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"Lose - Or Else" - Selig to Tampa Bay

Aug 26, 2008

Rays Agree To Drop Remainder of Games
Fans, Players Disappointed, But "Understand”
New York – MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced that baseball had reached an accord with the Tampa Bay Rays in which the team agreed to “play ball” and lose its remaining 12 games.

"We want the Red Sox to win the East," said Selig.
The Rays understand that Major League Baseball needs the Boston Red Sox to win the East division,” said Selig. “And we want Minnesota as the Wild Card. No one – including their fans – gives a crap about Tampa Bay. No one goes to their games. No one watches on TV. ”
“We’ve had our fun,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon, “now it’s time to get back to losing like we always do.”
Maddon, who was guiding the greatest single season turnaround in baseball history, admitted the decision was “bittersweet,” but added he understood that baseball was a business focused on making money.
“Bud explained we gotta keep food in the owners’ mouths,” said Maddon. “I’m a working class guy and I understand that.”
Despite having the seoncd-best record in the American League at 90-60, Tampa Bay is drawing barely 21,000 fans a game, the league’s lowest figure.
“Most people in Florida are afraid of heights,” commented Maddon (Florida is the flattest state in the nation) “and they have to drive over bridges to get to Tropicana Field. That’s just too much to ask of folks.”
Almost nobody – literally – is watching on TV either. Television ratings for the 75 Ray games broadcast on FSN Florida are the lowest ever reported according to ratings company AC Nielsen – and have prompted the team to pay its 2,000 some-odd viewers $4.00 per game to watch.
“We just can’t stay in business if we have to pay people to watch,” explained team owner Stuart Sternberg. “That’s simply not a viable business model.”
“It’s lonely at the top,” said one fan who refused to give his name, “look at poor Mr. Bush. Who needs it?”  
Surprisingly, few players were upset with the mandate to embrace defeat. “No one can name a single player on the team, we don’t make any money, we hardly ever get arrested,” said outfielder B.J. Upton. “We deserve to lose.”

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Reader Responses
Sep 3, 2008 2:06 AM
Joey D
The Rays are baseball's best story. Okay, then. Now do the world a favor and start losing.
Aug 29, 2008 5:12 PM

This character Yo ... lives in Tampa. He doesn't get out much apparently. That's probably a good thing.

Aug 28, 2008 11:38 AM

Tampa has a baseball team?

Who knew?

Aug 27, 2008 1:58 PM
If you guys need a good, clean, low mileage used car, I can make that happen. Let's talk.
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