April 2, 2011

Boo Birds Greet Ggovernor

The booing start in earnest before the game. But it had nothing to do with the Tampa Bay Rays. Or the Baltimore Orioles.

It had everything to do with who was throwing out the observance first pitch to kick off the Rays' season Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott, wearing a No. 45 Rays jersey to mark that he's the 45th governor of the state, took to the hillock amid an roll down of boos and just a handful of clapping.

He smiled and waved to the crowd as he took the mound and again after he threw a pitch that was far better than the one former Gov. Charlie Crist delivered when he was the state's top elected official.

David Pearlman of Tampa had many choice names to describe the governor and gave him the thumbs down signal as he booed clamorously.

The boos echoed inside Tropicana Field from fans angry over many moves that Scott has made during his short stretch as governor.

"I think he's a fraud," Pearlman said. "I think he's a criminal."

He doesn't like how Scott rejected billions of federal dollars for high speed rail, and he doesn't like what he is doing to education and teachers.

"I think he's been wrong across the board," he said. "I think he bought the election."

Ruth and Lee Levant of Tampa were on the other side of the aisle literally and figuratively from Pearlman.

They applauded the governor as he threw out the first pitch.

Lee Levant said,"I think he's doing a great job. "He's trying not to waste money. I think he ought to run for president."

Hours before the game began, about 100 sign toting protesters gathered outside the stadium, urging those arriving to let loose their boos on the governor.

They carried signs that said things such as: "Hey Rick, pick on someone in your own tax bracket" and "Trade Rick Scott to the Yankees."

Ironically, Scott also was booed at a New York Yankees spring training game at Legends Field recently.

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