A Day At The Yard

Yesterday we went to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. I’ve been to many over the 13 years of Ray’s baseball and have sat in many different locations but I prefer seats like the ones we had yesterday right behind the visitor’s dugout on 3rd base side, 15 rows up Right on top of the scoring action, and it started right away. Cleveland scored 3 runs in the top of the first, not a good Rays start. But it was to be an eventful game, featuring one of the games great young Tampa Bay players Carl Crawford. In the bottom of the first with the runners on the corners and 1 out the batter hits a scorcher right back to the pitcher. Crawford who was on third breaks for home distracting the pitcher from throwing to 2nd to begin the double play and end the inning, and then he stops running and draws the pitchers full attention (no longer being able to turn the DP he is totally committed to getting CC out in a rundown). He executes the run straight at the runner to force him to go somewhere and Crawford just kinda plays possum until the last second when the pitcher throws to the third baseman for the tag CC breaks for home. He runs like Flash and the 3rd basman can’t catch him so he has to throw ahead to the catcher who is set up at home, except the speed of CC so bedazzles him the throw is errant and CC slides safely around the tag at home. It was an amazing play from an amazing player.

CC is an example of a team player versus just a tools player. He is low key, respectful and will sacrifice with a bunt or a “take” to help the team. He is an all around complete player with great offense, defense and dizzying speed. He is a crowd favorite. We drafted him right out of Jefferson Davis High School in Houston. He was highly recruited by the elite colleges in basketball & football and by Major League baseball. He could have played point guard at UCLA or QB at Nebraska. The Rays gave him a tiered contract and have managed to hold on to him through the last 2 years when he has earned $18 million. He is a free agent at the end of this year and the speculation is that the Rays can’t afford to keep him if they don’t go to the World Series this year.

CC Swipes Home

CC is playing his heart out for himself and for Tampa Bay. He is low key and selfless but his numbers are gaudy. He was last years All Star MVP and is the starting left fielder in Tuesdays AL All Star lineup. If he leaves we will be sad but my bet is it will be done with dignity and class. The Rays probably just can’t compete with the big market teams for what CC can command. I’m betting he will get many offers and Tampa Bay will be proud to have had him as a Ray for the time we have. I’m also betting he won’t hold an hour press conference to focus totally on CC at the expense of Tampa Bay.

Yesterday the Rays won 6-5 in the bottom of the 10th, CC scored the winning run. He also hit a 2 run homer so he accounted for 4 of the Rays 6 runs.

He also did something else that will live forever in my memory; he hit a foul ball that I ended up with. My retrieval won’t make a highlight video, but I got the ball. I will leave the ball to a son or grandson to be a cherished sports moment from a classy guy. But I will keep it displayed in my living room for a few years first.

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2 Responses

  1. Now you need to get that ball autographed. Or do they not do that anymore because they don’t want to see it on eBay?

  2. I’m working on it:)

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