An Open Invitation

She ain’t pretty, but she’s mine.

I wrote the following as a comment on Hardball Talk, a favorite baseball blog of mine that I like to visit on an almost daily basis. Hardball Talk is like my baseball blog version of Cheers, a place where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. The other day, head blogger and crime fighter-in-chief Craig Calcaterra posted a blog post about Jeff Loria: Will Jeff Loria’s Antics Hurt Baseball As a Whole?”

In it he writes:

People weren’t thinking “Marlins or nothing” before, so I doubt they are now. They’re thinking “Marlins or … Yankees?” “Marlins or Rays?” “Marlins or ___.”

A commenter who goes by lovistemiami wrote the following in response:

As a Miamian and a Marlins fan I agree on all points, except: Marlins or Yankees – yes. Marlins or Mets – yes. Marlins or Phillies or Braves – yes. Marlins or Rays – Ugh, I have never met a Rays fan. (Admittedly, I imagine they’d say they’ve never met a Marlins fan).

That hurt. Dissed by a Feesh fan. I responded with the following. I was particularly fond of this piece of writing. I included both a Jay-Z and a Daniel Webster reference. See if you can find them. I hope you appreciate that’s not an easy feat to pull off. I didn’t respond with anger, but with an open invitation to join us in this crazy journey of fandom together. This letter is not just directed to lovistemiami, but to all fans of this great sport without an allegiance to a team who might be looking for one in all the wrong places.

Hi, lovistemiami. /shaking your hand

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m a Rays fan. Now you know one. There’s a couple more of us who patrol this hallowed blog, fighting the good fight–raysfan1 and hittfamily. We’re fun, smart (ok, raysfan1 is a doctor–he’s really smart), and kinda cute.

We are a small fanbase, yet there are those who love us. We can certainly use all the fans we can get. As a Feesh fan, I know you are accustomed to small fan bases. Why would you base your fandom on the number of fans a team has when you know what it’s like to root for a team with few fans? Be a trendsetter! Be different! Join us Rays fans, and support baseball in our beautiful absurd land of flowers, sun, and beaches.

Now I will proceed to troll all those other teams you mentioned and convince you to join us. Don’t root for the Yankees–that’s like rooting for Donald Trump. The Mets–the Wilpons will break your heart. The Phillies? Do you have the stomach to boo all your players? I’m more of the positive reinforcement type myself. Silence speaks volumes, after all. Braves? C’mon man. Tomahawk chop? Really? Really.

I hope I’ve pleaded my case.

Sincerely,

A Rays Fan