Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) East division. Since its inception, the team's home venue has been Tropicana Field.

Following nearly three decades of unsuccessfully trying to gain an expansion franchise or enticing existing teams to relocate to the Tampa Bay Area, an ownership group led by Vince Naimoli was approved on March 9, 1995. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began play in the 1998 Major League Baseball season.

Their first decade of play, however, was marked by futility; they finished in last place in the AL East in all but the 2004 season, when they finished second-to-last.[4] Following the 2007 season, Stuart Sternberg, who had purchased controlling interest in the team from Vince Naimoli two years earlier,[5] changed the team's name from "Devil Rays" to "Rays", now meant to primarily refer to a burst of sunshine rather than a manta ray,[1] though a manta ray logo remains on the uniform sleeves. The 2008 season saw the Tampa Bay Rays post their first winning season, their first AL East championship, and their first pennant (defeating the rival Boston Red Sox in the ALCS), though they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in that year's World Series. Since then, the Rays have played in the postseason in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

The Tampa Bay Rays' chief rivals are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Regarding the former, there have been several notable on-field incidents.[6] The Rays also have an intrastate interleague rivalry with the National League (NL)'s Miami Marlins (originally the Florida Marlins), whom they play in the Citrus Series.

Tampa Bay Rays
2019 Tampa Bay Rays season
Established in 1998
Tampa Bay RaysTampa Bay Rays cap logo
Team logoCap insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
MLB-ALE-TB-Uniform
Retired numbers
Colors
  • Navy blue, light blue, yellow, white[1][2][3]
                       
Name
  • Tampa Bay Rays (2008–present)
  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays (19982007)
Ballpark
Major league titles
World Series titles (0)None
AL Pennants (1)2008
East Division titles (2)
Wild card berths (2)
Front office
Owner(s)Stuart Sternberg
ManagerKevin Cash
General ManagerErik Neander
President of Baseball OperationsMatthew Silverman

History

Lou Piniella
Lou Piniella served as manager of the Devil Rays from 2003–2005.

Professional baseball in Tampa Bay

The name "Tampa Bay" is often used to describe a geographic metropolitan area which encompasses the cities around the body of water known as Tampa Bay, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Bradenton. Unlike in the case of Green Bay, Wisconsin, there is no municipality known as "Tampa Bay". The "Tampa Bay" in the names of local professional sports franchises (Rays, Rowdies, Buccaneers, Lightning, etc.) denotes that they represent the entire region, not just Tampa or St. Petersburg.

Former civic leader and St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) publisher, Jack Lake, first suggested St. Petersburg pursue a Major League baseball team in the 1960s. The notable influences Lake held in the sport are what led to the serious discussions that changed St. Petersburg from a spring training location to a major league city. He spoke to anyone who would listen about his desire to see the city of St. Petersburg have a Major league baseball team. His colorful direction dominated the mindset in both sports and business circles dating back to 1966. He was said to have the foresight and prominence to make it happen.

Local leaders made many unsuccessful attempts to acquire a major league baseball team in the 1980s and 1990s. The Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners all considered moving to either Tampa or St. Petersburg before deciding to remain in their current locations. The Florida Suncoast Dome (now named Tropicana Field) was built in St. Petersburg in 1990 with the purpose of luring a major league team. That same year two separate groups, one in Tampa and another in Sarasota, were seeking to get an expansion team. The Tampa one even registered the name "Florida Panthers", after a local feline -[7] a trademark which ended up being purchased by entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga one year later,[8] and used by him to name an NHL ice hockey team.[9]

When Major League Baseball announced that it would add two expansion teams for the 1993 season, it was widely assumed that one of the teams would be placed in the Dome. However, in addition to the application from St. Petersburg, a competing group applied to field a team in Tampa, prompting much conflict over the bid. The two National League teams were awarded to Denver (Colorado Rockies) and Miami (Florida Marlins) instead.

In 1992, San Francisco Giants owner Bob Lurie agreed in principle to sell his team to a Tampa Bay-based group of investors led by Vince Naimoli, who would then move the team to St. Petersburg. However, at the 11th hour, MLB owners nixed the move under pressure from San Francisco officials and the Giants were sold to a group that kept them in San Francisco.[10]

Finally, on March 9, 1995, new expansion franchises were awarded to Naimoli's Tampa Bay group and a group from Phoenix (the Arizona Diamondbacks). The new franchises were scheduled to begin play in 1998.

The Tampa Bay area finally had a team, but the stadium in St. Petersburg was already in need of an upgrade. In 1993, the stadium was renamed the Thunderdome and became the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team and the Tampa Bay Storm Arena Football League team. After the birth of the Rays, the naming rights were sold to Tropicana Products and $70 million was spent on renovations.

Season results

The records of the Rays' last five seasons in Major League Baseball.

American League champions Division champions Wild card berth
MLB
season
Team
season
League[11] Division[11] Regular season Post-season Awards
Finish[a] Wins[b] Losses Win% GB[c]
2014 2014 AL East 4th 77 85 .475 19
2015 2015 AL East 4th 80 82 .494 13
2016 2016 AL East 5th 68 94 .420 25
2017 2017 AL East 3rd 80 82 .494 13
2018 2018 AL East 3rd 90 72 .555 18 Blake Snell (CYA)[12]

These statistics are current through the 2018 Major League Baseball season.

Rivals

AL East

Tampa Bay's primary rivals are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.[13] The Red Sox/Rays rivalry dates back to the 2000 season, when Devil Ray Gerald Williams took exception to being hit by a pitch thrown by Boston pitcher Pedro Martínez and charged the mound, resulting in a game full of retaliations and ejections on both sides.[14] There have been several other incidents between the teams during the ensuing years, including one in 2005 which resulted in two bench-clearing fights during the game and a war of words between then-Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella and then-Boston pitcher Curt Schilling through the media in the following days.[15] The rivalry reached its highest level to date during the 2008 season, which included a brawl during a June meeting in Fenway Park[16] and a 7-game American League Championship Series between the teams that ended in the Rays' first ever pennant win.

As a fellow member of the AL East division, the Yankees and Rays play many times each season. There has always been some feeling of a rivalry between the teams because the Yankees make Tampa their spring training, as well as having a minor league team in the Tampa Tarpons; home and fan loyalty in the Tampa Bay area has historically been divided, especially among transplants from the northeastern U.S.[17] The rivalry became more heated in spring training of 2008, when a home plate collision between Rays outfielder Elliot Johnson and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was followed the next day by spikes-high slide by Yankees outfielder Shelley Duncan into Rays' second baseman Akinori Iwamura, prompting Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes to charge in from his position in right field and knock Duncan to the ground.

Citrus Series

The Rays also have a geographical rivalry with the Miami Marlins. Tampa Bay currently leads the series, 57–56.[18]

Ballparks

Tropicana Field

TropicanaFieldEntrance
The Rays play their home games at Tropicana Field.

The Rays have played at Tropicana Field since their inception in 1998. The facility, which was originally called the "Florida Suncoast Dome", was built in the late 1980s to attract an MLB team through either relocation or expansion. After St. Petersburg was awarded an expansion franchise in 1995, the dome underwent extensive renovations and naming rights were sold to Tropicana Products, which was based in nearby Bradenton.

Tropicana Field underwent further renovations in 2006 and 2007 after Stu Sternberg gained controlling ownership of the team. Most of the changes sought to improve fans' game-day experience. For the players, the biggest change was the installation of a new Field Turf surface in 2007, which was replaced in turn with a new version of AstroTurf for the 2011 season.

New ballpark

The Rays' current ownership has long hinted that Tropicana Field does not generate enough revenue and that it is too far from the Tampa Bay Area's population center.[19] In 2007, the team announced a plan to build a covered ballpark at the current site of Al Lang Field on the St. Petersburg waterfront, and a local referendum was scheduled to decide on public financing.[20] However, in the face of vocal opposition, the Rays withdrew the proposal in 2009 and stated they had abandoned all plans for a ballpark in downtown St. Petersburg waterfront, preferring a location nearer the center of Pinellas County or across the bay in Tampa.[21]

Since 2009, local officials, media, and business leaders have explored possibilities for a new stadium for the Rays somewhere in the Tampa Bay area.[22] However, St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster has repeatedly insisted that the Rays honor their lease agreement with the city, which runs through 2027 and prohibits the team from entering into talks with other communities, resulting in a protracted stalemate.

In October 2014, Sternberg, frustrated with efforts to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, had discussions with Wall Street associates about moving the Rays to Montreal, which has been without a Major League Baseball franchise since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, D.C. in 2005 to become the Washington Nationals.[23][24] On December 9, 2014, reports surfaced that owner Stuart Sternberg will sell the team if a new stadium is not built.[25]

On February 9, 2018, the team said that Ybor City is their preferred site for a new stadium.[26] However, at the December 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Sternberg announced that plans for the proposed stadium in Ybor fell through, meaning the Rays were still on track to play at Tropicana Field until 2027.[27][28] Later in December 2018, the team sent a letter to St. Petersburg's mayor, Rick Kriseman, foregoing an extension to search for a new stadium outside of the city.[29][30]

Uniforms

Alex Torres on May 18, 2013
Rays' current road uniform, Alex Torres pitching.

Current uniforms

The current Rays primary uniform has been used with little change since the team officially shortened its name from "Devil Rays" to "Rays" for the 2008 season. The home jersey is a traditional white with the name "Rays" in dark blue across the chest and a yellow "sunburst" on the letter "R". The Rays' road uniform is gray, also with a sunburst and the team name across the chest. Both feature dark blue piping and caps featuring a white "TB" logo.[31]

The Rays' first alternate jersey also features the name "Rays" and a yellow sunburst on chest, but is a dark blue material with Columbia blue piping, white characters for the player name, and player numbers that are simply a white outline. This alternate jersey is worn both at home and on the road with either white or gray pants. The Rays' second alternate jersey is similar, but is a light Columbia blue. This second alternate is usually worn only for Sunday home games with white pants.

TB Devil Rays 1998 unis
Front of inaugural home jersey, 1998

Past uniforms

Rocco Baldelli 1
2005-07 road uniform, Rocco Baldelli running.

During their first three seasons, the Devil Rays wore traditional white home and gray road uniforms with the text "Devil Rays" (home) and "Tampa Bay" (road) in an unconventional multicolor "rainbow" across the chest. The inaugural caps were also unusual: black with a purple brim at home and all black on the road, with both versions featuring a devil ray graphic and no letters at all.[32] The caps changed in 1999 to feature a smaller ray and the letters "TB" and were all-black for both home and road games. During the 1999 and 2000 seasons, the Devil Rays added an alternate black jersey featuring the same rainbow text as the white and gray uniforms.

In 2001, the Devil Rays dropped the multicolor text and de-emphasized purple in favor of more green. They also changed the font on their jersey tops and shortened the name on the home whites to read simply "Rays" while keeping "Tampa Bay" on the road grays.[33]

In 2005, the home uniforms were again tweaked to include still more green. The primary home whites became a sleeveless jersey worn with green sleeved undershirts, and the primary home caps were changed from black to green. In addition, a small ray with a long tail was added under the name "Rays" on the chest of the home jerseys.[34]

"Turn Back the Clock" Nights

The Rays staged a "Turn Back the Clock" promotion with a retro theme and throwback uniforms several times early in their existence, and it has become an annual tradition since 2006.[35] Because the franchise does not yet have a long history from which to choose uniforms, they have usually worn the uniforms of other historical local teams.

On these special occasions, Rays have worn the uniforms of the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League (in 1999, 2006, and 2010), the St. Petersburg Pelicans of the Senior Professional Baseball Association (in 2008), the St. Petersburg Saints (in 2000 and 2007) and Tampa Smokers (in 2011) of the Florida International League, and the University of Tampa Spartans (in 2000). The Rays have worn their own uniforms for Turn Back the Clock night only once: in 2009, when they wore Devil Rays "rainbow" uniforms from their 1998 inaugural season.[35]

For Turn Back the Clock night during the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons, the Rays took the field wearing specially designed 1980 Tampa Bay Rays "faux-back" uniforms that represented what the team might have worn had the franchise existed during the late 1970s and early 80s. These uniforms are patterned after the San Diego Padres' uniforms from the late 1970s, only in Rays' team colors.[36][37][38]

The Rays' opponent on Turn Back the Clock night also wears throwbacks from the same era as the Rays' retro uniforms. For example, the Houston Astros wore their 1980s "Rainbow Guts" uniforms, the New York Mets wore the road uniforms of their 1969 championship team,[39] the Chicago White Sox wore their red and white home uniforms from the 1970s, and the Baltimore Orioles wore their rare all-orange uniforms from the early 1970s.[40] Perhaps the most memorable such game was on June 23, 2007, when the Devil Rays wore St. Pete Saints uniforms from the early 1950s, and the Los Angeles Dodgers wore the gray road uniforms of the World Series-winning 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers to honor Don Zimmer, who played on that Dodger team and was a senior adviser for the Rays prior to his death. Rays management also gave away a bobblehead at the game featuring a young Zimmer in a Dodgers uniform and an older Zimmer in a Devil Rays uniform.[41]

Team media

Radio

WDAE (620 AM) has been the flagship station of the Rays radio network since 2009. The play-by-play announcers are Dave Wills and Andy Freed with Neil Solondz serving as the pregame and postgame host. Rich Herrera served as the host during pre- and post-game shows for the Tampa Rays Baseball Radio Network from 2005–2011.[42] The (Devil) Rays original radio team consisted of Paul Olden and Charlie Slowes, who broadcast games from 1998 to 2005. Slowes went to the Washington Nationals, where he is now lead announcer, while Olden pursued a photography career before replacing Bob Sheppard as the public address announcer at Yankee Stadium in 2008.[43] Rays games have been aired on WFLA 970 AM (1998–2004) and WHNZ 1250 AM (2005–2008) in the past.
In 2013, the Rays became the second team to enter into a contract to have games broadcast nationally by Compass Media Networks in a Game of the Week format. The broadcast team utilized during the 2013 season was TJ Rives calling play-by-play and a rotating circuit of analysts in Rob Dibble, Jeff Nelson, and Steve Phillips. 22 Rays games were produced nationally by Compass Media for the 2013 season.

Television

Fox Sports Sun broadcasts the Rays' games on television. Through the 2008 season, many games also aired on Ion Television affiliate broadcast stations throughout the state of Florida, with WXPX-TV in Tampa as the flagship. However, after the 2008 season, Fox Sports signed an agreement to become the exclusive local broadcaster of the Rays, and will air 155 games per year through 2016.[44] Fox Sports Florida began broadcasting a portion of the schedule in HD beginning in 2007 after Tropicana Field's broadcast equipment was upgraded for in-house HD production. Most Rays home games are now broadcast in HD.

Dewayne Staats (play-by-play) and former MLB pitcher Brian Anderson (color commentary) are the TV voices of the Rays. For the first 11 seasons of the franchise, Staats teamed with former MLB pitcher Joe Magrane on the Rays' TV broadcasts. Magrane departed after conclusion of the 2008 season to take a position at the MLB Network. Former minors catcher and MLB manager Kevin Kennedy then served as the primary color commentator in 2009 and 2010, with Brian Anderson filling in on some road trips, after which Anderson took over as the everyday commentator from 2011.

Early on, as Staats' first wife was battling cancer, Paul Olden would occasionally fill in for Staats. As a result, Paul Olden ended up calling Wade Boggs' 3,000th hit.

Awards

Staats, Magrane, Wills, Olden and Slowes have all been nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award, the broadcasters' path to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Promotions

Bobbleheads 2013 This year the Rays released several bobbleheads. The first was released on April 22 and featured David Price's dog "Astro". On April 24 the Rays released the famous "Joe Gnome" bobblehead. May 24–26 saw the release of the Fernando Rodney bobblehead in his famous shooting-the-arrow position. On July 6 the team released the Evan Longoria retro bobblehead.[45]

Bobbleheads 2012 The first bobblehead released was Kyle Farnsworth on May 24. June 3 saw the release of a Desmond Jennings Bobblehead. Coach Joe Maddon saw his bobblehead released on June 15. On June 29 the Rays released the whimsical Zim Bear. Although this was not a bobblehead, the likeness of long-time coach Don Zimmer proved to be a fan favorite. July saw the release of two bobbleheads with James Shields on July 1 and Matt Moore on July 22. The last bobblehead was Matt Joyce on September 23.[46]

The Rookie

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were featured in the movie, The Rookie, a 2002 drama directed by John Lee Hancock. It is based on the true story of pitcher Jim Morris, who had a brief but famous Major League Baseball career with the team.

Morris was a 35-year-old high school baseball coach who could repeatedly throw a baseball 98 miles per hour (158 km/h), an ability that only a few major leaguers could equal at the time. He was persuaded to try out for professional ballclubs and signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization. Morris was initially assigned to the minor league Class AA Orlando Rays (now the Montgomery Biscuits), but quickly moved up to the AAA Durham Bulls and was called up to the "Bigs" during the September 1999 roster expansions.

Jim Morris spent parts of two seasons with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a reliever, pitching 15 innings in 21 games, with an earned run average of 4.80 and no decisions.

Rays fandom

RaymondTampaBayDevilRaysMascotSeptember2007
Raymond, the mascot, pictured in 2007.

Although widespread support has been slow to build with the lack of success in its first ten seasons, it has taken some cues from the powerhouses of the American League East. Whereas Red Sox fans are referred to as Red Sox Nation, the Orioles fan base is referred to Birdland, and Yankee fans are referred to as Yankees Universe (and the team itself being called the "Evil Empire"), the Rays have adopted the term Rays Republic for their fan base. The team has also had its fair share of notable fans and outrageous fan traditions over the years.

More Cowbell

The Rays' Cowbell was originally a promotional idea thought up by principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who got the idea from the Saturday Night Live sketch. Since then, it has become a standard feature of home games, something akin to the Sacramento Kings of the NBA and the bells their fans ring during games. Road teams have often considered the cowbell a nuisance. Once a year the Rays hold an annual "cowbell night" and give away free cowbells. Cowbells are available for purchase throughout the year as well. The cowbells are rung most prominently when the opposing batter has two strikes, when the opposing fans try to chant, and when the Rays make a good play.[47]

DJ Kitty

Whenever the game situation calls for a rally, the 'DJ Kitty' appears on the large video screen in Tropicana Field. A large anthropomorphic cat, wearing a Rays jersey, appears on the screen wielding a turntable similar to those used by rap DJs. Loud music is played over the PA system while the arrival of the DJ Kitty is proclaimed on display boards throughout the ballpark. The character was created in 2010 by Rays entertainment director Lou Costanza in an attempt to rally the Rays players and the fans at Tropicana Field.[48]

Professional wrestlers

Rays games are frequently visited by professional wrestlers, as there are a large number of wrestlers living in the Tampa Bay Area. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags), Brutus Beefcake, and Hulk Hogan all appear on a semi-regular basis at Rays games. John Cena appears on occasion.

The Rays held a "Legends of Wrestling Night" on May 18, 2007, featuring several wrestling matches after the game, an 8–4 loss to the Florida Marlins. Outfielder and wrestling fan Jonny Gomes ran interference for the Nasty Boys during the main event.[49]

A second "Wrestling Night" was held on April 19, 2008, after a 5–0 win over the Chicago White Sox. Gomes participated again, this time making a post-match save for the Nasty Boys.[50]

Mohawks

During the playoffs, Rays players and coaches sport mohawk haircuts. The trend started during their 2008 World Series run.[51]

Team slogans

2008

October 22, 2008 World Series Game 1
Tampa Bay in the World Series

The mantra 9=8 (spoken as "nine equals eight") was used by the Rays during the 2008 season. The phrase was originally created by manager Joe Maddon while riding his bike after the 2007 season. The meaning of the phrase was that if nine players play nine innings of hard baseball everyday, that team would become one of the eight teams who qualify for the post-season. Prior to 2008 season, the Rays had never had a winning season in franchise history, much less a post-season appearance.

After a slow start to the 2008 season, the Rays began to pick up speed and found themselves among the best teams in the league that year. Maddon had blue T-shirts made with the phrase on the back in yellow, representing the team's new colors, and gave them to the players during the season. His idea to put the slogan on the back of the shirt, rather than the front, was that a person who was walking behind someone wearing the shirt would see it.

Rays right fielder Gabe Gross, who was acquired by the team through a trade early into the 2008 campaign, said that as much as it was 9=8, it was more along the lines that 13=8, because the Rays had many players contributing to the team's success that season.[52]

The Rays played well enough throughout the year that they surpassed their previous team record for wins in a single season by more than 30 wins and ultimately clinched a spot in the 2008 MLB post-season for their first postseason appearance in franchise history. As the phrase 9=8 had come to fruition, Maddon stated that the phrase also meant that theory and reality had come together.[53]

With each level the Rays reached, the equation was changed. After they clinched their post-season spot, it became 9=4, to represent the teams advancing to the LCS. When they won the ALDS, it became 9=2, for the teams advancing to the World Series. When they won the ALCS, it became 9=1, representing the possible World Series Championship. In the end, they did not win the World Series, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one.

2009

A week before Spring training for the 2009 season, Maddon introduced a new slogan, '09 > '08. The meaning of his new idea was that he doesn't like to use the words "great" or "greater", but would rather the phrase be spoken as "better than." His only problem was that there is no symbol for "better than." Originally thinking about creating a new symbol to mean "better than", he admitted that he didn't want to get "too nuts", so the symbol for greater than would have to do. Re-emphasizing that 9 would always equal 8 in the Rays' math, the upcoming season would be greater than the previous. He wanted the players to understand that "in order to build this new road we have to be better than we were last year." Unfortunately for the Rays, 2009 was not better than 2008. Though they finished the season in 3rd place with an 84–78 record, making it the second best season in franchise history, they failed to reach the post-season.

2010

Tropicana Field Playing Field Opening Day 2010
Opening Day in St. Petersburg

For the 2010 season, another slogan was created. Unlike the previous two seasons, this slogan did not involve any sort of math. The slogan was WIN, an acronym that stood for What's Important Now?, with the message being "stay in the moment." In his explanation of the slogan, Maddon credited Ken Ravizza, the performance consultant of the Rays and a sports psychologist, as the creator. Maddon stated, "It's always about staying in the present tense and having a higher state of awareness."[54] GTMI became another notable slogan during the year, standing for Get The Man In (though it is reported a player has used a "more colorful" term to take place of the word "man"), referring to an in-game situation in which the Rays had runners in scoring position. Historically, the team had a habit of stranding runners on third base with less than two outs. In practices during the 2010 season, the Rays would run the "get-the-man-in drill" to improve situational hitting. Derek Shelton, who came into the season as the team's new hitting coach, taught that batters should not look for a pitch they could hit for a home run, but one that they could hit well enough to score runners.[55]

Current roster

Tampa Bay Rays roster
Active roster Inactive roster Coaches/Other

Pitchers
Starting rotation

Bullpen

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

25 active, 15 inactive

Injury icon 2.svg 7- or 10-day injured list
dagger Suspended list
# Personal leave
Roster and coaches updated April 21, 2019
TransactionsDepth chart

All MLB rosters

Minor league affiliations

Level Team League Location Ballpark
AAA Durham Bulls International League Durham, North Carolina Durham Bulls Athletic Park
AA Montgomery Biscuits Southern League Montgomery, Alabama Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium
Advanced A Charlotte Stone Crabs Florida State League Port Charlotte, Florida Charlotte Sports Park
A Bowling Green Hot Rods Midwest League Bowling Green, Kentucky Bowling Green Ballpark
Short Season A Hudson Valley Renegades New York–Penn League Fishkill, New York Dutchess Stadium
Advanced Rookie Princeton Rays Appalachian League Princeton, West Virginia H. P. Hunnicutt Field
Rookie GCL Rays Gulf Coast League Port Charlotte, Florida  
DSL Rays 1 Dominican Summer League Boca Chica, Santo Domingo, DR  
DSL Rays 2

Awards, league leaders, and individual records

Baseball Hall of Famers

Tampa Bay Rays Hall of Famers
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Wade Boggs

  • Players and managers listed in bold are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Devil Rays or Rays cap insignia.

Florida Sports Hall of Fame

Rays in the Florida Sports Hall of Fame
No. Name Position Tenure Notes
11, 56 Hal McRae Coach/Manager 2001–2002 Elected mainly on his performance with Kansas City Royals, born in Avon Park
12 Wade Boggs 3B 1998–1999 Elected mainly on his performance with Boston Red Sox, attended Henry B. Plant High School in Tampa
14 Lou Piniella Manager 2003–2005 Born in Tampa
22 Johnny Damon OF 2011 Raised in Orlando
24 Tino Martinez 1B 2004 Elected mainly on his performance with New York Yankees, born and raised in Tampa, attended University of Tampa
29 Fred McGriff 1B 1998–2001, 2004 Elected mainly on his performance with Atlanta Braves, born in Tampa

Retired numbers

Don Zimmer 2009
Don Zimmer had his #66 retired by the Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays have retired three numbers. These numbers are displayed to the left of the center field scoreboard and "K Counter" on a small wall.

Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired by all of Major League Baseball.

TBRays retired12
Wade
Boggs

3B
Retired
April 7, 2000
TBRays retired66
Don
Zimmer

Coach
Retired
April 6, 2015
TBRays retired42
Jackie
Robinson

All MLB
Honored April 15, 1997

Selected individual franchise single-season records

Statistics below are through the end of the 2017 season.

  • Highest batting average: .325, Jeff Keppinger (2012)
  • Most games: 162, Aubrey Huff (2003), Evan Longoria (2014), and Delmon Young (2007)
  • Most hits: 198, Aubrey Huff (2003)
  • Highest slugging %: .627, Carlos Peña (2007)
  • Most doubles: 47, Aubrey Huff (2003)
  • Most triples: 19, Carl Crawford (2004)
  • Most home runs: 46, Carlos Peña (2007)
  • Most RBIs: 121, Carlos Peña (2007)
  • Most stolen bases: 60, Carl Crawford (2009)
  • Most wins: 21, Blake Snell (2018)
  • Lowest ERA: 1.89, Blake Snell (2018)
  • Strikeouts: 252, Chris Archer (2015)
  • Complete games: 11, James Shields (2011)
  • Shutouts: 4, James Shields (2011)
  • Saves: 48, Fernando Rodney (2012)

Team salaries

Opening Day payrolls for 25-man roster (since 1998):[56][57][58]

Opening Day Salary
Year Salary
2019 $52,150,800[59]
2018 $67,482,000[60]
2017 $69,982,520
2016 $57,097,310
2015 $73,649,584
2014 $82,035,490
2013 $51,903,072
2012 $64,173,500
2011 $41,053,571
2010 $71,924,471
2009 $63,313,034
2008 $43,820,597
2007 $24,123,500
2006 $35,417,967
2005 $29,679,067
2004 $29,556,667
2003 $19,630,000
2002 $34,380,000
2001 $56,980,000
2000 $64,407,910
1999 $37,812,500
1998 $25,317,500

Footnotes

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Time to shine: Rays introduce new name, new icon, new team colors and new uniforms". RaysBaseball.com (Press release). MLB Advanced Media. November 8, 2007. Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Chastain, Bill (February 7, 2018). "Rays set to celebrate 20th anniversary in '18". RaysBaseball.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved February 8, 2018. Prominent among those items was the 20th anniversary logo that will appear on the left sleeve of all Rays 2018 regular-season jerseys and caps. The home-plate shaped patch features the number 20, a sunburst and a variation of the original fish -- all in the Rays' modern colors.
  3. ^ "Rays All-Time Uniforms and Logos". RaysBaseball.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "Tampa Bay Rays Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference.com.
  5. ^ "Devil Rays' ownership transfer approved". ESPN. Associated Press. November 17, 2005. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  6. ^ Reuter, Joel (June 11, 2013). "Is Red Sox-Rays the Most Underrated Heated Rivalry in Baseball?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  7. ^ "HOW ABOUT PANTHERS?". Orlando Sentinel. April 13, 1990. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Giuliotti, Ed (April 1, 1991). "Local Fans Give Huizenga 113,000 Votes Of Confidence". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Joseph, Dave (June 15, 1993). "Panthers Unveil Uniforms, Logo". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Chass, Murray (November 11, 1992). "BASEBALL; Look What Wind Blew Back: Baseball's Giants". The New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
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External links

2008 American League Division Series

The 2008 American League Division Series (ALDS), the first round of the 2008 American League playoffs, consisted of two best-of-five series. They were:

(1) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Western Division champions, 100–62) vs. (4) Boston Red Sox (Wild Card qualifier, 95–67): Red Sox win series, 3–1.

(2) Tampa Bay Rays (Eastern Division champions, 97–65) vs. (3) Chicago White Sox (Central Division champions, 89–74): Rays win series, 3–1.Since the Twins and the White Sox completed the regular season with identical records (88–74), the two teams played against each other in a one-game playoff. The White Sox defeated the Twins, 1–0, and thus became the AL Central champions.

2013 American League Wild Card Game

The 2013 American League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2013 postseason played between the American League's (AL) two wild card teams, the Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays (the latter winners of a one-game tie-breaker against the Texas Rangers). It was held at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 2, 2013. The Rays won by a 4–0 score and advanced to the AL Division Series to face the Boston Red Sox, who went on to become the World Series champion of that year. The game was televised on TBS.

Andrew Friedman

Andrew Friedman (born November 13, 1976 in Houston, Texas) is a baseball executive who is currently the President of Baseball Operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously served as the general manager for MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, where Sporting News named him Executive of the Year in 2008. That year, for the first time in franchise history, the Rays both qualified for the playoffs and played in the World Series.

Blake Snell

Blake Ashton Snell (born December 4, 1992) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2016 and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2018.

Jake Odorizzi

Jacob Todd Odorizzi (born March 27, 1990) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2012 with the Kansas City Royals, and also played for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2013 through 2017.

List of Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day starting pitchers

The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They play in the American League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Rays have used twelve different Opening Day starting pitchers in their twenty-two seasons. Since the franchise's beginning in 1998, the twelve starters have a combined Opening Day record of six wins, nine losses (6–9), and seven no decisions. "No decisions" are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

Chris Archer and James Shields holds the Rays' record for most Opening Day starts with four. Archer has one win, two losses, and one no decision, while Shields has one win, one loss, and two no decisions. The all-time record for a Tampa Bay starting pitcher winning an Opening Day game is one, shared by Steve Trachsel, Albie Lopez, Victor Zambrano, James Shields, David Price, and Chris Archer.Overall, Rays starting pitchers have a combined 4–6 record at home and 2–3 when they are away for Opening Day. In 2004, the Rays opened the season against the New York Yankees at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Although that game was not played in Tampa Bay's actual home of Tropicana Field, it was still considered a home game for the Rays. Tampa Bay beat the Yankees 8–3 in that game, giving starting pitcher Victor Zambrano the win.

List of Tampa Bay Rays broadcasters

Broadcasters for the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team.

List of Tampa Bay Rays managers

The Tampa Bay Rays are a professional baseball franchise based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They are a member of the American League (AL) East in Major League Baseball (MLB). The team joined MLB in 1998 as an expansion team with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In November 2007, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg renamed his team from the "Tampa Bay Devil Rays" to the "Tampa Bay Rays", which he described as "A beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida." The Rays won their first AL championship in 2008. The Rays have played their home games at Tropicana Field since their inaugural season. Andrew Friedman is the Vice President of Baseball operations, in essence the general manager.There have been five managers for the Rays franchise. The team's first manager was Larry Rothschild, the only manager who have spent his entire MLB managing career with the Devil Rays and managed the team for four seasons. Through the end of the 2014 season, Joe Maddon is the franchise's all-time leader for the most regular-season games managed with 1,459, the most regular-season game wins with 754, and the highest regular-season winning percentage with .517. Maddon is the only manager to have been to the playoffs with the Rays. In 2008, he took them all the way to the World Series, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games. Maddon is also the only manager to have won the Manager of the Year Award with the Rays, first winning it in 2008, and again in 2011. Maddon became the manager of the then-Devil Rays in 2006. On February 15, 2012 the Rays extended his contract through the 2015 season, however he opted out of his contract at the end of the 2014 season. Kevin Cash has been the team's manager since the 2015 season.

List of Tampa Bay Rays owners and executives

This is a list of owners and executives of the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball.

List of Tampa Bay Rays seasons

The Tampa Bay Rays are a professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of both the Major League Baseball's (MLB) American League Eastern Division and the American League (AL) itself. Since their inaugural season in 1998, the Rays have played their home games at Tropicana Field. The team was originally known as the "Tampa Bay Devil Rays", which was inspired by a common nickname of the manta ray, but after the 2007 season, they changed their official name to the "Tampa Bay Rays."Tampa Bay made their Major League debut in 1998, where they were an expansion team. For their first ten seasons, Tampa Bay struggled, never had a winning record, and always finished fifth in the American League Eastern Division, except for a fourth-place finish in the 2004 season. However, Tampa Bay had their best season ever in 2008, when they won their first American League East Division title, defeated the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS, beat the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, but lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

List of Tampa Bay Rays team records

The Tampa Bay Rays are a professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They compete in the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) American League (AL). Tampa Bay first competed in Major League Baseball during the 1998 baseball season as the "Tampa Bay Devil Rays", an expansion team. Prior to the 2008 season, the team's name was officially shortened to "Rays". The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.

In twenty-one seasons from 1998 through the end of 2018, the team has an overall record of 1,590 wins and 1,810 losses for a winning percentage of 46.8%. The Rays have appeared in four postseasons and won one American League pennant, in 2008

Note: To avoid confusion, this list is only updated at the end of each baseball season. Statistics below are through the end of the 2018 season.

Mike Zunino

Michael Accorsi Zunino (born March 25, 1991) is an American professional baseball catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Seattle Mariners.

Before beginning his professional career, Zunino played college baseball at the University of Florida, where he won the Dick Howser Trophy, Golden Spikes Award, and Johnny Bench Award in his junior year. The Mariners selected Zunino with the third overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 2013.

Montgomery Biscuits

The Montgomery Biscuits are a Minor League Baseball team based in Montgomery, Alabama. The team is the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and plays in the Southern League. The team was founded in Orlando, Florida, in 1973 as the Orlando Twins, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. After remaining in the Minnesota minor league organization for 20 seasons, the team became an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs for four seasons and then the Seattle Mariners for one. In 1999, the team became an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, and they have remained in the organization ever since.

Over the years, the club changed names several times. They were the Orlando Twins for 17 seasons, then were known as the SunRays, Cubs, and Rays. The club became known as the Biscuits when it moved from the Orlando area to Montgomery in 2004.

The club played at Tinker Field near downtown Orlando from 1973 until 2000, when they moved to Champion Stadium in nearby Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Since moving to Montgomery in 2004, the Biscuits have played at Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium, a 7,000-seat facility which was built for the club in the downtown area.

Robinson Chirinos

Robinson David Chirinos González (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈroβinson tʃiˈɾinos]; born June 5, 1984) is a Venezuelan professional baseball catcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers.

Rocco Baldelli

Rocco Dan Baldelli (; born September 25, 1981), is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who is currently the manager of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Minnesota Twins. As a player, Baldelli quickly progressed through the minor leagues and made his big league debut with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, on opening day 2003. During his first two seasons in the MLB, he established himself as an excellent offensive and defensive outfielder, placing third in voting for American League (AL) Rookie of the Year.

In 2005, Baldelli's career was derailed by a rare metabolic/muscular disorder that caused frequent soft tissue injuries, fatigue, and other ailments. He was unable to play in 2005, and missed significant time over the following seasons as doctors struggled to diagnose and treat his condition. From 2005 until his retirement, the former everyday centerfielder spent long stretches on the disabled list and appeared in half of his team's games only once — in 2006, when he appeared in 92 games. The Rays did not renew his contract, after the 2008 season and Baldelli signed a free-agent contract with his hometown Boston Red Sox, for 2009, appearing in 62 games as a backup outfielder and part-time designated hitter. He considered retirement and returned to the Rays organization as a minor league coach, in December 2009. But as the 2010 season progressed, he decided to attempt another comeback and began rehabbing in the Rays' minor league system. Baldelli returned to the major leagues in September, and appeared in 10 games during the last month of the regular season. However, severe muscle cramping during the 2010 playoffs forced him off the team's active roster, at which point he ended his playing career, at age 29.

After retiring as a player, Baldelli spent three years in the Tampa Bay Rays organization as a roving minor league instructor and special assistant to baseball operations. He was named the major league club's first base coach before the 2014 season, and was promoted to major league field coordinator, in November 2017. In October 2018, Baldelli was named the manager of the Minnesota Twins.

Tampa Bay Rays Radio Network

The Tampa Bay Rays Radio Network is a 21-station radio network (19 A.M, 2 F.M. plus 2 F.M. translators) in the southeastern United States and Pennsylvania that broadcasts baseball games and related programming for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball. Additionally, there is a 2-station Spanish language network which brings the number of radio stations carrying the Tampa Bay Rays to 23. Since 2009, WDAE/620 in St. Petersburg, Florida, has served as the flagship station for the network.In addition, WGES/680 in St. Petersburg, Florida airs games in Spanish but is not part of the network.

Tampa Bay Rays all-time roster

The following is a list of players, both past and current, who appeared in at least one game for the Tampa Bay Rays franchise, formerly known as the Devil Rays.

Players in Bold are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Players in Italics have had their numbers retired by the team.

Álex Colomé

Álexander Manuel Colomé Pérez (born December 31, 1988) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners.

Tampa Bay Rays
Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Key personnel
American League pennants (1)
Division titles (2)
Wild-Card berths (2)
Retired numbers
Minor league
affiliates

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