When Tommy Pham was traded from the Cardinals to the Rays in 2018, he saw firsthand there is a drastic difference when it comes to fan support for different teams across the majors.
While speaking with SiriusXM on Thursday, Pham discussed just what it's like playing in Tampa Bay and what the franchise would need to do get more people interested.
"It sucks going from playing in front of a great fan base to a team with really no fan base at all," Pham said. "St. Louis, they're one of the few teams to where day in and day out they have 40,000 fans at every game.
"That's something that I miss, because even here in the Dominican [Republic] they have a strong fan base for the team I'm playing for. Their fans are very supportive, they're loud. And the Rays? They just don't have that."
Pham is playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic after finishing up his first year with the Rays following 12 years in the Cardinals' system.
When it comes to the Rays getting a new stadium or potentially moving to another city, Pham's comments were filled with just as much pessimism toward the Tampa Bay fans.
"Do I think something has to happen, whether it be a new ballpark, maybe a new city? I think so," Pham said. "Because if you have a team that's going to be winning 90-plus games, competing in [the American League East], and you don't have any fan support, that's a huge problem."
During his 39 games with the Rays last season, Pham had a slash average of .343/.448/.622. However his new club, which just ended negotiations in its attempts to build a new $900 million stadium, ranked second-to-last in MLB in attendance at 14,259 fans per game, according to ESPN.com.