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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

ESPN Magazine Blog Clarifies Bilirakis Quote on Rays

April 2, 2008
Bilirakis Blog

The April edition of ESPN's The Magazine, which hit newstands last week, contained a quote from Gus on the Tampa Bay Rays 2008 season. His comments were part of a larger article ("Take It to the House") previewing the 2008 Baseball Season with opinions from each team's local members of Congress.

To give you a better idea, the article's lead-in reads like this..

"No investigation of baseball would be complete without testimony from those experts in Congress. So while Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian scouted all 30 teams to assemble facts and hearsay, The Mag's team of reporters queried U.S. reps from across the land.

"In an election year, the results were predictably partisan: They all love their hometown teams! But in the end, the gentleman from Chicago and the gentleman from Cleveland will be placing the ceremonial World Series bet. In a matchup of the game's most accursed franchisesâ??Cubs and Indiansâ??someone's gotta come out on top. Guess what: Kucinich wins!"

Gus, a big baseball fan and huge Rays fan, interviewed with one of ESPN The Magazine's reporters last month on the team's prospects for the 2008 season.

When the article came out in print, it accurately portrayed Gus's opinion that he was never crazy about the name "Devil Rays" and thought "Rays" was a fresh start. Unfortunately, the online version of The Magazine did not reflect the printed word, and gave the incorrect impression that Gus did not like the team...Not True.

We pointed this out to the writers, and they changed it.

HOUSE CALL "I'll be honest with you: I never liked the name Devil Rays, so Rays is a fresh start. I think we'll be .500 this year, and that would be a success. I know some people are saying playoffs, but you have to be realistic." â??Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.)

The writers at ESPN The Magazine even put this post ("ESPNTHEMAG.COM'S FIRST OFFICIAL APOLOGY") on their daily blog (ESPN The Mag Daily), providing further comment on Gus's thoughts on the Rays upcoming season.

Thanks guys.