Earlier this year, it was considered a growing moment for Longoria's leadership when he was willing to call out a teammate if it warranted it. Now it appears he's willing to call out the whole Tampa Bay area.
“I don’t think there’ any more time for rationalizations. We figured if we have a chance at the beginning of September then maybe the fans will come and now it’s the end of September and its almost October and were still kind o flooking up in the seats going where is everybody?''
The Rays entered tonight's game with a chance to clinch a postseason berth with a win. Fans sure didn't seem to care. Only about 12,000 and change came hoping to see only the second celebration of this caliber in Rays history. Consider Longoria as one who wasn't in a celebrating mood after the game.
Obviously we want to bring a championship to Tampa. And we’d like more than 12,000 to 15,000 to know about it.’’’
People are quick to make excuses. But when looking at this year alone, it's safe to say this area has dropped the ball. They are seeing a team putting together its second 90 win season in three years, and potentially its second AL East crown in three years as well. But this team will probably finish the year under the 2 million mark in attendance. And when Crawford and others leave at the end of the year, the area will only have itself to blame. If the Rays pick from the bargain bin instead of a higher profile free agent, it won't be because of Sternberg.
This area has been given one of the best teams, if not the best team, it could ever hope for. But sadly it doesn't seem to realize what it has. And that, according to Longoria, is embarassing.
“For us to play 155 games and go a full season of playing really good baseball, it’s kind of like, what else do we have to do to draw fans into this place. It’s actually embarrassing for us.’’