CLEVELAND – The Tampa Bay Rays were feeling confident following their 4-0 AL wild-card win over the Indians Wednesday knowing that they were heading into the American League Division Series with the away-field advantage.
The Rays fought valiantly to finish the regular season with fewer wins than the Red Sox, successfully positioning themselves to play the least amount of playoff games in front of their hometown fans as humanly possible. Now getting ready to square off with Boston in the ALDS, the Rays are optimistic knowing the scheduling favors their success.
“I really believe that we can win any game that we set our minds to, just as long as we don’t have play in our empty, lifeless stadium in front of our crappy, dead-eyed fans,” said pitcher Alex Cobb. “Sure, the fans in Boston might boo us and stuff, but negative energy is better than no energy at all.”
The Rays boast the lowest home attendance in all of baseball by a considerable margin, with a fanbase disproportionately loaded with elderly retirees who are unwilling to stay awake to watch evening games on TV, let alone show up and cheer.
The lack of fan support is compounded by Tropicana Field’s gloomy aura: gray concrete, artificial turf, sunlight-cancelling dome, and the restless feeling that comes with being cooped up indoors. Fenway, however, offers a far less despairing atmosphere.
“I usually have to pop a few Zoloft before I can muster the energy to play at home, but I’m actually excited to go out and play at Fenway,” beamed Delmon Young. “When you feel like you’re already winning just by not being in your crappy home stadium, that prepares you psychologically to come out on top. Whereas in Tampa, you sort of just feel like you want your life to end.”
The Rays have already agreed as a team that, should they win the World Series, and should they win it at home, they will postpone the celebration until they can leave the stadium, catch a flight out of Florida, and land someplace more conducive to happiness.