Friday, April 24, 2009

Tampa Rays

I managed to get over to Tampa last weekend to see the Rays play the White Sox. It was part of Championship week for Tampa, a celebration of their American League Championship last year. They gave out replica American League Trophies.
Someone's car majorly caught fire on I-4.
The police and fire response hard at work.As you can see at the bottom, the Trop is in St. Petersburg, not Tampa.
After years of being the worst team in MLB, they claimed the ALCS trophy in 2008.The big screen in right center field, very good resolution.Tampa Rays taking batting practice.Chicago White Sox taking BP. They were jacking balls over the wall in LF.The hanging speakers and lights, where so many balls go wrong.The big screen and the sponsor of the Trop.Awki at the plate.The bullpen waiting for their turn.
The foul poul is normal. The 2 hanging foul "stakes" are pretty strange.

Scott Kazmir, one of Tampa's best pitchers, started the game with 10 straight balls and walked the first 3 batters. There was a huge cheer when he actually threw a strike. He was extremely lucky to get out of the inning giving up only 2 runs. He only made it through 4 innings after 6 walks and 6 earned runs.

Needless to say things were ugly for the Rays. Perhaps they are looking to return to the cellar again for 2009. Chicago cruised to a fairly easy win and showed a good bit of power with homeruns from Quentin and Konerko. Game Recap and Box Score here.

The Trop was pretty comfortable. It is great to have AC on a hot Tampa Bay day. My biggest complaint was the $15 parking for a game that was only $20 to get into. They had a stingray tank, but the line was pretty long. I didn't want to miss BP or the game to see more stingrays. Some of the food was good (rice and beans, empanadas) but the cheesesteak was horrible.

Overall a decent trip and a good ballpark considering where it is located. The Rays are really not starting strong this year though. Hopefully I can catch a RedSox game later on.

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