illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
Because I do not live in Michigan, I am often subject to the vagaries of out-of-town broadcasts. The Tigers are currently in Tampa Bay, which means that I have to watch the games on Fox Sports Humidity or whatever they are. That is fact #1.
Fact #2: The Tampa Bay Rays have a tank in their ballpark that houses real live rays. I believe they are cownose rays. Even though the team has moved away from their literal-animal-ray original logo and now tries to identify with a vague comic book starburst– like, hey, a ray of light! We’re super into gleaming!– they still wish to pay homage to their humble origins and the majestic flappy fish that populate the bays of, uh, Tampa Bay.
Fact #3: In 2013 Miguel Cabrera hit a home run into the ray tank.
During last night’s (April 18) game, the Rays TV cameras captured a tank ray swimming at the very edge of his tank, head-on from the camera’s point of view, as though he was trying to watch the game. Miguel Cabrera was at bat. This sent the Rays announcers off on a long digression about that time Miguel Cabrera hit a home run into the ray tank, and look at this ray here, obviously he is mad, obviously he is glaring at Miggy, and now here he is 4 long years later, obviously seeking some cartilaginous retribution.
Someone in the Rays production team set up a beautiful split-screen view of the ray, nose to the glass, and Miguel Cabrera, innocently up at bat with no idea that the local fauna was coming for him.
I tried to take a photo of this amazing moment in baseball television but my phone was out of space, so you will have to settle for these cartoon approximations.