Sep 7, 2021 - News
The red-hot Tampa Bay Rays are still struggling to fill Tropicana Field
Manuel Margot breaks his bat before a field of empty seats in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 2. Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays are dominating the AL East — on pace to win 100 games this season, powered by Wander Franco, baseball's most exciting prospect who also happens to be chasing a historic record.

Yes, but: The Rays drew four consecutive crowds of fewer than 8,000 people against the Red Sox last week.

  • In August, the Rays averaged a pathetic 9,846 fans per home game. All other MLB first-place teams averaged between 25,877 and 47,614.
  • A bright spot? With low turnout, fewer fans ... will contract COVID.

What's new: The Tampa Bay Times' John Romano has a novel idea: for the final 10 games of the regular season, the Rays should slash ticket prices at Tropicana Field.

  • "Deep, serious, park-wide cuts," he writes, as a "gesture to a dugout filled with players who deserve to have a loud, enthusiastic crowd cheering them on."

My thought bubble: This won't work, of course. I'm not even sure free tickets would get a dramatic number of people to the Trop. Why can't we figure this out? The guilt and embarrassment are exhausting.

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