Monday, October 20, 2008

Rays of Light?

The choice for which team to cheer for in the World Series should be an easy one. After all. the Rays are the Cinderella story of the 2008 season. They're a scrappy bunch of youngsters who came together to overcome their franchise's pathetic history and best the the big bad Yankees and defending world champion Red Sox to win the AL East. Then, they dispatched the White Sox with ease and, leading the ALCS 3 games to 1, were seven outs away from putting the Red Sox down. We all know what happened next. After the historic game five collapse and game six lose, many wondered how the less experienced Rays would hold up in the pressure cooker of a Game Seven to go to World Series. Quite well it turned out. Now, they try to complete the fantastic journey against the Phillies in the World Series. Who doesn't want to see the Rays realize their improbable dream?

Me for one. It's nothing against the players. They seem like a good group of guys who are having a blast proving that they're for real. And you have to respect the work of Joe Maddon and the organization, especially the way they hornswaggled the Twins to get Garza and Bartlett (but hey, we got Delmon "Never Seen A First Pitch I Didn't Like" Young). No, my problem is that I just don't feel that the city or the fans deserves to win the Series.

There have been too many of these "one hit wonder" towns of late that win a championship that they don't deserve, don't appreciate, and don't build anything on. In the NHL alone, we have the Ducks in 2007, Carolina in 2006, and Tampa Bay in 2004. Seeing the Stanley Cup paraded around in those towns just wasn't right. And it won't be right to see the World Series trophy in Tampa Bay this year either.

The playoff images of the bandwagon-jumping clowns at Tropicana Field holding up signs saying "We Love Our Rays" turns my stomach. You love your Rays, huh? Then why did your team--which won ninety-seven games--finish 12th out of fourteen American League teams in attendance this year? You don't deserve this team and you most definitely don't deserve a World Series championship. Go Phillies.

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