What does it take to be #1?

It takes being the Tampa Bay Rays. That’s what it takes!

I haven’t been slacking off my my blogging, I’ve just been too busy watching the Rays win! Let me just summarize some of the things that we’ve done…swept the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels, Orioles, reached 30 wins faster than any other year in history, became the first team to have the best record in the majors after having the worst (by memorial day) since 1900, Evan Longoria has become everything we knew he’d be, Kaz is off the DL an rattled off 10 K’s on Monday, BJ and Crawford are competing to see who can make the most Sports Center worthy catches, our bull pen is frigging AMAZING, Percival is a king among men, we’ve been at the top of the AL too many times to count, AND THAT’S WHERE WE ARE NOW. And we’re only tied with the Cubs for the BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL!

I’m calling it now, Rays/Cubs World series. Or maybe Rays/Marlins? It’s nice to see that we’re not the only team in Florida rocking the MLB. I really can’t wait for our interleague series vs. the fish. And the Cubs! How about that for interleague competition. Bring it!

In mascot news, I have my Fur-turnity party on April 20th. My buddies Rangers Captain (Texas Rangers), Thunderbug (Lightning), Stanley (Florida Panthers), Rocky (USF), Staley (Chicago Bears), TD (Miami Dolphins), and Albert/Alberta (UF) came to join in the hilarity. We did a lot of dancing, ran into problems with the security guards, and set an attack banana loose on some law enforcement. Good times good times. Make sure to come to my birthday party on June 22. My budies Ace, Lou Seal, TD, and Stanley are scheduled to be here.

Well next up is a 4 games series vs the central leading White Sox. I’m looking forward to beating my lil buddy Ozzie. Then it’s off to Bean town. We better do better than last time! After that it’s texas, and yours truly will be in Texas. I’ll be messing with it. I’m going to help Rangers Captain celebrate his mascot day. Awesome. 

It’s on!

The boys of summer are back! And the seadog of summer is back too! I’ve been sooooo super busy. On a sad note, we played our last game at Al Lang Stadium. I loved that place. It was the field where I went from behind some wet behind the ears mascot to a world class entertainer! Mascots need spring training too, you know! I had to sweat off the extra pounds I gained in the offseason, and get my arm back in T-Shirt tossing mode. Its also a great time to “catch some rays!”
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Ha ha ha. Get it? Rays? As in “get a tan” and Rays as in “us.” How clever I am. I’m a pun master. Opening day came and went. It was awesome. Especially the pyro. Fire and baseball. Great mix. The crowds have been great and I’m having a great time dancing to the music. You should come to a game, come see me in action, buy some nachos, you know, the usual.

I’d write more, but I’m tired, hungry, have a cold, have to go do an appearance, and we’re playing the O’s tonight.  

I brought it back!!

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It’s the new year and check out the new me! Super sexy! Yeah, I brought it back. I don’t know what the heck Justin Timberlake is talking about. It’s alllllllll me.

The new year is here and its only a couple of weeks until pitchers and catchers report. Woo hoo! I’ve gotten tired of the off season. Who wants to wake up at noon, roll into the office around 1, go to lunch at 2, then go home at 3 every day? Who wants to ditch marketing meetings and go scuba diving for lobsters in the keys? Not me! I can’t wait to get back to working full steam. Its awesome! I’m the oly mascot who’s fortunate enough to get to work every single spring training game. That’s because our spring training is right down the field from the Trop. We play at Al Lang Field. It’s an awesome historic ball park on the water. It’s our last spring training there as we’re moving to Port Charlotte next year. I was all sad about leaving Al Land because that is the best place to watch a ball game, but then I found out that our new ball park is supposed to be built right there! Do you know how awesome our new ball park will be? Awesome times five, no 7, no awesome times infinity! That’s pretty awesome…just like me.

Fan fest is February 23. Will you be there?? I will! That makes you want to come now, doesn’t it? Getting a chance to meet me, IN PERSON! How cool is that? Cooler than a penguin at the south poll eating a popsicle. THAT’S HOW COOL!

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What was that? Oh, just me hitting my head on the keyboard. Its days like these I wish I had picked any other team to start a rivalry with other than the Red Sox. I look forward to a next year’s unrelentless taunting and bragging from the Nation. Oh joy!

But, in other more important news, on November 8th we are unveiling our new logo. We’re having oscar winning actor Kevin Costner and his band out to promote the launch of our new logo. You can read all about it by clicking HERE . It will be awesome. Just about as awesome as Carlos Pena being named the comback player of the year!

Many people have asked, with the logo change, is the mascot going to change too? Heck no! The Rays mascot has been, and always will be, ME IN ALL MY AWESOMENESS! However, to make sure I stay fashionable with the new look, I have hired a stylist and fashion designer to make sure I am the hippest sea dog this side of Seattle. We’re talking about dyeing my fur for a more regal look, rethinking my shoes to make them more mobile, and adding a little twinkle to my eyes. I’m going to look so good! I know you’ve having a hard time thinking of a way that I could get even better looking, but it’ll happen. Make sure you check out my new look on November 8th 2007. And in the meantime, check out http://www.raysofchange.com/ !

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Go Barney! I mean Dinger

Yes I haven’t posted in awhile. I know. I know you’ve had to find ways to fill the time you used to spend reading my blog. I’m sure by now you are a great knitter, gardener, or bowler. I bet you know exactly how many dots there are on your ceiling. Perhaps you read some literary classics like "Moby ****" and "Great Expectations" to pass the time. Just think, by me not writing a blog you’ve become a better person…some how.

Dingersmall Anyways! Back to wasting time surfing the internet and reading what a smurf looking sea dog has to say! And I have to say: GO DINGER!!! I can’t believe my purple dinosaur little buddy is going to the World Series! I know Baxter the bobcat is kinda cheesed, but he already has a ring so forget him. Go scratch your post, sniff your cat nip, drink a saucer of nice milk and sit back and watch the World Series! I couldn’t help but noticed Dinger’s spectacular behind the plate antics in the Wild Card playoff game. He put the whammy on the other team so hard it still hasn’t worn off!

As far as the Red Sox and Indians, my money’s on the Indian’s. I’d love nothing more than for the Slide-man (that’s Slider their mascot) to make a World Series appearance. Plus, Red Sox nation,I loath you. Congrats on your AL east crown and all. Only took 9 years. Hopefully that’s all you’ll be celebrating.

Other than that, I’ve done a lot! This weekend I held a clinic for the national champion Gatorssmall Florida Gators’ mascots. I gave them lessons in being awesome! Of course they can’t be as awesome as me, but now they at least know how to dance like me. There’s a lot more to being a mascot than you’d think. It’s an art form really. Kinda like acting ‘cept the stage is huge, there’s projectiles flying at you, and inebriated opposing team fans try to pummel you. I don’t think Brad Pitt has to deal with that when he’s acting, but hey, he’s not as hot as me so I’m sure people just leave him alone.

On August 26th, 2007 we celebrated my birthday in style. We had over 15 mascots from across the country at Tropicana Field. There was Billy/Florida Marlins, Stomper/A?s, Wally/Red Sox, Parrot/Pittsburg Pirates, Wool E Bull/Durham Bulls, Phinley/Clearwater Threshers, Thunderbug/Tampa Bay Lightning, Thrash/Atlanta Thrashers, Stormy/Carolina Hurricanes, Stuff/Orlando Magic, Harry/Atlanta Hawks, Ozzie/University of North Florida, Sebastien/University of Miami, and of course Albert and Alberta from the University of Floirda. We played a massive game of mascot musical chairs, did a group mascot dance, and Stomper even did some awesome beat boxing. Even manager Joe Maddon got in the act for my House Party video (click on the links to watch the videos!) It was the most awesome mascot party?EVER!Raymondsbdaygroupsmall

That?s it for now. I?ll be back soon. I promise!

Welcome to the 2nd half!!!

Mascotgamessmall First part of the season? OVER! Time to start a new. And we did! Kazmir went head to head vs. the legendary Roger "The Rocket" Clemens, and won! I’m sure it was a real thrill for Kaz to beat one of his childhood idols. And boy, if there’s anything I’m happy about, it’s coming back from 12 days on the road and playing 4 games vs the Yankees and their lovely fans. Why was I on the raod for so long? Well from June 29-July 1 I was in Orlando participating in the Celebrity mascot games. I had a great time hanging with my buddy Staley from the Chicago Bears and Stormy from the Carolina Hurricanes. We had a fun time. It’s like they say "There ain’t no party like a mascot party!" I don’t know who "they" is or why "they" said that, but chances are, "they" were a mascot.

After Orlando, I went back to Tampa to pack for my next trip, Boston! I sat back and enjoyed the first two games. It was great getting to watch my Rays battle the Sox at Fenway on the fourth of July. Wish we could have won! On July 5th I made my Fenway debut. Wally was up on the dugout tossing out balls. I came up on the dugout, took away his bag, and generally taunted the Red Sox faithful. Of course Wally got me back by tearing off my fur. That seems to keep happening every time I visit another stadium. Jerry Remy thought it was funny. Yeah, keep laughing RemDawg. I’ve got plenty in store for you and your precious Wally when you guys come to town July 27!

Allstarsmall After Boston, ALL STAR GAME! I jetted out directly to lovely San Francisco! It’s a treat! I was on the ground for only an hour before I was rushed off to the DHL Fan Fest. I competed in the mascot home run derby, but Bernie Brewer won from our group and TC from Minnesota won the whole thing. We did a skit for the home run derby, and even got a great group shot in the middle of the outfield at AT&T park. Watching the game was a real thrill. Seeing them honor Willie Mays, the giant flag in the out field, the flyover, Ichiro’s inside the park homer, CC’s homer, and watching the NL go out swinging, with bases loaded, down one run, in the 9th. American League dominates!

At the All Star game, we mascots got together to honor a true legend, Dan Kilday. Dan’s retiring from the MLB after 17 years. He’s been a great friend to all of the MLB mascots, and foe to all rookies. Bus rides just won’t be the same! Heeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyy!

Where have I been?

Nachoraymondsmall I know, I know, I know…no postings in a long long time. Here’s a quick summary of what’s been going on since my last post. I have been BUSY BUSY BUSY! We’re almost at the All Star break! May was ridiculous with 18 home games. I even had a stretch of 16 home games in 20 days. We’ve had wrestling night, turn back the clock night, and we were even in Orlando at Disney’s Wide World of Sports to play 3 games vs. the Rangers. It was great to play outdoors in lovely Orlando and play with the central Florida fans. It was also neat to watch Sammy Sosa chase 600 home runs. When I was resting backstage, I got to meet the guy who tracks and authenticates each of Sammy’s homers as he approaches the record. Everytime Sammy goes up, the umpire is given a bag of specially marked balls. The balls are all individually numbered, but the numbering only shows up under black light. When Sammy knocked one out, a security guard retrieved it, and the authenticator showed us the mark. It’s neat getting to see the behind the scenes action. Well, it’s just neat being me. I’m not going to lie.

I wish things would be slowing down as we approach the break, but in fact they are speeding up. As soon as I’m done with this 7 game homestand, I am zipping back over to Orlando for the Celebrity Mascot Games. It’s an event for charity that pits over 25 mascots from around the country (and even 3 Canadians!) in a series of contests to determine the true mascot champions. I’ve already been hanging with some of my NHL friends…Thrash from Atlanta, Stormy from Carolina, and Fin from Vancouver (for Fin, I have just two words…) What a wacky bunch! I’ll post pictures when I get them.

Right after Orlando I am heading up to Boston for our July 4th series vs. them. It will be the great Wally/Raymond showdown that New Englanders have been hoping for. Bring it Green Monster! Fenway will never be the same!

I leave straight from Boston for lovely San Francisco! I get to bask in the other beautiful bay area for five whole days! Awesome! I can’t wait to see all of my MLB mascot buddies. I’m sure that since I’m arriving so early, I’ll get to participate in the mascot home run derby. I am determined to win. OK, I am determined to at least get a home run. OK, actually it would be an accomplishment if I actually hit the ball instead of the tee. Dude, I’m a mascot. I dance, frollick, harass the opposing team. If I could belt out dingers I’d be in the Rays lineup instead of on the Rays dugout! My guess is TC takes the crown. That bear is the home run king, doncha know? Oh you betcha.

AND IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH….I come back from the All Star game straight into a 4 game series vs the Yankees and their lovely (cough) fans. Three more games and then I’m going international. From July 20-22 I will be in Toronto at Ace’s mascot days. Can’t wait. Hope I’m still standing at that point.

That’s all for now folks. Until next time….hold your breath and hop on one foot.