If the holiday season brings out your romantic side, I’ll bet you are thinking what I’m thinking.
The Rays and Evan Longoria belong together.
This feels like a good old Hollywood romantic comedy. EVERYONE watching knows it’s a match made in heaven but those crazy kids just can’t quite get the timing right.
We need to find a way for Erik and Evan to run into each other in some meet cute way and, with the music swelling, realize this is meant to be. Maybe they are walking their dogs on the Pier and the leashes get tangled up? Maybe they are in the St. Pete Trader Joe’s and both reach for the last bottle of Spanish extra virgin olive oil at the same time? Do they lock eyes from across the restaurant at Ceviche?
I know Longoria will be 37, I know he’s struggled with injuries. I used to love watching him dash in from third to barehand a swinging bunt and fire the ball to first, and I know he’s probably not doing a lot of dashing these days.
But he still hits lefties decently, and the Rays can use some depth at the corners and darn it that’s good enough for me!
I’ve never quite understood just how “veteran presence” works in the clubhouse, but apparently it’s useful and with Kevin Kiermaier traded that clubhouse could use a guy whose been through a few seasons.
Most importantly, however, Evan Longoria belongs here. He still owns a house on the Gulf, he’s still a partner in Ducky’s. Most of us still have a Longoria shirt somewhere in the closet, and it probably still fits.
Longoria wants to end his career on a high note. He can go elsewhere and be the aging player clinging to a roster spot, or he can come here and be the legend returning to his true baseball home.
The Rays could use his bat, but could also use a guy who can help ignite the embers of fan enthusiasm. As they seek support for a new stadium somewhere in the Bay Area, wouldn’t it help to bring back a player who, to many of us, represented Rays success, post Devil? We Rays fans never get to experience a great player’s farewell tour. Maybe this time, however, we can have that opportunity.
It’s kismet, it’s meant to be. Evan and the Rays belong together, let’s get this contract done.