Playing Devil’s Advocate

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are no more. Well, they exist, except that they are no longer so “devilish.”

The club, trying to reinvent itself, has dropped the word “Devil” from its nickname. They are now simply known as the “Rays.”

The team officially made the announcement yesterday, and held a celebration in St. Petersburg, FL to which more than 7,000 people flocked.

The team colours and uniforms were also unveiled during a fashion show which featured current players and manager Joe Maddon, senior advisor Don Zimmer, and former Tampa Bay stars Wade Boggs and Fred “The Crime Dog” McGriff as models.

Navy blue and light blue have replaced green and black as the primary colours. The club’s new logo, as well as the home and road uniforms for next season, feature the word “Rays” in navy blue lettering with a light blue shadow, as shown below:

Tampa Bay Rays logo

Team officials and local fans have routinely referred to the club as “Rays” for much of the expansion team’s existence. However, it wasn’t until Stuart Sternberg took over as principal owner two years ago that consideration as given an actual name change.

“I think this gives us as an organization an identity,” Sternberg said. Sternberg went on to say, “We were tied to the past, and the past wasn’t necessarily something we wanted to be known for. Nobody’s running from it or hiding from it, and we’re proud of certain aspects of it, but this is something the organization was able to really put their arms around. I hope and expect the fans who come out will see it as a new beginning.”

Sternberg said the team began with more than 1,000 suggestions for a new name and whittled the list down to about 80.

Names that were considered included Cannons, Stars, Wave, and Dukes. All of those are pretty lame. The “Rays” ultimately won. Inside the letter “R” is a bright yellow sunburst.

“I think it worked out well this way because I feel really confident that the team’s performance on the field next year is going to take a very giant step forward,” the Tampa Bay owner said.

The team didn’t abandon every aspect of the uniforms worn for the franchise’s first 10 seasons.

Some things will remain as in the past, however. For instance, the club will still operate a popular touch tank filled with cownose rays during games at Tropicana Field.

But seriously, does anyone think that a name change will somehow improve the performance of this team? They can call themselves whatever they please, but at the end of the day, they are still in the division with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. And now that there is a possibility of Kazmir leaving the Rays, they stand even a lower chance of just having a winning season. It might sound like a good move, but in reality, it won’t change this team’s mediocrity.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on November 9, 2007.

2 Responses to “Playing Devil’s Advocate”

  1. […] to 132 points (in a 5-3-1 format; i.e. 24*5 + 4*3 = 120+12 = 132 points). The Rays’ (note: no longer the Devil Rays) Delmon Young finished second behind Pedroia with 56 points, while the Royals’ Brian […]

  2. […] anticipated to draw large crowds in Tokyo. When the Yankees played in Japan in 2004 (against the Tampa Bay Rays), former Yomiuri Giants slugger Hideki Matsui returned to his home country for the first time and […]

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