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OK, I wanted to urge y’all to take advantage of the Rays’ desperate — sorry, generous — offer of $2 tickets for the Orioles series starting today, but guess what? All of the $2 tickets for July 1-3 are sold out. You can still get tickets at regular prices (which range from $50-$235), but the quick sellout tells us this: The reason Tampa Bay residents aren’t attending Rays games isn’t that they don’t like the team. It’s because they’re cheap — sorry, thrifty!

But whether you watch the Rays on TV or attend games in person, feel betrayed by the new Montreal/St. Pete shared-custody idea (I’m somewhere between “C’est ridicule!” and “Might be crazy enough to work!”), or care not a whit about baseball wherever it’s played, there’s this:

The talented infielder Brandon Lowe (rhymes with “Wow”) has promised that he and his wife, Madison, will donate $100 to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay for every home run he hits, and the Rays Baseball Foundation will match. The Crisis Center provides invaluable counsel and refuge for people impacted by suicide, trauma and addiction, and Lowe’s “Home Runs for Hope” campaign is intended to bring more awareness to mental health issues like these.

“Mental health is something that has impacted me and my family, so we are passionate about helping in any way we can,” said Lowe. 

His 15 home runs have already contributed $3,000 to the Crisis Center. So now, each time he bangs one out of the park, he’s not just raising hopes for a Rays win; he’s sending hope to people who desperately need it. 

For Rays tickets, call 888-326-7297. For help from the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, call 2-1-1 or 1-800-273-TALK.

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