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Tampa Bay: Better the (Devil) Ray you know?
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon and team mascot "Raymond", a seadog

Even if they fail to win a single game in the World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays of 2008 have earned their place as one of sport's great comeback stories.

The team only began competing in the American League as an expansion franchise in 1998, then known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

But the new team languished for many years as the whipping boys of the AL East - which, containing the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, is a difficult division for any small-market team to win.

In November 2007, when the club announced it was dropping the "Devil" from the team name, becoming the Rays, while introducing a new logo and new team colours - and it could have been dismissed as just another marketing or rebranding exercise by a struggling team.

The Devil Rays had the worst regular-season record in baseball in 2007 - 66 wins, 96 losses - but the Devil-less Rays improved that to 97 wins and 65 losses, finishing above the Red Sox and Yankees to win the division.



see also
Tampa Bay book World Series place
20 Oct 08 |  Baseball

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