Brian Kenny On Rays: "It's Just Not Working Right Now"

The Rays have a winning team, Kenny says, yet seats remain empty

The DA Show
June 27, 2019 - 2:21 pm
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The Tampa Bay Rays (45-35) have the fourth-best record in the American League, but the locals don’t seem to care. Which is why the organization may try to play half of its season in Montreal.

Seriously.

“Well, I think they’re just desperate to do something,” MLB Network’s Brian Kenny said on The DA Show. “They have a very exciting team, they have a winning team right now, and it’s just not drawing. I know St. Petersburg has them to a lease and they’re looking to enforce it, but they’re just not competitive financially.”

But half the season in Montreal? Really?

“I don’t know if that would work,” Kenny said. “If it’s not unprecedented, it’s unprecedented since modern baseball. In 1880 there were probably teams that did that, and maybe it’s a new way of doing it again, splitting the team between cities. But it’s just not working right now.”

Kenny spent a weekend in St. Petersburg earlier this season and enjoyed the experience. 

“It actually is a pleasant place to watch a ball game,” he said, “and St. Petersburg – right around the ball park – is fantastic. It’s really a great place to be. But they just don’t put people in the seats. So something’s got to happen, and I know they’re kind of at war with the mayor down there. I’m not in favor of ‘Hey, get that taxpayer-funded stadium. Have the people pay for it.’ I’m not big on that. And yet, something has to happen because they’re just not competitive. Either they’ve got to move to Tampa or they’ve got to do something else – and maybe that does mean eventually moving.”

DA finds Tropicana Field, well, kind of depressing. It’s dark, cavernous, gray, and quiet.

“They tried to do stuff with the lights this year to brighten it up, but it bothered the outfielders so that didn’t work,” Kenny said. “I didn’t find it depressing. I found it more depressing to watch on TV than in person. I was there in person. I thought, ‘This is pleasant. The experience was good.’ The only thing that works down there is a retractable roof. I was there one weekend, and for most of the weekend you thought, ‘If this was outdoors, we wouldn’t be able to play.’ 

“That area is terrible weather, thunderstorms – and then it clears up and it’s beautiful,” Kenny continued. “So it is always disappointing to have this gorgeous, beautiful Florida day, and then you go inside to the gray inside. So I think the only thing that works there – if they can do it – is a retractable roof.”