While most football fans were scratching their heads about the power outage during the Super Bowl tonight, Rays fans were all too familiar with the problems that come from playing in an indoor stadium. Power outages occur from time-to-time at Tropicana Field, often with lightning being the source of the issue. But the Rays’ biggest struggles with the curses that come from playing indoors seemed to come one weekend in 2011.
On Sunday, July 17, the Rays’ game against the Boston Red Sox was delayed during the seventh inning as Sean Rodriguez’s fly ball hit a light bulb, causing the bulb to shatter. The game was delayed for three minutes as a cleanup crew removed shards of glass by the third base line. The Rays’ luck only worsened, as both teams remained hitless after 15th innings. Boston’s Dustin Pedroia hit a RBI single in the top of the 16th inning, batting in Josh Reddick. The Rays could not deliver any late game magic, as the Red Sox beat them 1-0 in 5 hours and 44 minutes.
On the following night, July 18, the Rays suffered a power outage while facing their other AL East nemesis, the New York Yankees. After lightning struck outside, a bank of lights on the first base side lost power in the top of the sixth inning. The Rays were leading 4-2 before the power outage, but the Yankees came back strong after the 18-minute delay. The Yankees were able to cook up three runs between the eighth and ninth innings after Rays relievers Kyle Farnsworth and Alex Torres loaded the bases in both innings.
After the two rough nights for the Rays, manager Joe Maddon expressed his views on Tropicana Field when he told hardball.nbcsports.com, “You shouldn’t play with all these obstructions, and all these caveats…It’s runs it’s course. It was here for a moment. It served it’s purpose. And now it’s time to move on. Absolutely it is. And to deny that, everybody has just got their head in the sand, period.”
But power outages seem to be the least of the Rays’ worries, as it appears that they are not getting a new stadium anytime soon. Fortunately for the Baltimore Ravens, tonight’s power outage did not keep them from sustaining their lead and winning the Super Bowl.