You Have A Call From PETA On Line 3

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays (or is it just Rays now?) have a new attraction within their ballpark as part of their more than $10 million series of renovations and improvements.

This is how my reading of this article progresses:

I read with interest that the attraction is a 35 ft. long 10,000 gallon fiberglass tank just beyond the outfield fence in right center.

This “Touch Tank” will be home to 30 live cownose rays. These rays can grow up to 45 inches and weigh more than 50 pounds. They school in numbers up to 10,000 at a time. Pay attention, there is a test on this later.

I’m still reading this article with interest because I’m into this kind of thing and I find that 1) everyone’s stoked because this community partnership creates an education opportunity, 2) it gives visitors a taste of the area’s culture, and 3) it creates awareness for the Florida Aquarium.

I read where Rays manager Joe Madden, pitcher Scott Kazmir, and ex Rays catcher Toby Hall made a video while in a ray tank at the Florida Aquarium showing them feeding rays. Fans can watch this video while at the tank. I think how I wish I could do that some day, and then wonder if missing his rays may secretly be why Toby Hall is being such a malcontent with the Dodgers after being traded.

I then figure out why it is called a touch tank, because fans will be able to touch the rays. This conjures up images at Sea World of Little Jimmy growling at Mommy to Look as he “pets” (ie scratches the crud out of) the rays with a very intense look on his face and his fingernails bared.

This makes me think about whether an alleged education for Little Jimmy balances with the ray being ripped out of the ocean and being slashed over and over every day. But this and the ocean are deep subjects so I am soon selfishly back to reading this interesting story about a real live tank with real live rays in them.

Then the article tells me that there’s no additional cost for this attraction (I guarantee you it was paid for by one month’s $5 per hotdog sales……….even at Rays attendance levels), it opened today, and it will be available for all home games. What, they’re not taking it on the road?

Then the very last line in the very last paragraph tells me that the tank will also be a fundraiser as the Rays (the team) will donate $2500 to the Florida Aquarium and $2500 to a charity of the player’s choice for every homerun ball HIT INTO THE TANK!

What?!?

Rays baseball at home is now officially a glorified carnival game.

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