In an MLB Network Radio Interview, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Tommy Pham berated Rays fans, reveals he misses St. Louis.
“It sucks going from, you know, playing in front of a great fanbase…to a team with really no fanbase at all.” Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Tommy Pham said this morning on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. Here is the full 1:12 video from MLB Network, which I would encourage everyone to listen to, so you get a sense for tone along with what he said.
The Tampa Bay Rays traded for Tommy Pham on July 31st, and if you listen to him that might be the worst day of his life. He is under club control until 2022 and seems to be a key cog of the Rays future.
Pham slashed for a stellar line of .343/.448/.622 in 39 games for the Rays a year ago.
The sentiment from Pham is not off based. The 30-year-old outfielder has a point. When a team is winning 90-games, and in contention, it is rare and disheartening for the fanbase to not show up down the stretch for a team.
Do the Rays need a new stadium? Sure!…more accurately, a better location.
Do we love players being more open, and honest? Sometimes.
For Tommy Pham, this was a no-win situation. People who do not care about the Rays in Florida are not going to take this as bulletin board material and show up to the Trop once the summer rolls around simple due to being “called out.”
Fans will show up at a higher rate because this Rays team will be fun, exciting, young, and win. Even so, their attendance number will never be in the top half of the league.
On the flip side, the (few) Rays fans who do consistently make the treck to the Trop might take offense to the newcomer saying that the Tampa Bay Rays “Have no fanbase.” which simply is not true.
Again, there is nothing wrong with what Pham’s message was, it is the person delivering the message. What comes from this?
If Evan Longoria was grandstanding, and “calling out Rays fans” as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, fans would likely take that as motivation, Pham just does not do it for fans yet, despite his great production.
This is not the first time Tommy Pham has had tension within an organization, as his budding heads with the St. Louis front office is what got him on the trading block according to some reports.
As far as “player controversies” go, though I struggle to dub this a controversy, it is the best kind to have.