Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

Isolation and the Tampa Bay Rays quest for a new stadium

Insecure, narcissist and self indulgent. These words are commonly thrown toward current United States President Donald J. Trump (as they should be). Yet what’s inspiring these words at the moment is reflecting on a city; one town in a grander regional area that wants to be on top. It’s a town that wants prominence in the region through a national spotlight, even if that spotlight is dimmed by way of the city itself.

St. Petersburg, Florida’s population is almost 250,000, 16,000 more than Reno, Nevada (“America’s Biggest Little City”). It’s part of the grander Tampa Bay metroplex. Its quest to one-up Tampa (the larger city in the Bay area) was part of why the town constructed the venue known now as Tropicana Field. Never mind the fact there was no slated pro sports team to play within the building when construction was approved in the mid-1980s; St. Petersburg had to force the location if and when (if ever) Major League Baseball expanded or relocated to Tampa Bay.

Being a Tampa Bay resident for so long, having seen and experienced life with the Dome and St. Pete in general, I cringe and shake my head now. Topping another city to lock in control of a potential jewel only shows a lack of self awareness. St. Pete has one, basic fault that keeps it understated in a the wider region; a very simple fault that’s on display at Tampa Bay Rays games and which is why a new stadium is a hot point with the club and why relocation outside of the region is a possibility….

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On Tampa Bay sports disappointment and media coverage

A disappointing season in sports – both professional and amateur — is just that, a disappointment, a downer. Things don’t go as planned and the results are lesser than you (as a fan) wish. It’s something that you can’t hold against a high school or college team while the pro sports competitive disappointments can be outright atrocities of a competitive kind, run asunder by a multitude of choices by management as well of incidents of both a competitive variety and by bad luck.

The 2016-17 Tampa Bay Lightning season is a disappointment of a competitive nature where bad luck (injuries) and a horrible schedule played part in the Bolts not roaring into a competitive, playoff-bound position that has become a constant the last three seasons. There was a noted attitude problem in the Lightning locker room, and once that was brought into check the team turned up its competitive vibe and is where it is now: Just outside the playoff bubble with a scant chance of making it and a growing chance of missing the playoffs.

It’s a disappointment, yeah. Yet the strength of the team hasn’t collapsed, things haven’t been put asunder with bad coaching or low quality management moves. For the casual fan that’s locked in on disappointment in the trades of Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle and Valtteri Filppula: They weren’t going to stick around long term by way o the salary cap and costs to do so. Bishop and Boyle will be unrestricted free agents come July 1st, Filppula was due to become one in the summer of 2018. With the club already working with a very tight salary cap, retaining them over retaining forthcoming restricted free agents Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin and / or Center Tyler Johnson just couldn’t be done.

Disappointing to lose fan favorite players, especially Bishop who was such a steady hand in the crease. But when looking at the broad picture, at the “Yzerplan” that accentuates player development, it’s understandable as something that had to be done.

To cut that short: shit happens. Ho hum. Next season is going to be something worth checking out, just as this season was, and the season before…

In comparison to professional sports in the history of the greater Tampa Bay Metropolitan area which has existed 40+ years, this season of Lightning hockey ranks a hell of a lot higher on the disappointment list than oh-so-many others coming from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays and Lightning. All that history, all the back-story of each club doesn’t gain web-clicks or sell newspapers at the immediate moment though.

See, Tampa Bay Times (and former Tampa Tribune) sports columnist Martin Fennelly made a bold decree that this Tampa Bay Lightning’s season is the biggest disappointment in the history of Tampa Bay sports. He does quick-quick takes of other top-tier disappointing seasons for local clubs, but highlights the current state of the Lightning as “desperation hockey” and the reason why this season is the top disappointment – ever.

That’s where I’ve been revitalized as a sports blogger, because something so limited in view, perspective and opinion got the green light from the only newspaper in the region. Something so inane, random and weak didn’t just get published – it’s going to get someone his paycheck because he put words down and it fit a column length requirement. Continue reading

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by | March 22, 2017 · 8:17 AM

Jeff Vinik’s Channel District plans aren’t with the Tampa Bay Rays in mind

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Filed under baseball, Raw Charge, Tampa Bay, The Life

Why is that stadium in St. Pete anyway?

One of the hot topics around the Tampa Bay metro region right now is the Tampa Bay Rays proposed stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’m not going to bother getting into the arguments but after reading a few knee-jerk reactions and misinformation about the plans… Well, I felt it was important that people actually familiarize themselves with why the Dome was built in St. Petersburg in the first place.

I read Stadium for Rent by local author Bob Andelman during high school and it showed the battle — political and logistical – to get Major League Baseball in town.

It’s out of print but there are copies for sale out there, also the entire thing is available at the above link. It’s very much worth a read for both pro and anti-stadium people. I oppose the stadium for economic issues (the timing sucks, Stu) as well as logistical reasons, but it’s important to be armed with the facts instead of making up hearsay or misconstruing what is really going on.

I plan on buying a used copy of Stadium For Rent for quick reference in the future. I’ve held it in high regard long enough….

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Filed under Books, Politics, Tampa Bay, The Life

J.J. Hardy and ChiSox at Devil Rays last Thursday

My friend Bryan Wolfe has been a Wisconsin sports fan since I met him — he was a die-hard Packers fan at age 14, and able to talk circles around most when it came to football. I admire the guy for it, I really do. His passion also carries over to the Milwaukee Brewers and the Bucks in the NBA.

Of course with the Brewers exploding in the NL Central as baseball’s best team, Bryan is feeling vindicated for holding onto his belief that the Brewers were on the verge of something special.

With all of that in mind, I’m writing this for Bryan who was dumbstruck last Thursday at the Devil Rays / Chicago White Sox game at Tropicana Field. I don’t know all the details and I don’t want to paint this as a reaction specifically because of his Milwaukee sports pride, but my friend is now smitten with a girl who wore a Brewers jersey to the game. Not just any Brewers jersey but JJ Hardy.

Jenny, are you out there?

With exact circumstances unbeknownst to me, Bryan and Jenny struck up a conversation somewhere in and around the stadium and Jenny wowed Bryan with her insight and knowledge. She invited him to sit with her and another guy but Bryan chickened out because she was “with someone.”

That someone being her uncle, he would later find out.

So, if you’re reading this Brewers-fan-Jenny who attended last Thursday’s Rays-Chisox game in St. Petersburg with your uncle — Bryan is searching ever so desperately to get in touch with you again. He’s planning on attending more Rays games because he thinks you are a regular and hopes that will do the trick.

Me? I’m blogging for my good friend in hopes that you somehow stumble across this on the World Wide Web. Lord knows I’ve had others do that before whom I never would have suspected to ever see things I wrote.

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Filed under dating, Sports, The Life

Hitting a new low for the D-Rays

I’m laughing my ass off over something I disovered while talking to my buddy Keith….

I wrote a post over at Boltsmag a few months ago calling the Devil Rays the worst pro sports team around. If you do a search on Google for “Worst professional sports franchise” and click on “I’m feeling lucky” — my post comes up as the result.

I don’t know if I should rejoice or feel shame. The Rays suck… And as a TB resident, I’ve helped let the world know the Rays suck. So much as for civic pride.

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LaMar's Contract extended and a friends take on MY take….

From Paul who runs Witty Librarian

Just saw this on the Trib’s web site. John, go ahead, I’ll cover my ears
now…

**space provided for John F. to scream a scream of the damned so loud it
would shatter the world**

….sigh

Nooooooooooo!!!!!

BASTARDS!!!!!

**additional space provided for John F. to issue a string of profanities that
would impress the hell out of the U.S. Navy**

Motherfucking cocksucking Devil Ray snotty bastards… Christ almighty in a handbasket, these goofy pieces of shit don’t understand crap when it comes to how to hold fuck-ups accountable and they deserve to rot there lice infested carcases in hell for all fucking eternity!!!!

Whew, okay are you done?

Not yet, Paul. Soon. :smile

**additional space provided for John F. to express how he really feels about
the most incompetant baseball general manager in human history, even worse
than the numbnuts who mismanaged the Cubs during the 60s and 70s and 80s and early 90s**

(due to content of this post and overall repetition of ranting about the worst GM in baseball — Charles M. “Chuckles” “Chucky”, “Chuckles the Clown”, “Worthless”, “Lamer” LaMar — over the years, this potion of my rant is kept out :smile )

Finished?

For now, Paul, yeah… Mostly because you said that no more space was allowed due to the FCC cracking down on salty language :smile

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