Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The First Pitch

The Rays don't know who to have throw out the first pitch of the ALDS:

Now that the Devil is in their past and heavenly October baseball is in their future, the Rays have a problem.

"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.
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.

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)

14 comments:

alice-q said...

Someone from the Lightning or Buccaneers championship teams. Of course, I don't remember who the Bucs' QB was, but they could do worse than Dave Andreychuk (Lightning captain when they won the Stanley Cup).

Crowhop said...

Fred McGriff. No question. He was born in Tampa, lives in Tampa, works for the team (sorta), played 2.5 productive seasons there and played his last game for the team. Oh, and should be in the HOF.

Alex said...

Yeah Crime Dog!

Jason said...

He's a current player but I think Carl Crawford should throw it. He's been through a lot with that team.

Alan said...

How about Monte Irvin? He lives in Tampa, and the Rays give out a scholarship in his name.

Mr. Thursday said...

The starting 9. Line 'em all up, shoulder to shoulder, and have them toss the ball to, I dunno, the best local high school team, or something.

I mean, normally, the whole first pitch thing is a time to recognize a franchise's history, right? I think it'd be more fun, not to mention ballsy, to show where the Tampa Bay history begins and ends: the 2008 team.

Mr. Thursday said...

Or, for comedy, there is always the Canseco option.

Daniel said...

Whoever their scouting director is. Not that it's been that tough to pick first every year, but hey, it's worth something.

Chalk said...

I think I've got the top 5 candidates:

http://www.bugsandcranks.com/tampa-bay-devil-rays/david-chalk/first-devil-rays-october-ceremonial-first-pitch-should-be-thrown-by/

Sara K said...

Tino Martinez? Tampa native, a nod to the Evil Empire of old...

melodyjbf said...

Shaquille O'Neil, Tampa Bay native!

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Doesn't Hank live in Tampa?

Connor Doyle said...

Dude, this is easy: PECOTA throws out the first pitch. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Considering the Trop will be filled with Sawx fans anyway, how about Johnny Pesky?