Just weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Rays’ season ended in a familiar fashion.
With a loss in a playoff series.
After being eliminated by the American League East champion Boston Red Sox, many around baseball were puzzled at just what was missing from the Rays, a young team seemingly complete with a roster that is both young and dripping with talent.
What’s missing is simple. Enthusiasm.
No one in Florida cares about the Rays. Despite being near the top of the AL East for several seasons now under skipper Joe Maddon, attendance is still low and the franchise continues to seek avenues to escape Tampa and find a new home in Florida.
Oddly enough, they’re still not moving.
People don’t go to Florida to go watch baseball. They go to Florida for the hotels, the theme parks and the beaches. Baseball is something that’s always on the television and can be seen in most parts of the country. To too many Floridians, it’s just not worth the multi-hour trek on the state’s horribly congested highways to go see a game.
What’s most saddening about all this is that the Rays really are a quality organization. But until fans take note and begin to care, and until ownership decides more money will be dedicated to preventing the Rays from being a feeder pool for big market teams, this team will never win a World Series.