8. No Team Identity
No, not the fact that the only people that can actually name more then three players on the Rays' team are baseball geeks like me. The team itself has no identity of its own.
Not that it's there fault, but doing things like playing "Sweet Caroline" when the Red Sox are in town or their radio announcer who sporadically yells "Theeeeeeeeeeee Rays Win!" or "The Raaaaaaaaayyyyyyysssss Win!" (either way a rip-off of Yankee announcer John Sterling) is pretty lame. They'll get a personality of their own someday, after more that one season of excellence, but it isn't there yet.
7. Grant Balfour Needs to be Medicated
We've all grown accustomed to guys like Jonathan Papelbon, Joba Chamberlain, and Francisco Rodriguez who tend to spaz out when they get an crucial save, a key win, or, in Joba's case, any out that get's him back to the dugout Tastykake cabinet. But this guy Balfour has some serious issues.
He has more one sided conversations than Tyler Durden, screaming random profanities while seemingly nothing is happening during an at-bat. Shouldn't there be some sort of minimum sanity requirement for major league players? Many would fail including Balfour.
6. James Shields Punches Like a School Girl.
5. Joe Maddon
Yes, he's an excellent manager. I would vote for him for manager of the year. But he looks like Drew Carey with Progeria. Come one, Joe! You're making a major league manager's salary. Go to Eyeland for heaven's sake!
4. The Name Change
There is little argument that the whole "Devil Ray" thing never made sense. What the hell is a Devil Ray? Why not the Stingrays? For this season the franchise changed it to simply "Rays". You realize that it is still meant to be a stingray, right? Look at the shoulder of the uniform. So, why not call them the Stingrays? The final insult is that star-burst, or crap-splat or whatever it is suppose to be in their logo and on center field. This would seem to indicate that "Rays" might have something to do with rays of light. It doesn't. It refers to stingrays. That's it and that's all.
3. Domes Suck!
I can imagine that even the most ardent Rays fan (see No.2) would agree that domes are and always have been a blight on the face of baseball. Tropicana Field is one of the last remaining inverted soup bowls where a pop-up that wouldn't make it to the warning track can become a home run by virtue of hitting a rafter. The Rays are in line for a new stadium. No one will come to that one, either.
2. Dick Vitale
"Dickie V" is without a doubt, the single most annoying personality in the vast world of sports talk (and that is saying something!) His main bailiwick is basketball, which really makes him a sicko. Top it all off with the fact that he is the number one fan (of the ten or twelve, total) the Rays have and you must subtract most of any remaining cool points that Tampa Bay has. You know it, baby!
1. Tampa Bay Fans
For years, the excuse for bad attendance has been poor performance by both Florida's MLB franchises. The truth? It's a big steaming pile of horse apples! The Rays are still in the cellar in terms of attendance even though they have shined virtually all season. Arguments about the weather (rain and heat) are pointless because they play in a dome. It's pure indifference on the part of Floridians, Tampa Bayites, St. Petersburgers, or whatever. Now, that the Rays have fought their way into the postseason, suddenly we've got guys with signs and hats and body paint. Too little, too late.