The Tampa Bay Rays are a great franchise. Some of their fans aren't so great. Photo: Mike Carlson

There Are A Few In Every Bunch

After playing 

back-to-back games against the Tampa Bay Rays, it’s official.  Not a fan.  All because of a group of fans in Port Charlotte. 

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that we now despise some of the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays.  To say that our visit to Port Charlotte on Saturday to watch the Pirates and Rays play was enjoyable would be wrong.  Really wrong.  Some Rays fans have a swagger that would make former Steeler Joey Porter blush.

At McKechnie Field on Sunday, the Rays fans showed up.  In a big way.  My hat’s off.  In the seventh inning, most were gone.  My hat’s back on. 

Maybe we should attempt to explain.  Some of the Rays fans wear Pittsburgh Pirates hats.  Yeh, it’s confusing and at the same time, it makes perfect sense to them.  Uh, it’s called being a transplant fan they explained.  Oh, ok, sorry we tried to spark a conversation. 

When we asked some of these fans why the team had difficulty in attendance, despite being such a dynamic franchise, the overwhelming answer was this:

There is a lot to do in the summer down here.  All the tourists are gone. 

During the Spring Training game in Port Charlotte several Rays fans began a few chants. Most had the typical rhythm of a chant..two notes followed by a pause and two notes.  Well, normally that makes a chant sound good.  So with the cadence set, let’s rank how well they did. 

No never mind.  They all suck.

Con-tract Pitts-burgh!

You - lost - the - Super Bowl!

Your - quarterback – is a child molester!

Where – is – the – rapist?

We know.  It’s a baseball game.  A Spring Training game.  (We can envision Allen Iverson saying “We’re talking about Spring Training”)   The chants were over the line.  One was an attempt at being funny.  That’s cool.  One was a fact.  The other two were just wrong.  They had more that could be argued were worse, but let’s just let it go.

The bottom line?  It just sucked being a baseball fan yesterday.  Especially listening to a parent try to avoid explaining to their child what the word rapist meant.  After the game, three of us confronted the group of Rays fans, they tried to shake it off as they chuckled and slapped each other on the chest.   One of them even extended his druken hand to shake ours.  No thanks.

We will keep our Pirates hat on our head, our hands to ourselves, and the belief that all of the Rays fans can’t possibly be this bad.  Not with a young team this good.

Don’t even think about following us on Twitter

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  • blassballs

    From the one pic, they were a little on the mugly side too. Trash mouths and homely = bad combination.

  • Chip

    Get a life Tom Smith.

    Don’t be so sensitive.

  • matt

    ..its kinda like new money people

  • Chris P

    You were on the money questioning them about their fan support. I was down there last September for the Steelers game. Rays were knee deep in the middle of a pennant drive and they weren’t drawing fans. Longoria called the fans out on it and the organization responding by having a free admission night (all upper deck seats free) … and they still didn’t sell out.

    It’s a bit scarry, they’re contrary to the notion that if you put a good product on the field, the fan base will respond. It just doesn’t happen down there. It probably has something to do with the fact that the area is mostly transients and transplants, hard to establish roots.

    Enjoying the tweets, keep em coming

    • Rick

      You guys apparently have a one-way view when it comes to fan behavior. We have a lot of Steeler fans in the Tampa Bay area who have been more than obnoxious about their team. While I give them props for having such a great organization, it’s hard not to toss some back at them when the opportunity arises. As far as your QB…you get that from fans all across the country, so singling out bay area fans is a bit of tunnel vision.

      Finally, regarding the attendance issue…it’s been bantered around ad naseum. The economy here sucks. The fans are from other places around the country. Baseball has been here a grand total of 12 years. You can’t honestly compare the attendance, when people are worried about losing their homes and don’t have the rich history or tradition like teams from Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York etc. In fact, doing so is little different than the heckling you got in Port Charlotte…the difference is in this case you were on the receiving end. Maybe you should get some perspective

    • Tom Smith

      That’s fair Rick. The attendance has been beat around, we were just sparking some conversation trying to get some perspective, the Rays are a great organization. We will work on our perspective.

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