It’s become a popular pastime among baseball snarkicists to dump on fans of the Tampa Bay Rays for the tumbleweed that blows through Tropicana Field on a nightly basis. Despite hosting a team competing for a playoff spot on the last day of the season, Tampa Bay’s locals haven’t exactly been coming out in droves to see their club down the stretch.

Maybe these criticisms are a bit unfair. Has anyone stopped to consider that something other than general apathy or the location of the ballpark might have something to do with the Ray’s perennially low attendance figures. According to an investigation into whether or not stadiums are keeping their food services safe for consumers:

Centerplate, the concessions vendor for Tropicana Field, had . . . 57 percent of outlets . . . cited for things like “mold and flies,” “slime in the ice machine,” and workers handling meat without gloves.

Slime in an ice machine? I wouldn’t go watch a game in an Iowa cornfield if there was actual slime present.

Believe it or not, this report actually marks an improvement over last year’s report which recorded 100% of the stadium’s vendors in violation of health and safety standards:

Several violations addressed dirty countertops, utensils and equipment. Although every report indicated a critical violation, all vendors met basic inspection standards to keep operating.

Via Rays Index.