The Tampa Bay Rays season kicks off July 24. But there are some familiar faces you won’t see at Tropicana Field this year thanks to the coronavirus.
When they say those two magic words, “Play ball!” next Friday, you’ll see most Rays favorites like Blake Snell, Ji-Man Choi, and Kevin Kiermaier. However you won’t see the swimming rays in the outfield. Yeah those lovable creatures that reside in right-centerfield are staying at their offseason home, according to the Tampa Bay Times. You’ll have to take a drive to Apollo Beach to see them at the Manatee Viewing Center where they’re cared for by the Florida Aquarium. Actually… don’t take that drive. They’re closed until October.
They’re keeping the tank empty so fewer employees will need to be on site to care for them. Plus since the fans aren’t going to be in the stands anyway (insert Rays attendance joke here if you must), there’s not much reason to keep up the 10,000 gallon tank. But they say the rays will be back next season. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]