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"All day. Everything that led up to it was terrible," Price added. "We want more fans here, obviously. We love our fans that come, that's not what I was saying last night."
Tuesday's crowd was announced as 17,891 -- still about 5,000 below the Rays' season average -- but Price expressed his appreciation during an on-field interview, repeatedly saying: "Thank you, Thank you," and waving his hat to the cheering fans.
The celebration began with the players slipping on "Playoff" T-shirts and heading into the clubhouse before returning to the field, where they sprayed fans, team employees, and even police officers, with champagne.
Price wasn't the only Rays All-Star who took some heat after speaking out about low attendance on Monday night.
While the pitcher weighed in on Twitter, calling the turnout "embarrassing," third baseman Evan Longoria called it "disheartening" and went into much greater detail.
"That was obviously something that I had thought about for a long time, and coming into today I really didn't want to talk about it, again," Longoria said.
"Obviously, everybody has their own opinion. But the one thing I do want to say is, for the fans that have been coming out this year, we're happy that they have been here, and that's the one thing just moving forward from all this and not looking back, we need to say thank you to the fans that have been here."
Team president Matt Silverman announced before the game that the Rays will make available 20,000 free tickets for Wednesday night's regular-season home finale against the Orioles, a decision the executive said probably wouldn't have been made if the players had not spoken out.
Longoria said he had nothing to do with the giveaway.
"I came in today not knowing anything about it. It was brought up to me and I think it's great," Longoria said. "The more people we can get in this building the better we play as a team. That's just not me saying that. Anyway they can get in it doesn't matter to me."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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