The Tampa Bay Rays opened 2017 today at Tropicana Field with an impressive 7-3 win against the hated Yankees. Chris Archer who has been sharp all spring got the win as he went 7 innings and shut down the Yankees giving up 2 Runs on 6 hits. Alex Colome worked a one two three ninth to earn his first save of the season.
Offensively, the Rays banged out 13 hits. Steven Souza was the only Ray who did not have a hit today. Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison each hit their first homers of the season and drove in 3 runs each to help the Rays get the win. This was great to see from a team that was so offensively challenged all of last season. The Rays were aggressive early this afternoon, and when you combine that with good pitching, you will win more than you loose.
A good start to the season for the Rays who will be off tomorrow, and then send Jake Ordorizzi to the mound Tuesday night against the Yankees. A capacity crowd of over 31, 000 looked on as the Rays pounded the Yanks. I’m sure their were plenty of Yankee fans in attendance to annoy the Rays faithful, but they are the ones that went home unhappy for a change.
I’m very curious to see the attendance numbers these next few weeks as the Rays welcome Boston and Toronto. The Red Sox always draw well at the trop, and so have the Blue Jays lately. The Rays have to do something to get the attendance numbers up. Stuart Sternberg, Matt Silverman and the marketing DPT I know have been working on that aspect all off-season. The Rays never seem to draw well early in the season regardless of the opponent.
If the Rays stay competitive, I see no reason why they could’nt draw between 1.5 million and 2 million fans. The shame of of it is that for a lot of games, over half of those in attendance will be dressed in opposing jerseys.
Always good to get the first one, Now lets get another against those damn Yankees on Tuesday Night.
–There has been no movement on a site for a new stadium, only that the top sites the Rays looked at were taken or not conducive for a baseball stadium.
–This is the 20th anniversary of Rays baseball in the Tampa/St Pete area, and most writers think the Rays will win between 80-85 games. Some writers think the Rays will challenge for the second Wild Card behind Boston and Toronto in the AL East. As I wrote yesterday I think the Rays will win between 80-85 games, but will miss the playoffs.