Flying Under The Ray-Dar, Like A Tampa Bay Ray

Charles AsburyContributor IDecember 23, 2008

Another day passes, and still no big news about the Tampa Bay Rays. As a Rays fan, it bothers me sometimes, how we never get substantial press coverage. What do we need to do, to get the respect, and attention we so rightfully deserve? We’ve answered our critics with victories, but our success falls on deaf ears. Keep reading…

No large fan base, not a problem, we’ll go from worst to first in one year and win our division. Still no respect, not a problem, lets win the national league pennant as well. Still no attention, how about making the Big Show, better known as the World Series. We’ll even throw in “Rookie of the Year” a “Golden Glove” winner, “Manager of the Year,” and the “Conigliaro Award,” as well.

Check out that resume, and get back with me!

I’ve listened to sports announcers, surfed the networks, read the blogs, and two months after the World Series, the Rays still aren’’t getting their due. Granted, with all the money flying around this off season, what’s to be expected? With big deals like the ones that the New York Yankees consistently make, who really cares what the poor pitiful Rays are doing? Besides, the Rays organization is careful with their money. They have the least money to spend. That’s why every penny counts when going for the goods.

If you check out their pay scale, it’s second lowest in the MLB. But they still manage to produce an All Star lineup. These guys play because they love the game of baseball. Sounds like “Old School” baseball huh? The kind of baseball that made it “America’s Favorite Pastime.” The way it used to be.

Can’t even the older loyal baseball fans hear my plea? Maybe I should launch into that old song entitled, “Baby Come Back.” With the words growing louder when I sing, “Any kind of fool could see…”

Forget the lame attention that the Tampa Bay Rays aren't getting. They are still quietly, and methodically making huge off season acquisitions. As noted in “The Florida Writer” sister site blog at, the Rays have recently acquired Matt Joyce from the Detroit Tigers for Edwin Jackson.

Joyce has the power that the Rays desperately needed. Last year during his rookie season, the 24-year-old hit five home runs in his first 13 games. He was the 12th round pick in 2005 and finished with a .252 batting average, 12 home runs, and 33 runs batted in during 92 games.

Although his average could be higher, most and I said most, players increase the average with some hard work and more playing time. The Tampa native played 60 of his 85 games in left field for the Tigers. In the minors, he has played the majority of his time in right. That’s where he will most likely play for the Rays.

Don’t even think the Rays are finished either. They are still seeking a power DH in the lineup. It’s been confirmed that meetings have also taken place with Milton Bradley, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Jerry Hermida, Rick Ankiel, Rick Nelson, Nelson Cruz, and yes, even Ken Griffey, Jr.

As noted on my site, I hope they go after Milton Bradley. Last year’s stellar performance proves he’s worth the bait. You can’t go wrong with this kid. Anyways, how can you go wrong with a name like Milton Bradley. Doesn’t’ some toy company named Milton Bradley make the infamous, every kid’s dream, tuff, TONKA TRUCK? Case Closed!

Maybe, no attention is a good thing. I worked for a Fire Chief once, that always used to say, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” Point being, you do what you gotta do, hang low, stay out of trouble, and eventually you will reach your full potential. And in the process, earn the respect of you’re peers.

And, I get it now! Because when you're always on top, and in the spotlight like the New York Yankees, your cover is blown, and it’s easier to pick you off. Thanks Chief.

So the Tampa Bay Organization is silently acting like a true Ray. Sneaking up on the prize, and then capturing it’s prey. Ever so quietly making it’s way through the sea of no respect. Going unnoticed, until the notice is served. Making it’s way up from the depths of utter isolation, only to break the surface in early spring, where spectators can gaze in wonder and amazement at the future ruler of the MLB.

Has this article gotten your attention? If not, don't worry, we will get your attention and respect, one way or another! In the meantime, we’ll be hanging low, and flying under the Ray-Dar, because that’s how we do it in Tampa Bay.

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