Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Congrats to the Tampa Bay Rays For Another Amazing Season of Excitement and (Over) Achievement!!!!!

Thanks to a super understanding employer and an amazing spouse I have practically lived at Tropicana Field over the last 6 weeks... During that time span I was lucky enough to see them win 18 games while losing just 2. Last night was the second loss and unfortunately it was the loss that ended their season... This photo was snapped yesterday while the game was still knotted up at 1 and we were all full of hope. I think everyone knows how it all ended. The game, the season and my delightful distraction from real life. I know its just a game and when its all said and done there is one winner and a whole bunch of losers, but I can't help but feel sad, melancholy and a little empty... Congrats to the Red Sox. They played a super tight series. Jacoby Ellsbury was an amazing catalyst, as was Shane Victorino. There is no shame in getting beat by those two.

It does however sting that it was Xander Jan Bogaerts drawing 2 key walks and scoring the game winning and insurance runs last night. Yeah, that stung, but either way the Rays are done, the Red Sox are rolling and now I will be shifting all of my rooting and attention to the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. I would LOVE to see them face off (and beat) the Red Sox in the Series.
So that is all. My cowbell is gonna sit on the shelf for the next few months, my Rays jerseys are hung up in the closet and Stub Hub will no longer be my most frequently visited website.

It was a great run and I loved be a part of it as a fan. Things worked out so magically for me. I paid my bills before I bought tickets and so many times they just fell into my lap. That happened last night when our friend Lora (pictured above on the end, wife in middle, Troll on other end) offered us 2 of her season tickets and joined us in the last row in right field under the Jumbotron scoreboard. Out of 20 games in 6 weeks we only paid for about half of the games we saw - we relied and benefited from the kindness of strangers (and friends) and to all of them I saw thank you!

To the Rays I say the same thing - THANK YOU! For an exciting season full of hope with a little despair thrown in for good measure... Of course I will be watching the rest of the playoffs and I will be talking over the theoretical hot stove all (Florida) winter long.

 I will be hoping that David Price returns in 2014 and signs a nice long term deal. I will be hoping that James Loney, Yunel Escobar (3 for 3 last night!), David DeJesus, Jose Lobaton and Jamey Wright all elect to remain Rays in 2014 and beyond and I will be hoping that Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore, Desmond Jennings, Alex Torres, Jake McGee, Wil Myers, Chris Archer, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann and company all get plenty of rest, maintain their health and continue to improve on their games through the off season. I will also be hoping that my awesome online friends and fellow bloggers continue to share their unwanted Rays cards with me,too!

Yes, this was a magical year for the Rays and their fans, but its over. I am bummed, I am gonna have a whole bunch of free time and I have less chances to scream my head off and give strangers high fives, but spring training is right around the corner and I eagerly await seeing my team on the field again. Thank you, thank you, thank you! To the Rays, their fans, my friends and game day buddies and all of the generous ticket gifters out there. THANK YOU!!!
Go Pirates!
Troll out.

P.S. A HUGE thank you to my lovely (and tired) wife who cheered for every pitch till the end and didn't get home till 3:00 AM and turned around and went to work at 6 this morning. What a trooper!

P.S.S. This does mean I will be posting more often. I have completed many trades and received several surprise gifts in the mail and those awesome folks need thanks too!

P.S.S.S. I still have many Allen and Ginter dupes and minis available for the taking and for trading... I need only 2 more base cards to finish the set, 1-350, and I need just a few more inserts to finish the master set. Get in touch if you can help me out with that OR if you I can help you... Happy collecting kids!