Greg Hoffman



Tampa Bay Rays, Sitting on Top of Major League Baseball

Today, July 4th, 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays have a 52-32 record, with a .619 percentage. The best record in MLB. We are three games in front of the Defending World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox.

I'm on the bandwagon. I wear my TB blue cap all the time now. It has replaced all my other favorite hats. I've been a baseball fan my entire life, but I've never been a Rays fan until this year. The year they started winning.

I didn't like the team for several reasons. Number one, the stadium was built in the wrong city and in the wrong place. I can't wait until the team and the city leaders come up with a new stadium plan. But in my opinion, it should have been built in Tampa in 1988, when the city tore down Al Lopez Field. If Tampa built a stadium then, I believe we would have been awarded a National League Franchise in 1991, instead of Miami getting the Mullets. Probably the biggest problem the Rays have had since opening day in 1998 has been the team owners complete lack of commitment to fielding a winner. Until now.

Its not just the winning that changed my opinion. It was a game in June against the Chicago Cubs with my dad. The first time the Cubs have visited St. Pete. The Cubs have always been my favorite team. Between WGN and the fact that my grandfather played for a Cubs Minor League team after WWII, I was destined to follow them. Oddly enough, my grandfather became a Rays fan in his final years. He didn't hold grudges. He just loved the game. I finally get it. The Rays/Cubs series was pure baseball and I pulled for the home team. I've watched or listened to every game since then.

Go Rays!

Carter Gaddis from the Tampa Tribune on the Rays in 2005

On February 3, 2005, Carter Gaddis, the baseball beat writer for the Tampa Tribune, gave an interview to a blogger. The blog is closed now but the post is still active. Read the whole interview but check out what Carter predicts. He was only off by one year.

JL: Last question: Is there any parting words that you'd like to leave me and/or Devil Ray Fans? Thank you, Mr. Gaddis and I hope that this year is your best year as a writer.

CG: Hang in there. I believe that better days are ahead for the Rays. Those days won't happen this year, or even next year. But by 2007, if the stars align, things could turn in a winning direction. There's enough young talent (Upton, Young, Crawford, Baldelli, Kazmir, Niemann, McClung) to warrant optimism in the next few years. Just don't expect too much, too soon. This year (and probably next) will be more of the same.



Gold Dust Woman - by Mary and Sledge from Red Bear Radio

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