clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Congratulations, Giants; but remember the Royals, remember the Rays

Because if we don't, no one else will.

Doug Pensinger

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants. With three World Series titles in five years, they're a dynasty. They're doing something right, including but not limited to drafting Buster Posey when they had the chance. But I don't want to talk about the Giants, because lots of other people will do that. I want to talk about the Royals, the Rays, and all other worthy losers.

After the game ended last night, I saw a Royals fan tweet "Why does it hurt so much. It's only a game." Rays fans know why it hurts. It hurts because the 2014 Royals were good. It hurts because their success mattered to the long-suffering fanbase of Kansas City. It hurts because they traded one of the game's best prospects for two years of a second tier pitcher, and the gamble paid off. It hurts because Wade Davis, who most considered a throw-in to the trade, produced one of the better reliever seasons of all time. It hurts because Alex Gordon, once a disappointing top prospect at third base, became the best defensive corner outfileder in baseball. It hurts because the next generation of Royals prospects didn't disappoint too much. It hurts because in an age when no one runs, the Royals did, and it was inspiring, right up until the point when they didn't send Alex Gordon home.

It hurts because, despite the fact that I know all of this now, I won't in five years. History remembers the stories of the winner. Only Kansas City will remember the stories of 2014 Kansas City. There will be no stamp of approval from the Ken Burns of the world. The Big Story is outcome-oriented.

That's okay though. Every team has its own stories known only to its own fans. It's what defines a fanbase -- the mythology of a shared past experience. We Rays fans have our own too, even if there's less in Tampa Bay than in most other places. We remember the excitement of the Delmon Young-B.J. Upton-Elijah Dukes outfield. We remember David Price throwing  99 mph in the playoffs as a rookie reliever, and we remember him learning to pitch in 2012. We remember Dan Wheeler staying in game 2 of the ALCS because there was no one left in the bullpen, and we remember when Grant Balfour was good. We remember game 162. We remember Dan Johnson. We remember just how close the Andrew Friedman-Joe Maddon Rays were to defining their own dynasty. And as long as we do remember, all of that gets validated when the Rays finally break into the Big Story.

That's why now is as good a time as any to kick off a project I've been batting around for a year or so. We Rays fans may not have as much history as the rest of the country, but we should still celebrate it. I'd like to collect essays on the mythology of the Rays fan, and make them into an ebook. I'll do all of the editing, copy editing, fact checking, and layout work, although if you would like to volunteer your time with that, I'd appreciate the help. What I really want is your submissions. It doesn't matter who you are, if you have something you think Rays fans should remember and are willing to be edited. Email me a pitch. I'll pay writers -- not a lot, but something. Let's remember who we are.