Monday, July 26, 2010

Garza, Rays Deserve a Lot More Respect Than This

Minutes after Matt Garza completed the first no-hitter in Rays history, came one of the better bloopers in Rays history. As one of my Twitter followers called it, "epic fail":
Matt Garza throws a no-hitter; national media doesn't kn... on Twitpic
(Click for full-size)

The small typo (which was quickly fixed) was then replaced with another slight...leaving out the "Bay" in the Rays' location.
Wow. USAToday fixed "Devil Rays" typo with another ... on Twitpic
(Click for full-size)

Clearly, the Rays are still fighting for national respect. But the battle isn't as uphill as it was a few years ago.

As Trib writer Joey Johnston recently reported (while decked out in Rays' gear), Yankees fans offered friendly greetings and even some good-natured jeers in Yankee Stadium. That same series, touted the Rays as a legit threat to the Bombers.

I can tell you as a native Bostonian, Red Sox fans respect the Rays too. And Jays/O's fans probably do as well since the Rays are outdrawing those teams right now. But the problem doesn't exist in the AL East; it's the rest of the country that appears to be ignorant about the Rays.

Respect has to be earned, and the team has done everything it needs to do the last few years to earn it. However, it still takes time. The Rays remain the AL's newest team and it takes repeated success to make a name for yourself. Of course, the more pennants the team wins, no-hitters the team throws, and series the team wins over big-time rivals, the faster it will come.

Full disclosure: I work for WTSP, which has the same parent company, Gannett Corp., as USA Today. I hope I still work there tomorrow.

Final comment: The best response I got all night was from Twitter follower Sarah Tyson, @SarahSeesSports, who suggested the tongue-in-cheek fines the Rays have levied for incorrectly identifying the team could pay for a new stadium.

1 comment:

  1. They'll always be the Devil Rays. But still congrats to Garza. Anyone that throws a no hitter deserves a tip of the cap.