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Blog Entry

A fan betrayed

Posted on: December 9, 2010 2:54 pm
 

Betrayal, one definition of this word that I found was “to seduce and desert. That is exactly what I feel Carl Crawford did to me and the entire Tampa Bay area yesterday. He spent eight years here making us love him, then he just tossed us to the wayside to become a traitor. Did I think that he would come back here? Absolutely not, we fans were assured by team management that we had no chance of retaining any player that cost any bit of money. But did I think he would pick the Red Sox? No, I did not.

I had come to terms with his departure in August, before the season had even ended. I was ready for him to head off into greener pastures and hopefully get himself a ring and some cash. There were 28 teams I was ready for him to go to; too bad he picked the one I could never be ready for. My most hated team in the entire major leagues, Boston. If he had gone to the Yankees, he would be going for the prestige, the history. Or if he chose the Angels it would have been for the fact that he was a perfect fit. But going to the Red Sox? The only thing that tells me is you are a sellout. You are heading to a team that you know your previous fans hold in such low regard to just take the money and run.

Up until yesterday I was ready to go to the first game we played against his new team and cheer him at every at bat. If he were to hit a walk off, I would have been ecstatic. But now, I am thinking of clever sign ideas to show him how displeased I am. In a lot of ways for me this is the Rays version of Lebron James leaving Cleveland. I feel like I have lost a part of myself today, a part of my identity. I will still go to plenty of games, I will still wear my jerseys with pride, but at the same time I will be mourning the loss of a good friend who is now dead to me.

Comments

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2011 9:56 pm
 

A fan betrayed

AMEN!!!



Since: Aug 4, 2010
Posted on: December 10, 2010 9:02 pm
 

A fan betrayed

Wow, that comment was longer than my entire blog entry. I agree on a lot of the points you made. Thanks for your extra input.



Since: Feb 19, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:54 pm
 

A fan betrayed

I first off want to say that I feel the same exact way as you feel about Carl Crawford signing with the Red Sox. Today, while I was watching the "Hot Stove" special of Baseball Tonight, they showed a picture of CC with a Red Sox "B" cap on and it made me sick to my stomach to see that terrible sight. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been a Rays fan since day one of their inception over ten years ago, only becoming a fan at the beginning of the breakout season the Rays had a couple seasons ago. It wasn't because I was one of the many bandwagoners that jumped on the Rays breakout season, but it was because I hadn't really been that big of a fan of baseball before I was introduced to the Rays. I had previously and exclusively chosen "easier" to follow sports like football and basketball over the stat-filled sport of baseball. But after a good friend showed me the wonderment that was following baseball, understanding baseball stats, and falling in love with a team such as the Rays, I made baseball and the Rays into one of my most followed sports. Since then, I've come to love the Rays and love the players the Rays used to once put on the field such as Carl Crawford. Players like CC, Evan Longoria, David Price, and JP Howell were among my favorite players. But it was a sad realization this year when the Rays' GM announced that it would be impossible to resign any player wanting anything above a box of cracker jacks to a new contract. Meaning players I had come to love would soon be paid top dollar to go play for teams that I had come to despise like the Red Sox and Yankees. I would not be able to cheer them on, like I could have if CC had just gone to the Angels or even outside of the AL East, not because they were child-long fans of these rival teams...But because two teams in the same division the Rays compete against have two of the largest markets and two of the best income per payroll in the entire major leagues. Who in their right minds would sign a 5 year/70 million deal when the Yankees or the Red Sox could offer a 7 year/150 million dollar deal like it's the similar 5 year/70 million deal. Except in the case of the Yankees/R.Sox, that 5 year deal would be crushing towards a small market team's payroll and overall team expenses budget. But in contrast, the Yank-Sox are only spending money that they'll easily recover within the first year, if not two, of the contract from just the buzz of a big-time contract player will create in those markets. It's when I thought about all of these factors did I come to the hard and sickening realization that no matter what the (specifically) TAMPA BAY Rays do, they will never be able to compete(for an extended period of time) with the Yankees, the Red Sox, even the Nationals, and in some regards, the Angels(even though they have whiffed quite a bit in recent years in free agency splashes as they "target" big names only to offer half-hearted contracts that easily get beat out by Boston and New York. It's easy to pick the contract with 30-40 million dollars more on it than the one with less money). But as long as the Rays are either located in the Tampa Bay area or as long as the MLB continues to allow such ridiculous spending without raising the luxury tax on such signings in an baby step attempt to even the playing field for smaller market teams, then the Rays and Rays' fans are doomed to suffer heartbreak after heartbreak when it comes to losing fan favorite players that the Rays have specifically raised from either lackluster prospect or early draft pick with big potential into Major League All-stars that will sign the big contract with a Red Sox and a Yankees team that can overwhelm them with the big dollar bill.

I don't blame a player for wanting a pay raise, this isn't the point of this comment at all, in fact I more than embrace that this is a major part of sports and life in general. We all would like a pay raise at work, and instead of getting a 2$ raise per hour, these athletes get 20 Million dollars per year, it's just their pay grade. I may not have been so okay with how greedy agents like Scott Boras(who continues to hardball teams into going head over heels for his clients to the point that I'm sure he has a yacht on the moon from all the money making clients he has reeled in over the years) has pretty much inflated players' value from player to player. When Player A got 13 million a year, Boras or similar agents would argue that their client Player B(who is rated better defensively and better offensively than Player A) should receive 17 million a year, and so on and so on to this point in time where Jayson Werth's beefy Nationals' contract allowed Carl Crawford to make nearly 20+ million a year. It's the way that owners have allowed players and agents to man-handle them into offering more and more money for players that shouldn't be getting nearly as much money. It's gotten so bad that next year, there might be lockouts in both the NFL and the NBA due to these disputes between how much owners have to pay out and how much the players/agents are demanding. It is an absolutely horrific time to be a sports fan and because of the things discussed, an ever worse time to be a Rays fan because this is just the beginning in a major dismantling caused by mismanagement of contracts over the course of 20 years. But if you're a fan of the Red Sox or the Yankees or any other big market town, then congratulate yourselves on being part of the problem as to what may very well be the end of competitive sports as we know it. The Rays got screwed, the fans of the Rays got screwed, and this just left all small market teams in the wake of what will be the downfall of baseball. I'm looking forward to the Yankees vs Red Sox one game a year spectacular that will be the future of actual competitive baseball. Because how can anyone call a game of the regular season of the Pirates versus the Yankees a competitive game. It's laughable and because of these problems, that's how it's turning out to be even when mid-near big teams like the Braves or the Reds play these big market teams. I'll keep watching baseball, but it'll be hard to keep back my lunch whenever I see power houses playing the teams I either root for or at least wish would beat these teams.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com