It brings me great pain to share with you that our beloved Tampa Bay Rays have been bounced from the postseason. The AL East champions, who won a league-best 100 games despite lacking some of their key pieces from a 2020 pennant-winning team and had a bottom-five payroll this season, got bounced from the Division Series in four games to the Wild Card Boston Red Sox. Not only did the Rays torment the Blue Jays this season, like usual, by handing them a bunch of tough losses at their mickey mouse ballpark patronized by dozens of faithful fans, but this inter-division rivalry took off in September when Rays’ veteran outfielder and team leader Kevin Kiermaier stole Alejandro Kirk’s catcher data card in true scumbag fashion.
As a Jays fan, you really hate to see these overperforming cheapskates get knocked out so early in the playoffs. Such a shame.
The Red Sox eliminate the Rays from the MLB playoffs. pic.twitter.com/hNPJITMuWL
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 12, 2021
I must admit I haven’t disliked seeing Jays twitter take solace in seeing the Rays get knocked out, albeit at the hands of the equally deplorable Red Sox, since Kiermaier’s team suffered a series-ending 6-5 loss at Fenway Park on Monday. While anything can happen in the MLB postseason, it surely is somewhat surprising that the hundred-win, reigning AL champs got knocked out in the first round, to a club that a biased fan like myself thinks wasn’t nearly as good as the Blue Jays. But the Tampa Bay Rays were set up for failure this postseason thanks to some crippling karma, not only because of Kiermaier’s part in catcher card gate but also because the Rays ownership and front office jinxed themselves by talking about relocating the ballclub WHILE THEY WERE IN THE POSTSEASON.
Rays President Brian Auld believes it to be "next to impossible" that the Rays play a full season of home games in Tampa. pic.twitter.com/776wbUuBVp
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) October 8, 2021
You’re telling me your franchise boasted the third-best odds of winning their first-ever World Series and the team president thinks this is a good time to publicly discuss the infeasibility of continuing to play in their home city? In the middle of a playoff series? Good grief.
The Rays teased the idea of introducing their relocation campaign in September, when the other team president (how many presidents can a team have?) Matt Silverman announced they’d be putting up a “very simple Tampa Bay/Montreal graphic” down the rightfield line during the postseason. Given the timing of it all I thought that this idea was bananaland, and then the Rays decided to double down by coming out and saying that it’d be “next to impossible” to successfully play a full season of baseball in Tampa going forward.
At a time where you think you’d want your ballclub, executive personnel, and fanbase to be focused on winning a championship, Rays management thought it’d be a good idea to divert the attention away from their postseason run in favour of the future possibility of moving the ballclub away from Tropicana Field, where they’re supposed to be encouraging fans to congregate in support of their quest for a World Series title. But instead, they decided to use their on-field success as a way to draw up publicity for their plans to relocate to Montreal. Brilliant.
— ²¹ (@BuehlerRBW) October 12, 2021
How badly did this relocation talk jinx them? In game 1 of their American League Division Series matchup the Rays pummeled the BoSox 12-2. The very next day, the Wall Street Journal published the article outlining the club’s plan of leaving Tampa Bay, and then this team was toast. The Rays proceeded to lose their next three games and were subsequently eliminated from the postseason.
— PehPeh #OrbitPilled (@ThisIsPehPeh) October 12, 2021
It serves the Tampa Bay Rays right for not winning a single game after it came out that they were planning on relocating. As a fan, I’d be heated that my ballclub’s higher-ups were more concerned with getting the word out that they wanted to move to a completely different country whilst the team was in the hunt for their first World Series. This organization can barely get fans to come out to watch a first-place team, and now you’re telling everyone you want to move them away while at the same time trying to convince people to pack the Trop during October baseball? Talk about the worst possible timing.
The Rays had all winter to discuss relocation, yet decided to bring it up in the postseason. And it screwed them.