You can’t swing a dead cat without finding some member of the national media commenting that we don’t care about the Rays. Be it Bill Simmons on PTI, or the guy that does the sports updates at NPR (“…the Rays are in first place this morning, if only the people of Tampa/St. Pete knew about it.”).
Several weeks ago I wrote that Major League attendance isn’t the only factor that determines whether a community qualifies as “A Baseball Town.” I also pointed out that the fans not buying tickets might be feeling the negative effects of the world outside baseball (I am sure the national media would be shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that there IS a world outside baseball).
Well. The St. Pete Times’ Ernest Hooper gets it. Hopefully the others are soon to follow:
From the outside looking in, it looks bad, but I’m frustrated when national media never mention Tampa Bay’s struggling economy, arguably the worst among Major League cities, or the fact that the local TV ratings for the Rays are at an all-time high.
Those ratings reveal that a lot of people in Tampa Bay really love this team, but right now, the economy isn’t allowing us to express that love in ticket purchases.