Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Detroit Tigers Fan's Guide to the 2013 Tampa Bay Rays

Very classy, Tampa.
I hate this part of the season. What part, you may ask? We’ve come to the part of the season where the Tigers seemingly invent new and frustrating ways to lose ballgames. It happens every year. One day it’s a closer meltdown. The next it’s mindless bunts into double plays. I can’t wait to see what's next to add to my ongoing drinking problem. Again, it happens every year. We’ve just got to be patient until it’s over.

At least they’re at home again. And up next on the schedule is a series with the Rays of Tampa. Don’t call them the Devil Rays, though. It terrifies the old people of Tampa/St. Pete too much.

Did you know the first game in (Devil) Rays history was against the Tigers? Detroit won that game, 11-6. Justin Thompson got the win for the Tigers. Luis Gonzalez hit a homer for the Tigers in the days before they traded him to Arizona for magic beans and he became Luis F’n Gonzalez. Joe Randa had three hits and three RBI for Detroit. And Bobby Higginson doubled and walked because he was awesome.

Enough history. Let’s see what’s up with today’s Rays.

Home City: St. Petersburg, Florida. But they’re called the Tampa Bay Rays. I dunno. I’m still trying to figure out the Anaheim/Los Angeles nonsense. Geography isn’t my thing, I guess.
City Known For: St Pete is located on a peninsula between Tampa and the Gulf of Mexico. It is known as “The Sunshine City” since it averages sunshine 361 days a year. It has also been nicknamed “God’s Waiting Room” due to all of their elderly residents. Whoever thought putting a professional baseball team there was a good idea should be shot in the balls repeatedly with a pellet gun.
Home Park: Tropicana Field
Field Known For: It is the only domed stadium in MLB that doesn’t have a retractable roof. The Trop is also the yearly home for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. It was built in 1990 despite Tampa not fielding a team until 1998 and is probably the biggest shithole of a stadium in MLB.
Fanbase: The majority are so elderly that odds are they won’t make it until October. RIP. The only exception is probably Dick Vitale.
He’ll outlive all of us because life is cruel.
Formerly: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Hall of Famers (as Rays): None. But Wade Boggs played there for two seasons and they retired his number. Meanwhile in Detroit, they haven't retired Whitaker or Trammell's numbers yet.
Five Reasons to Hate the Rays: 
1. Their fanbase is awful and doesn’t support what has been a good, exciting team for several years now. They can’t even fill the place in the playoffs.
2. As I mentioned, their stadium is one of the worst in baseball and should be blown up…ideally while the Rays are playing the Yankees at the time.
3. Before settling on the “Rays” as their new name after “Devil Rays” offended crazy Florida people, other names under consideration were even worse such as the “Aces”, “Bandits”, “Dukes”, “Stripes”, “Cannons”, and (seriously) “The Nine”.
4. Matt Garza’s no hitter for the Rays against Detroit in 2010 still irks me.
5. They lost to the Rangers in the playoffs in 2011, allowing Texas to advance and beat Detroit in the ALCS. Yes, I’m a petty child.
Best Players: David Price, Evan Longoria, Matt Moore
Glad They’re Gone: Price is injured and we won’t see him. Phew.
Funniest Offseason Signing: Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez. No matter what is name is or how old he really is, Fausto/Roberto is still terrible and the worst pitcher on the Rays. And they’re paying him $3.25 million this year.
Former Tigers: Fernando Rodney, Kyle Farnsworth, Matt Joyce.
Most Annoying Ray in History: LUKE FUCKING SCOTT…AGAIN.
Yes, I named Scott the most annoying Oriole in history in the last Fan’s Guide and he really hasn’t been as good in Tampa. But it’s Luke Scott. You cannot underestimate Luke Scott. Because Luke Scott is evil and he will kill you and your family if you give him the chance. Man, I hate Luke Scott.
Beware of Luke Scott.
Team Strength: Good, young starting pitching (other than Hernandez/Carmona). Alex Cobb and Matt Moore have been outstanding this year. And David Price and Jeremy Hellickson, though they have had rough starts, are pretty good, too.
Team Weakness: Other than Joel Peralta, their bullpen hasn’t been very good.
Stupidest Name on Roster: Hak-Ju Lee
TigerSnark Dictionary Definition for “Hak-Ju”: A hate crime on those of the Jewish faith.
Used in a Sentence: “Delmon Young got drunk last year and wanted to HAK-JU that one dude.”
Say Something Nice, Jerk: I like manager Joe Maddon quite a bit.
2013 Probable Outlook: I picked them to win the AL East and they’re currently only three games back. But if Rodney’s going to keep being awful for them, Price can’t rebound, and the Red Sox keep rolling, it’s going to be a tough battle for Tampa to overcome.

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