Monday, September 15, 2008

Deathtour~!: Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay

I’m done with the state of Florida. And I’m not talking baseball games here. I’m talking life. I hope in the remaining one-hundred twenty five years of life I have left I never ever have to return to this awful state. How anyone could live here willfully is beyond me.

It only took me 30 minutes to walk to Tropicana Field, which was more than enough time for a thunderstorm to start after I left the hotel and stop before I was in view of the [Devil] Rays home dome. By the time I walked to the ticket window I looked like I had just jumped into the deep end of a pool completely dressed. I’ve never been happier to be in a dome.

The [Devil] Rays have a reputation for not drawing fans unless Boston is in town but there’s a big crowd on hand today. I couldn’t even get upper deck seats. I had to pay for lower level loge seats which I wasn’t happy about since I ended up finding plenty of seats up top. There’s plenty of entertainment going on here including a post game concert and Sci-fi night. And according to the emcee there might be a baseball game played here as well. Here's hoping.

I watched BP and had lunch from my paid seat but took to the very last row for the game to allow my soaking wet feet to dry off in private.

From up here I can almost touch the catwalk.

My camera died shortly after the game started. I hope it’s not a result of walking through that thunderstorm. Everything in my pockets got soaked, including my trip itinerary and passport. Florida sucks.

The crowd is a weird combination of seniors and 15 year old girls. I’m assuming the girls are all here for the concert. As for the old people, it’s Florida. I wonder if the [Devil] Rays have some sort of Bingo Night event. I’d think that’d be a no-brainer down here.

Aubrey Huff gets the “we don’t like you now that you’re not playing for us” reaction and promptly knocks one out of the park to give the Orioles a 5-3 lead. This has the feeling of a 12-9 sort of game.

Maybe it’s because we don’t have one in SF, but I don’t understand the need for an emcee scouring the crowd between innings while being shadowed by half a dozen girls who couldn’t explain the ground rule double if you gave them a rule book.

Two things that really make this place look far worse than it is: The catwalk and that awful looking turf.

Another deathtour first. A walkoff base hit in the bottom of the ninth to win 10-9. And there have been plenty of bottom of the ninth chances for home teams so far. Carlos Pena walked and Rocco Baldelli, shockingly healthy, drove him in. Pena got in just before the tag to end the game. Can I go home now?

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