September 29, 2007


Sunday's a big day. The excitement, well, it's almost palpable.

Yes, it's the day the Devil Rays lose their diablo.

Tampa Bay RaysMedia reports have revealed the team's new name will be the Tampa Bay Rays, but team officials wouldn't confirm that Friday.

It will be the first time in more than 40 years that a professional baseball team has changed its name without moving to a new city. In 1965, the Houston Colt .45s became the Astros in honor of the local space industry.

Some Tampa Bay sports fans never warmed to the nickname of the nine-year-old expansion team. A few took issue with the less-than-pious nickname. Others disliked the name because that breed of ray (manta birostris) isn't a regular visitor of area waters.

Among sports fans, the team's string of losing seasons turned the Devil Rays' name into a euphemism for failure.

'There's so much negative associated with the name,' said Howard Bloom, who publishes the Web site Sports Business News. 'The image can't get any worse than it has been, so the name change can only be a positive.'

For critics of the old name, the trouble started in 1995.

Former principal owner Vince Naimoli drew 7,000 suggestions when he asked the public for help choosing a team name for the new franchise.

'It's like naming a baby,' Naimoli told The Tampa Tribune at the time. 'This is our new baseball baby, and we're going to give all the aunts and uncles the chance to name it.'

Yeah, it was a Naimoli's baby, alright. Rosemary's Baby.

Speaking of exorcising demons of Baseball Seasons Poast, my favorite site of late, Deadspin, has this great take on the former skipper of the Team Formerly Known As The Devil Rays, Lou Pinella:

Lou PinellaWhat happens when Lou Piniella has nothing else to yell about? Does he grumble that the champagne isn't Korbel? If it is Korbel, does he kvetch that it's not another brand name bubbly? Does he still find some way to throw his hat and choke a child? We may never know the answer, because we're too lazy to ask anyone. And at this hour, it would be rude to ask the Cubs anything, other than what they want for breakfast, because they're all tuckered out from winning the NL Central last night.

I say all this to show how displeased I am with the current condition of the University of Florida Gators game against Auburn, which at this moment in the third quarter is 14-3 in favor of the Tigers.

You know the game is bad when I break away to do a crap Devil Rays post in the middle of it.

Posted by Jeff at September 29, 2007 09:57 PM | TrackBack
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