No hockey tonight (except in Estero), so I thought I would talk a little baseball. Not Indians baseball, we're talking Devil Rays.
Sitting here at Tropicana Field watching the Marlins smash the Devil Rays (it's currently 7-0) and trying to remember what this joint looked like when it was home to the Lightning. Came here for a few games and remember having fun despite being off the ice a bit. But now that its configured for baseball, I can't see the hockey rink in this place for the life of me.
Believe it or not, Tropicana Field/Thunderdome/Suncoast Dome looks pretty good right now. The talk around the Marlins is many would gladly trade their life at Joe Robbie for one in this stadium (provided it was picked up and dropped off somewhere in South Florida, of course).
Can you imagine any other Major League team walking into the Trop and going "hey, this place ain't bad! It's better than our yard!" OK, maybe the Twins, but they're getting a new park.
And you should see all the ads in this barn. The Panthers would choke. They are everywhere but on the playing field. Frank Forte and myself felt right at home walking around here this afternoon.
The Rays have their own version of the race, only instead of various meat and pork products, they have foam bottles (one water, one soda, one a Sprite-type knockoff) racing the Rays mascot. His name is Ray. Anyway, not as good as Milwaukee. Or the President's Race in Washington. But it's better than Billy the Marlin's video airboat race, but then again, what isn't?
-- Apparently the Lightning left the horn went they moved across the bay into their new digs. When the Lightning, um Rays, hit a homer, the big horn goes off just like in a hockey game. Kept waiting for Panthers PA guy Bill Murphy to shout "Devil Raaaaaaaysssss....home run! His first of the night and seventh of the season, Ty Wigginton!"
-- Speaking of hockey, I went to a baseball game and a wrestling match broke out. Seriously. The Rays held a tribute to wrestling legends show after Friday's game. Wished I would have known about it ahead of time and I would have let Herald wrestling expert/guru Jim Varsallone know (I'm sure he's here).
For those wrestling fans out there, here were the matches: King Haku vs. Tatanka; Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine; The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags and Brian Knobb) vs. Rick Steiner and The Cuban Assassin (who wore a Marlins jersey before the game). Also here: Bret "The Hitman" Hart, "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and B. Brian Blair. I don't know who these guys are, not a wrestling fan. But plenty of folks are, and I'm cool with that.
They set up the ring just behind home plate and set up seats around the on-deck circles. If I wasn't working, I might have enjoyed the action. The fans who stuck around seemed to like it. Anyways, here's a pic from the Treo. Sorry for the quality. Sure wrasslin fans can visit devilrays.com tomorrow and get better pictures.