Well, that's one way to solve attendance problems. After faces of the franchise Evan Longoria and David Price found themselves in lukewarm water for tweeting complaints about the Rays' perpetually underwhelming home attendance, the front office responded by giving away 20,000 free tickets to fans so that Tropicana Field would, for once, be packed to the rafters in support of Tampa Bay's first-place (and until recently, MLB-best) team.
How did the Rays respond to the surge in turnout? Well, not inspiredly, anyway. Facing the division-worst Orioles and their 3-16 starter, our old friend Kevin Millwood, the Rays scraped together a mere three hits over nine innings, failing to push a single run across. A two-run triple from Baltimore's Felix Pie in the seventh was all the O's would need, as they held on for a 2-0 victory, officially avoiding a 100-loss season in the process. You get what you pay for, I suppose.
John Kruk was funny on Baseball Tonight last night railing against the team for their PR maneuver, claiming that they sold out the fans who paid for tickets to please a bunch of freeloaders that didn't really care about the game and probably didn't even understand how it was played. Not sure if I agree entirely, but a good Krukkie rant is always appreciated in the vanilla, decidedly un-mulletted world of ESPN MLB analysis.