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What Truly Will Hurt the Rays

The lack of run production returned again for the Rays in their 1-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday afternoon at Safeco Field. Felix Hernandez was dazzling as he kept the Rays hitters baffled all afternoon. Tampa Bay is now 6-10 on the season as they head to Oakland to start a 3 game weekend series against the A's.
The players held a meeting prior to Wednesday nights game, and the Rays went out and produced, with excellent pitching to go with timely hitting in plating 9 runs. Lack of offensive production this early in the season is definitely an issue, not to mention the ineffectiveness of the bullpen.
Based on the success of last year, the one thing that does concern me the most is how the fan base is going to respond once the Rays return home.
Having lived in Tampa for 5 years, I have seen first hand what fair weather fans the Rays have. Last year, once the Rays became contenders, people began to jump on the bandwagon left and right. Having gone to several games over those 5 seasons, it was always an embarrassment to me to see more Yankee and Red Sox fans in the stands when those two teams were in town. I hate to think how the Rays players felt.
True fans stick by their teams through thick and thin. I give you on example of a loyal fan base. The Chicago Cubs, as most baseball fans know, have not won a World Series in over 100 years. Yet, every year we see and hear about Wrigley Field, the ivy colored walls, and how the fans show up in even the most rotten weather to support their beloved Cubbies.
The Tampa Bay Rays have the ingredients of strong ownership and a talented ball club to be a true contender. What the team does lack is true fans.