The Rays lost Game 2 of their ALDS matchup with the Rangers this afternoon in Tampa and face elimination Saturday in Texas. But it wasn’t all fire and brimstone at Tropicana Field.
In the eighth inning, as impending free agent Carl Crawford stepped to the plate, a large section of Rays fans began chanting “CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD.”
Crawford grounded out on the first pitch of his at-bat. But, as he took his place in left field for the top of the ninth inning, the chants started again. “CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD.” It filled the stadium and could be heard clearly through the TBS telecast.
Rays fans get a lot of guff because of their early-exits from important games and the perennially low attendance numbers at The Trop, but Thursday’s chant showed a great deal of intelligence and consciousness on the part of the fanbase.
Unless the Rays squeak out two wins in Texas, Thursday’s game was probably the last Crawford will ever play as a member of the home team in Tampa. The 29-year-old batted .307/.356/.495 with 19 homers and 47 stolen bases in 600 at-bats during the regular season while showing excellent range in the outfield. He will be courted this offseason by baseball’s biggest spenders.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Senate adjourned Thursday without voting on a financing bill for a proposed $1.5 billion Las Vegas Strip stadium for the Oakland Athletics, extending the special legislative session into the next week amid negotiations over whether to contribute $380 million in public funding to the project.
The measure can still be amended by lawmakers, and if it passes the Senate it would still need approval from the Assembly before going to the desk of Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who has expressed support for it. Both the state Senate and Assembly are adjourned until Monday.
In a hearing that began Wednesday and stretched into the early morning hours Thursday, lawmakers peppered tourism officials and a representative from a firm partnering with the ball club with questions about the feasibility and benefits of financing such a deal.
Public funds for the stadium would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.
The A’s would not owe property taxes for the publicly owned stadium. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.
A’s representatives and some tourism officials say a deal would further grow Las Vegas’ developing sports scene and act as an economic engine, but a growing chorus of economists and some lawmakers warn that the project would bring minimal benefits for the hefty public price tag.