The empty seats throughout Tropicana Field have been a staple of the franchise for much of its existence, but with the Rays riding high after taking two of three from the Red Sox over the weekend, you might expect some carryover into the week. That was not the case. Not even close.
Just 11,968 fans paid their ticket money on Monday night for the Rays' series opener with the Blue Jays, and even after the home team won 6-2, the Rays were disappointed.
"It was a big letdown," Carl Crawford told reporters, according to The Associated Press. "We came out all fired up and you see that, it's really depressing."
Manager Joe Maddon, who is generally as positive as can be, seemed to be accepting that his team just can't draw fans.
"There's nothing we can do about that anymore, honestly," Maddon said . "Whether it's winning or losing or whatever, we can't even be concerned about that. Of course it's disappointing, but we do appreciate the group that did come out. It's too bad because you're missing really good baseball."
According to ESPN, the Rays play in front of a 52.8 percent-full stadium on average, ranking them 23rd in the league. They're ahead of only Pittsburgh, Florida, Arizona, Baltimore, Toronto, Oakland and Cleveland — teams that are a combined 395-520. With their win on Monday, the Rays are tied with the Yankees for the best record in the majors at 81-50.