From the people who brought you the "Stable of Guys" who throw 98, the Tampa Bay Rays have a new fashion piece for their fans who'd like to feel disrespected.
In the wake of WFAN's Evan Roberts and Craig Carton railing against the Rays and levying unfounded cheating allegations following the Yankees' series at the Trop in early May, Tampa has opted to strike back (though you'll notice they're not defending themselves).
Roberts and Carton's accusations were totally unfounded and based on vibes alone, but ... it was hilarious to hear two grown men screaming, unwilling to wait for "The Athletic article."
"'There’s something suspicious about that, by the way,' Roberts said after the Rays took two of three games from the Yankees in Tampa Bay.'- Evan Roberts, Craig Carton
'Yeah, they’re probably cheating,' co-host Craig Carton replied.
Carton also said of the roster: 'A bunch of journeymen outperforming their baseball cards.'
'Christian Bethancourt? HELLO. Taylor Walls? WHAT?' Roberts questioned."
Now, those journeyman are wearing that brand proudly across their chests, as Luke Raley and the rest of the Rays have printed shirts.
Tampa Bay Rays troll Yankees broadcast network with "Journeymen" shirts
Raley (and, surprisingly, not Walls) was the ringleader, getting the message across without being as brash as Roberts.
"It’s one of those things — keep doubting us; we’re going to come out and keep playing good baseball."- Luke Raley
There's no sports motivation as strong as everyone else's doubt, and two New York sports blowhards screaming about cheating could be exactly what the Rays need to sustain their pace. Or ... not?
Ironically, the first Rays game following the release of the "Journeymen" shirts featured a ... pretty poor argument for their continued dominance.
The Blue Jays ran the Rays out of their own gym on Tuesday night, leading them 10-1 in the eighth when Raley himself came in to pitch and save the bullpen. By the end of the massacre, it was 20-1. Nice shirt, though.
TBD on whether the cheating allegations have any validity (they probably don't) or if New York's radio voices were just blowing off steam after Gerrit Cole blew a 6-0 lead in Tampa. Considering the Yankees have gone 15-5 since that date anyway, maybe this was just the catharsis everyone needed.