Tampa Bay Rays: Home Sweet Dome?

By James Williams
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the bad news is that the Tampa Bay Rays are down 2-0 in the ALDS to the Boston Red Sox. Monday’s very important Game 3 will be played in front of a sold out crowd at Tropicana Field, and a very loud dome could give the Rays a much needed boost.

To say that I love the Trop would be like saying that Congress gets along. I hate the old barn, but one thing is for sure, it can be loud. Come Monday, it better be as loud as the national media telling you what a dump it is; trust me, folks, that is off the charts loud.

Right now, home field advantage for the Rays is likely the only thing that could keep them from being excused from the MLB playoffs in three games. There are plenty of come from behind wins on the books to give Rays fans some hope that there will be baseball at the Trop past Monday.

The San Francisco Giants dropped their only two home games in last years NLDS to the Cincinnati Reds. They then went on the road and took three straight games in Cincinnati with, listen to this Rays, strong pitching and amazing defense.

In the 2004 ALCS, many will recall that the New York Yankees were up 3-0 against the Red Sox. Boston got a walk off win in the ninth inning of Game 4, and they did not lose again. They not only took out the Yankees, but they went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to break the “Curse of the Bambino,” and win their first ever World Series Championship.

No one ever said that winning a championship would be easy, but the Rays have the talent to take three straight from a very good Boston team. Thus far, the two things they do best, play defense and pitch, are the two things that have killed Tampa Bay.

The legendary Georgetown University head basketball coach John Thompson Jr. once told me, “You have to win one before you win two and you have to win two before you can win three. Streaks are really just winning one game at a time and they start to add up.”

Lastly, counting last Sunday’s win against the Toronto Blue Jays, Game 163 on Monday on the road against the Texas Rangers, and the AL Wild Card game at Progressive Field against the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay is a perfect 3-0 in elimination games. Pitch well, play defense, and have the 10th Man be the Trop, and I like the Rays’ chances of playing baseball past Monday and Tuesday.

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven time Emmy Award winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc and add him to your Google circles.

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