In the spirit of Kevin Cash during Game 6 of the 2020 World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays gifted the Los Angeles Dodgers another easy win on Wednesday.
You may not remember, but the Rays were once a part of the 2023 MLB playoffs. Yes, see them there? Way there in the back? The big-talking team that scored just one run across two games before being cowboy booted by the Texas Rangers? Yeah, if you squint, you can barely see them.
Before they went limply into the offseason searching for answers, dozens of Rays fans went through the gates at Tropicana Field to watch their team flail at Jordan Montgomery curveballs and throw singles into center away down the left-field line.
Attendance has never been the Rays' strong suit, which is the main reason why both their home playoff games were slotted at 3:00 PM EST. Primetime space was reserved for the Philadelphia Phillies and Citizens Bank Park, which might be the ballpark with the greatest home-field advantage in the game right now. 19,704 people were listed in attendance at Tuesday's Wild Card opener at the Trop, the lowest-recorded playoff attendance since 1919 (and, again, those were the figures they actually told us).
Naturally, Rays fans (there are multiple) took to the frontlines to defend their fate. After all, it wasn't their fault nobody showed up! How do you expect anyone to make it out for a mid-afternoon playoff game?! And you don't understand. The Rays' stadium is inconveniently located on an island in St. Petersburg. Traffic can be brutal!
Dodgers fans absorbed this information, chewed on it for a bit, then spit back photos of a mid-week, midday playoff game in the most notorious traffic pit in America. Tough conditions, to be sure, but Dodger Stadium managed to handle business anyway.
Dodger Stadium afternoon attendance, despite traffic, whomps Tampa Bay Rays' pathetic showing
When the replies to the initial Rays-related tweet ended up at, "B-b-but TRAFFIC!" that's when you knew Dodgers fans really had 'em.
Getting into and out of Dodger Stadium always feels like exiting a major city during the height of the apocalypse. Trying to get to a morning playoff game? That's like navigating the highways in The Last of Us.
But, still, whatever's required of Dodgers fans, they do it. They brave it. They cheer like crazy. They've been here before, and they'll be there again.
When you want to join the ranks of the experienced playoff veterans, Rays, let us know. We'll be happy to read and process your application after you win a game or two -- or, at least, score runs in multiple.