PETA is calling once again for the Rays to remove the touch tank that holds sting rays at Tropicana Field and not to include one in any new stadium.
The gist of the complaint by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is the rays are at risk of being hit by baseballs and also "are exposed to constant reverberations from boisterous crowds and handling by many different people at once."
This is at least the third time PETA has called for removal of the rays; a home run by Minnesota's Robbie Grossman splashed into the tank on Sept. 5. The team did not respond, noting the touch tank is operated under direction of the Florida Aquarium, which is accredited by the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums).
PETA sent a letter to Rays baseball operations president Matt Silverman with its request. In an accompanying press release, it took a shot at the team, starting with, "As the Tampa Bay Rays wrap up yet another season with the lowest game attendance in Major League Baseball … "
NOTES: Manager Kevin Cash said hiring a third-base coach "is a priority" and a search will begin promptly. … Pitcher Chris Archer, the team and Good Sports donated more than $12,000 of equipment and uniforms Wednesday to the Northwest Youth Baseball and Softball programs in St. Petersburg. … Saturday is the grand opening of the 26-foot aquatic-themed Longo's Cove climbing exhibit at St. Petersburg's Great Explorations Children's Museum. Third baseman Evan Longoria and his wife, Jaime, made a $500,000 donation for the project.