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Tampa Bay Rays Can’t Win for Losing

Last night, I went on a very fun date up to St. Pete to see the Yankees play against the Tampa Bay Rays. Yes, I was wearing my Yankees cap, and yes, my date was a Rays fan. But we still managed to have fun.

The Yankees may have been outmatched in last night’s particular game, but they by far outclass the Rays when it comes to one particular thing.

The Tampa Bay Rays, formerly known as the Devil Rays, changed their name in 2007 — and the brand changed from being about “manta rays” to being “a ray of sunlight” that radiates across all of Florida. They developed a new logo to match this change in sensibility.

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Um, too bad, they didn’t develop a new conscience to go along with all the show-me-the-money new branding.

The Rays baseball team keeps a tank of live rays in a very small contained space, surrounded by thunderous vibrations and noises. rays_tank_275x340 What’s really shocking is that this tank is attended to by the Florida Aquarium.

Really? What can they be thinking? And what’s even worse, in an acknowledgment of the possibility of a Rays player’s hit sending a ball hurtling in excess of 100 miles per hour and slamming into the tank — very likely hitting a ray in the process — the Rays will donate $5,000 to charity. if that happens.

Really? What about just doing the most charitable, compassionate thing they could do and return those rays to the open waters where they belong?

I’m no marine scientist, but I’m just guessing these creatures can hear and feel and sense all the crazy noise and beating and thundering that goes on during these games. I imagine they have a fairly good sense of feeling when it comes to vibrations in their water — I know what the noise does to my senses, and can only imagine how it traumatizes them.

It made me feel kind of sick last night. Seeing those poor rays across the field, swimming back and forth in their little tank. Honestly, it’s just not a good commentary on who we are as human beings that we would do this to another species.

There’s no amount of public education or awareness or branding or whatever that is worth what we’re doing to the rays. So in my book, the Rays may have won last night … but they’re big, fat, selfish, cruel LOSERS.

They may have changed their brand to promote themselves as a “beacon of light” — but they need to shine some of that light on their own consciences and return the rays — no longer even their symbol — to the waters where they belong.

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Posted on July 31st, 2010Comments RSS Feed
16 Responses to Tampa Bay Rays Can’t Win for Losing
  1. I’ve only been to one Rays game, last year, and I did not see the tank…thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    Although I don’t share your love of the Yankees — far from it! — I agree with your sentiments about freeing the animals. I hope the management of the Rays and owners of the Trop see fit to do so, soon!

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  2. Well, you’re probably glad the Yankees lost! Chance for a rematch at 7 pm tonight! :) thanks for reading the blog, Susan, and for commenting.

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  3. I never realized.. What insensitive idiots.

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  4. Anyone want tickets for the Sept.13th game?I never knew and that is on par with the tiger story.Unreal!!.Great story MC.

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  5. Oh, thanks for reading Steve. I know they probably think they’re not harming the little rays, but truly it seems inhumane. and unnecessary!

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  6. This reminds me of that movie, “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective”, where he saves the Miami Dolphins’ dolphin. Idiots all.

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  7. oh, i never saw that movie — but i’ve heard from several people outside of this blog who feel it’s wrong too — maybe we should start a petition!

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  8. Mary, let’s get one going….I’m going to find out the appropriate contact to report this idiocy to and do my thing…but then again, you know me and I say it’s time to be a little more pro-active instead of medling around like sheep waiting for someone else to do something. Can’t thank you enough, for yet another great piece and for bringing this to our attention.
    You’re the best!
    Daniel

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  9. I was thinking the same thing — last night — thinking that I should find out how to go about getting this wider publicity and trying to effectuate a change. let me know if you find out anything …. thanks!

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  10. Count me in Dan!

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  11. So are you against all aquariums? Because that is what this is. Kids go see the Rays throughout the game and learn a little something about the species. We have always thought of it as a nice natural addition to the field.

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  12. No, not against aquariums — just ones that subject sound-sensitive creatures to such thundering noise! But I’m glad to hear that you and your family have enjoyed their presence at Tropicana; good to know!

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  13. If a major league baseball(or minor league for that matter) franchise put an enclosed pen behind the home run fence with a bunch of dogs and cats and offered a bonus for hitting one of them, how would that be any different than what the exec’s at Tampa Bay are doing right now ? The only difference,of course,is that we would actually hear the pain of an innocent animal. I guess the Sternberg ownership group can rationalize this cruel policy to themselves because these magnificent sea creatures are appropriately silenced by being under water.

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  14. Wow, Robert — thanks for reading the blog and posting your comments. I’d never even considered that — but you make an excellent point. What if these were dogs and cats in there to try to raise awareness of the need to care for strays or something? People would be pretty outraged. The whole thing is yucky in my book.

    Thanks for reading!

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  15. WOW dude,
    You seem to sure think you know a lot about animal rights and sports! those Rays are fine, the aquarium takes good cares of those Rays and as far as your little comment about the Yankees having more class goes…. We all know that the Yanks have some of the nastiest fans.

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  16. Also, The tank is the tenth largest of its kind in the United States of America. So you’re absolutely right…..they are really suffering. You’re an idiot man

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