By Leo Haggerty


Since the beginning of the Covid outbreak in March of 2020 that shut down any in person media interviews, all of the Tampa Bay professional teams (Lightning, Buccaneers, Rowdies and Rays) have all been involved in the championship round of their respective leagues.  The Bolts have won the last two Stanley Cup titles and the Bucs secured the latest Lombardi Trophy while the Rowdies captured the USL title and all were covered by an Its Sports Magazine correspondent virtually.

The only team that’s hasn’t brought home the bacon to Champa Bay, in terms of a championship, have been the Rays.  Tampa Bay did get to the World Series but lost in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now, if your wondering why we are not giving you the same recaps of the Rays that we have provided for the other three league champions, let me enlighten you.  The reason is a simple one and it deals with accessibility.

It’s Sports Magazine has been given unfettered access, albeit by Zoom, to the players and coaches of the three champions during the pandemic.  In fact, since the NFL and NHL have allowed in person media attendance, both Senior Writer Rob Kriete and I were credentialed for the Stanley Cup finals plus both of us along with Columnist Andrew Cioffi have been to Buccaneers practice.

With the Rays, that has not been the case.  We have been denied any type of media credential, either virtual or in person, by the club.  For that reason, Its Sports Magazine will not be covering the exploits of the defending American League Champions that are 60-41 and that’s good for the second spot in the AL East just 2 games behind the division leading Boston Red Sox until that policy is rescinded.

Hopefully, as the season progresses and the Rays move toward a return to the post season, we will be given the respect that the other Tampa Bay area professional teams, along with the South Florida Bulls, have afforded our publication.  Until then, you’ll have to get your Rays information from another source.