A must-read from Grantland for any fan of the Tampa Bay Rays or, well, any fan of major league baseball.
“To paraphrase Rick Pitino, fun is a choice. More than a few baseball teams behave as though, sometime in February, a federal court in either Florida or Arizona has sentenced them to play 162 baseball games and to home confinement in America’s luxury hotels. Since the Soviet Union fell, there are no more miserably unhappy places on earth than unhappy baseball clubhouses. And, just last fall, for example, the Boston Red Sox gave a very good public imitation of a gulag, albeit with fried chicken and beer. Nobody was happy. Meanwhile, down in Tampa, the Rays were doing things like themed road trips, one of which required that everyone in the traveling party wear a college letter sweater. Others included an all-black trip, in honor of the memory of Johnny Cash, and a pajama-party trip, which must have been just too adorable for words. So you had one team with a big payroll and all the joie de vivre of folks gathered for an ensemble proctological procedure, and a giddy caravan of goofballs without an apparent care in the world. And when the latter overtook the former, on the last at-bat of the last night of the season, it was like watching sunlight break through the clouds.”
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