To celebrate the advent of this year’s MLB playoffs, which I am looking forward to with rapt anticipation (no, really), I’d like to do a few posts featuring YouTube finds representing each team that’s made their way to October. Next, the Rays.
As you might expect, there’s not a huge amount of material out there on the Rays. They’ve only been around since 1998, and their fan base remains relatively small (much to Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria’s dismay). I was only able to find a single Rays-related video that truly fits under the admittedly subjective category that I call YouTubery. But boy, is this one a doozy. This item definitely falls under the How Do I Feel About This? category.
It’s called “Defenders of the Game,” a super-hero-y cartoon featuring various members of the Rays, including manager Joe Maddon and coach Don Zimmer, all of whom to their own voice work. It was meant to be in-between inning entertainment, but has of course found its way on the Intertubes. Their arch-nemesis: the evil Umperor!
On the one hand, of course this is cheesy, and Joe Maddon et al. are not the best voice actors in the world. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that if I was a Rays fan and 8 years old, this would be the coolest effin thing ever. If there was a cartoon featuring Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden as crime solving robots when I was a kid, I wouldn’t have watched anything else ever again. And if you think about the usual between-inning distractions, this is far superior to Kiss Cam and See Which Plane/Subway Car/Moving Van Gets to the Stadium First.
If you’re wondering if there’s an episode guide for this series (which ran at Tropicana Field during the 2007 and 2008 seasons), wonder no more.