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FanPost Friday: Convince a non-fan to love the Rays

How would you sell this team to someone who doesn’t know them?

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays suffer more than their fair share of jokes at the team’s expense. People mock the attendance. They make fun of the stadium without ever having been. They don’t understand how a team can continue to compete with 2.5 starting pitchers and about ten thousand pounds of sheer determination.

And Rays fans just roll their eyes. They’re used to it. There’s not much they haven’t heard before, and none of the jokes are particularly good, anyway. The Rays faithful don’t care.

Still, there’s a team here worth loving, a team that Rays fans stand by season after season in spite of the trades, and the comments, and the questions of stadiums. There’s a team that prides itself on youth, talent, innovation, and grit. A team that once you open your heart to, it’s impossible not to love. The mascots are a sea dog and party-ready feline, for heaven’s sake.

Rays fans can also be protective. They know about the jokes, they know most people have counted them out before even really looking at what they offer. So in that sense, this week’s FanPost prompt could be something of a challenge. The Rays are a young club, only around for 20 years, so they don’t have a century of history to draw on. But there’s still plenty of ammo if you’re looking to convince a non-Rays fan to love the team.

Perhaps you tell them about the exciting players in the farm (two walk-off rookies can’t be wrong!). Maybe you steer them to the Rays Twitter or Instagram, where every day the crew behind the scenes proves to be one of the best in baseball. Maybe you talk about Longo’s 2008 walk off home run. You could talk about Kiermaier’s dazzling outfield antics, or heck, depending on your audience maybe talk about Kiermaier’s dazzling eyes.

Or you could just show them this:

No matter what technique you plan to use to convince them, we want to know.

Head over to the FanPosts section and select “New FanPost” on the left, then give us your best “Here’s why you should love the Rays” pitch.