It's no fan's obligation to actually go to a baseball game. I think it's perfectly alright to root your team on from in front of the television - especially in this tough economy.
But with as well as the Rays are playing, there are surely a LOT of Rays fans who are missing some GREAT baseball. And honestly, a great baseball experience at The Trop too.
The team has turned in some awful attendance numbers lately, and of course, the team's official New Stadium Cheerleader, The Tampa Trib, included a column on it.
But while Joe Henderson points out the team is 17th in the league in attendance so far, he doesn't point out that the Rays haven't finished a season higher than 23rd in the league since their first season. So 17th doesn't sound so bad.
And while he also points out that "home series this week against Oakland and Kansas City" are likely to hurt their numbers even more, he doesn't point out that their 24,275 average so far was despite two series against lousy teams. Their only good draw so far - against the Yankees - took place on a weekend, where they draw pretty well anyway.
Yes, attendance is a problem. 10,691 on Wednesday night is unacceptable. But when a dozen teams are drawing WORSE than the Rays are drawing right now, MLB needs to get its player salaries in-line so teams can afford a real lineup when the economy hits attendance numbers.
As for the future of a stadium, talks have been at a standstill because, well, the Rays aren't ready to talk yet.
But team president Matt Silverman told WTVT today that they could initiate talks with the City of St. Pete this summer.
It's going to be a long and painful process regardless of what happens...but at least Silverman indicates the team is a little more willing to work with the other parties involved.