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David Brown

Rays fans representin' at Evil Empire's spring headquarters

Big League Stew

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The boy on the right isn't protecting himself from pollutants in the Tampa air, nor is he about to perpetrate a stickup. Rather, I overheard this youth say that he misplaced his "Jeter jersey" for the big Yankees-Rays contest at Steinbrenner Field this afternoon and had to scramble to find a proper wardrobe. Really, that's what he said.

So he goes from what probably was an innocuous No. 2 to a full-bore Rayfro, complete with sunglasses, beads, sweatbands and a mouth covering that peace officers might describe as something a Crip might use during a night on the town. Here comes trouble, I say.

But perhaps Tampa is finally shaking its Yankees Fever and sticking with its across-the-bay Rays from the get-go this season? The good amount of Raysheads in attendance at the Yankees stronghold today might suggest such a possibility. More evidence after the jump:

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Here's another pic of over coverboy, Lil' Cowbell. (The apostrophe in Li'l should go before the second "L" ... not to get all judgmental about punctuation). If you squint, you might be able to make out the photographer in the reflection.

On the right, it's none other than the Cowbell Kid, who apparently takes some credit for the cowbell craze at Tropicana. Originally, it was a simple ode to Will Ferrell and the recording of a Blue Oyster Cult favorite.

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As you can see above, some Rays fans at Steinbrenner Field managed to dress without working so blue. The real David Price didn't make the trip (the Rays now train in Port Charlotte, which is 90 minutes or so south of St. Petersburg — going there tomorrow) but this fake guy (right) will do. I don't think he's a lefty, though. Note the vein or tendon or whatever under his right elbow, that's obviously from pitching.

On the left, Fake Longoria takes in the action sitting in enemy turf.

I liked him better when he was oil-based.

An official BLS postcard comes later tonight; it should include more action from today, including a visit with one of the greatest catchers of all time. Here's a hint: When you come to the fork in the road, take it.

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