Even as we say “Congratulations” to the Philadelphia Phillies, winners of the 2008 MLB World Series, we want to say a big “Thank you” to the Tampa Bay Rays, winners of the American League Championship Series, for the phenomenal season they had!
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays finished the 2007 MLB season a dismal last place in the AL East, so they’ve decided to overhaul everything from their name to their uniforms to their roster for 2008. The team’s official name is now the “Tampa Bay Rays”, their new colors are navy, Columbia blue and gold and they even have a new logo, featuring a dazzling yellow sunburst that represents Florida’s status as “the Sunshine State”. They’ve also made some excellent moves in the off season, especially the Delmon Young for Matt Garza trade, and picking up a veteran pitcher in the form of Troy Percival. The biggest buzz seems to be around up and coming third-base prospect Evan Longoria, who SI.com’s Joe Sheehan claims will be on the roster when the season starts, and is well on his way to becoming a household name. Get your tickets to Tropicana Field so that you can say you were there when the Tampa Bay Rays turned it all around in 2008!
The Tampa Bay Rays, formerly Devil Rays, were part of baseball’s last round of expansion. They played their first game in 1998 and were an immediate draw in Tampa Bay. The highlight of those early years was when hometown hero Wade Boggs became the 22nd player to reach 3,000 hits and the first to do so with a homerun.
In an effort to shake things up Tampa Bay dropped the “Devil” from their team name prior to the 2008 season. Now known simply as the Tampa Bay Rays they hope to have finally exorcised their losing ways. With a young and exciting team this might be the year it happens. However, playing in the super competitive American League East against teams like the Red Sox and Yankees makes this an especially difficult challenge.
|Anaheim Arlington, TX Atlanta Baltimore Boston Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Cooperstown Dallas Denver||Detroit Houston Kansas City Los Angeles Miami Milwaukee Minneapolis New York Oakland Philadelphia Phoenix||Pittsburgh San Diego San Francisco Seattle St Petersburg St. Louis Toronto Washington D.C.|