YOU TALKIN’ TO ME – MARCH 27
By Leo Haggerty & Rob Kriete

SHOULD THE RAYS STILL HAVE TO LIMIT ATTENDANCE?

Hey, Big Apple Guy, this one is an easy on for me.  The Tampa Bay Rays should have no attendance restrictions and for three reasons.

First, and foremost, over 100 million people have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.  In fact, my lovely bride and I fall under that category.  We got our first dose of the Pfizer one this past Monday.  Now, I must admit, Tuesday was an adventure but now everything is back to normal. Even if the Rays require proof of vaccination, they should be allowed to sell as many tickets as they can at The Trop.

Second, TB is the defending American League champion.  If ever, and I’m talking since the franchise came into existence in 1998, there is a reason for fans to come out it’s now.  The song goes, “take me out to the crowd” and not “take me out to the 25% of capacity” for a reason.  Baseball is meant to be played in front of large crowds and, let me remind you of Game 4 against the Astros when Houston 2nd baseman Jose Altuve was thrown out at the plate, the place went nuts.  The 30,000 plus rabid Rays fans that were in attendance, and my wife and I were there to verify it,  almost blew the roof off when that happened and it’s time to get back to that.

Finally, Brooklyn, it’s just time to move on.  We have a vaccine.  The vast majority of our population is accepting the fact that social distancing and wearing a mask is the “new normal” right now.  That protects not only you but the person sitting next to you at Tropicana Field.

Brooklyn, I’ll give you this.  It’s NEVER going to be 100% safe to do anything in the USA.  When you board an airplane,  it could crash.  The key is that it has become a miniscule chance of happening and that’s where we’re at with the pandemic especially with the younger portion of our population.

Big guy, there you have it and, yeah, I’m talkin’; to you.  PLAY BALL.

 

Hey, Low Ball, have you lost your mind?

No one goes to a ballgame to cozy up to a stranger sitting practically on your lap. I was at game at Tropicana Field two years ago. The fan sitting next me was spilling into my seat. By the 9th inning, I asked what he wanted for Christmas. So, Low Ball, no one is going to miss that type of experience.

Also, with a limited number of allowable fans, the Tampa Bay Rays are finally on equal footing with their AL East counterparts in terms of fan attendance. Do you think they are going to pack the fans in at Yankee Stadium or at Fenway, at least early on? The limited number of fans should be uniform as we begin the 2021 MLB season.

Let’s not forget that the pandemic is not yet over. Yes, we are moving in the right direction in conquering Covid-19, finally, but we are clearly not there yet. Why put people at risk needlessly at this point?

Last, and this is most unfortunate, the Rays have proven that they don’t need a whole stadium filled with fans to get up for the AL East. I know the Rays have lost two great pitchers this offseason, but expect them to continue to challenge in the American League as they mix and match relievers better than any other organization. In short, Low Ball, the Tampa Bay Rays do not need an abundance of fans to dominant MLB.

Let’s exhibit some caution and slowly let the fans back to 100% capacity!