The Rays are winners, but where are the fans?

If the Tampa Bay Rays win to wrap up a playoff berth, but no one is there to see it, did they really clinch?

It seems quite a few people were surprised at the low turnout of 12,466 Monday night at Tropicana Field.

With a win, the Rays would have clinched the second playoff berth in team history and Tampa-St. Pete apparently was not bubbling over with excitement.

The Rays began Monday with the best record in the Majors and some of the game’s most exciting young players.

The team has a chance to slay two dragons, beating out Boston and New York, for a division title. I’d like to think if the Orioles were in that position, Baltimore and Camden Yards would be about to explode.

The Rays are plenty good enough to beat anyone and could walk off with the World Series trophy in a few weeks.

But does anyone in Central Florida care?

What a strange situation.

“I’m not trying to take a low blow at the fans, I’m just trying to rally the troops and get more people in here,” Evan Longoria said. “I’m not trying to say that we have bad fans or any of that, because believe me, I’ve been here since ‘06 and I love the Tampa Bay community. It’s just tough to see and I feel like I was the right guy to say that.”

David Price, tonight’s Tampa starter, fired off a tweet about the lack of fans Monday night and then re-tweeted.

“Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing.”

Later he backtracked, tweeting “If I offended anyone I apologize, I did not think it was gonna turn into this....”

The lack of attendance was discussed on the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio this morning. Mike Golic said a high-salaried player should never criticize fans for not showing up and never tell them how to spend or not spend their money.

But surely there must be enough fans in that area that have the means to buy enough tickets to put 25,000 or so in the stands to create some atmosphere.

I have heard that Tropicana Field is not in the best area and maybe that hurts attendance.

Whatever the reason for the lack of fans at some Tampa games, you would think fans of a team like the Orioles would jump at the chance to attend a possible playoff-clinching win.

It’s one thing to not support a losing team but another when your team is an exciting winner possibly on the verge of doing some real exciting things.

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