Monday, July 7, 2008
A Field Trip To See The Rays
Bicycle Stories journeyed to the Big Flying Saucer in St. Pete to check in with the most exciting, and winningest team in the majors -- the Tampa Bay Rays. The brooms were out again today because the Rays polished off an anonymous bunch of guys wearing Kansas City Royals uniforms three straight games and were looking for four in a row against KC today.
The cowbells ring throughout the game because Stu Sternberg, who heads up the ownership group that owns the Rays, loves the "More Cowbell" schtick, so fans ring the things all game long. The Ring Leader is this fella, known as the Cowbell Kid who comes with the Little Me Cowbell Kid to games.
A Monday 12:40 PM game between the Rays and the Royals is a tough sell -- even if the Tampa Bay Nine offers the best record in the bigs.
Rays fans have become pretty cocky.
The Tampa Bay area is the number one metropolitan market in the country for most per capita male ponytails and mullets.
"Hey, the ghost of that guy Harry Caray was floating throug the Trop."
The comicbook-style artwork on the walls is pretty good. Check out this couple -- maybe you heard of them, Joe D. and Marilyn. It used to be the Trop was a pretty dull and drab place, but the Sternberg group poured $10 million into the indoor stadium to try and jazz up the place.
The stadium includes an urban graffiti area.
The Rays tank is popular with the kiddies, though access is closed about two hours after the game starts. The usher who shut down the exhibit told one disappointed child, "The Rays have seen thousands of fans and are very tired now and need their rest." I assume the usher was referring to the critters and not the players.
No matter how old you are, you can still bring your favorite baseball glove to the game in hopes you will catch a foul ball.
The Rays ended up losing 7-4 in 10 innings, but not before Carlos Pena peformed some Rays' ninth inning magic by cracking a home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Royals' sterling closer to knot the game at 3-3. But KC rebounded with four runs in the top of the 10th and the Rays could only muster a solo homer by Eric Hinske in the bottom of the frame.