Now that the Devil is in their past and heavenly October baseball is in their future, the Rays have a problem.Wilson Alvarez may be an idea in that he threw out the first pitch in team history. But then again, he got shelled in that game, so maybe they should go with Rolando Arrojo.
"We don't have anyone to throw out the ball for our first playoff game," Tampa Bay President Matt Silverman said. "MLB asked us who it'd be. We realized nobody in the history of the franchise had done anything to be worthy of the honor."
Nobody's even close. Not after Tampa Bay finished last in the American League East in nine of its previous 10 seasons. Not after playing in its Tropicana Field dungeon, a domed park that looks like a garbage can with its lid on crooked. Not after exorcising the "Devil" from its name this season and, apparently, erasing all of its past.
Central Command has a base in Tampa, so the Rays dream of fetching Gen. David Petraeus to throw out the first pitch. If not, as God is my witness, their second choice is Dick Vitale. That is their celebrity list.
Hmm, that's a bit underwhelming. How about Wade Boggs? He played on the 1998 team too, and had the franchises only notable moment before this season when he got his 3000th hit. Of course, he apparently still holds a grudge against the Red Sox, so that might be best saved for a potential ALCS matchup.
Um, let's see . . . Randy "Macho Man" Savage? He played minor league ball in St. Petersburg and was even a teammate of Keith Hernandez's in the early 70s.
OK, we're reaching now. Damn. Anyone have any better ideas?
(link via Deadspin)