obviously needs to be in Tampa. Its easy to sit over here in St. Pete and call Tampa fans lazy for not coming over, but once again I must add that most fans live in Brandon and North Tampa. Furthermore it has been proven that 50% of ticket sales come from Hillsborough County. Ok the other 50% comes from Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco, Polk, and maybe even a Hernando or two. Bill Foster is a joke. Bob Buckhorn is the giant cartoonish cane yanking him up by is neck and dragging him off the stage.

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  3. Alex says:

    i think he was saying the Tampa Bay area, but just said Tampa for short. Kind of a familiarity thing since he, you know, plays for the team.

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    • Greg says:

      Just guessing, Longoria lives around Channelside in Tampa......probably just a quick Tampa thought while doing a live interview. I really don't see it as a big deal.....but I live in Tampa.....and go to the Trop.

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  4. Don says:

    Hey... man the dude's from California, what do you want ....him and JP Howell have a spelling bee contest or what?

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