The Rays are headed to Philadelphia for a three game series tonight, and nothing but horrible, horrible memories are waiting for them there. Several members of the team and staff remember the awful, no good 2008 World Series that included rain delays for Games 5 and 6, spread over three days of play, and included the Rays having to stay at a hotel in Delaware while playing in Philly.
Personally, I've blocked out the series entirely, and just try to remember Aki scooping up the ball and that ALCS dogpile. It's awful to remember any part of what followed, and Rocco Baldelli agrees:
I hate doing this. This is awful. This is like tortuous thinking about this.
Over the weekend, Marc Topkin caught up with the players and staff on their memories of that disastrous World Series that had no business being played, something Rocco agreed with:
The weather was not like anything I had ever dealt with, and I grew up in Rhode Island. Those were the worst conditions I ever played in, and they happened to be in the most important games I was ever a part of. It doesn't seem you should be deciding a World Series in conditions where you can't feel your hands and you're dealing with sleet storms.
Read at your own risk, the stories will put daggers in your heart. Or maybe just anger you to no end regarding how truly awful Philly fans can be.
The stories included come from Rocco Baldelli, as mentioned above, Evan Longoria, Tom Foley, bullpen catcher Scott Cursi, and Jim Hickey. Honestly, I don't know how any of them can go back to this place.
To date, I hate everything about Philadelphia and haven't set foot there. Which is a shame, as one of my relatives was once the best pitcher on their 1930's no good, awful baseball teams: 'Fidgety' Phil Collins. Alas, I'm covering tonight's game so I'll have to at least listen to the radio. We'll see if I can stomach any visuals.