A Tampa Bay Rays Tribute

By Trevor:

Well last night I had to say farewell to my beloved Rays. Last night my Rays lost 3-1 in game 4 of the American League Division Series. They lost to the Boston Red Sox.The Rays were 92-71 on the season. They had to play a game 163 in order to make the playoffs.

Tampa_Bay_Devil_Rays6The Rays were originally the Devil Rays (’98-’07). They finished last in the AL East all but the 2004 season. Then Stuart Sternberg bought the team and changed the name to the “Rays.” This was done in order to change the atmosphere at Tropicana Field and also change the face of the organization.

The Rays had their first winning season in 2008, where they made it all the way to the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Their record was 97-65 and they won the AL East. They lost the Phillies that year, but it was a promising look towards the future. They have made the playoffs 4 out of the last 6 years. They have won the AL East twice (’08,’10). They have won the Wild Card twice (’11,’13).

The Rays have made some great investments in their scouting and player development. We’ve seen players like Evan Longoria, Matt Moore, David Price, and Jeremy Hellickson, come up through their minor league affiliates. The Rays are well known for their development and recruiting of young talent. They are a young powerhouse of talent.

We have also had some old talent on occasion. Wade Boggs made an appearance as a Devil Ray back in the late 90s. He even registered his 3,000th hit (a homerun) while wearing those atrocious Devil Ray colors. We had Fred McGriff, Jose Canseco, Vinny Castilla, and Greg Vaughn. We even had Lou Pinella as our manager at one point.

The Rays since the 2008 season have been a consistent team. They always end up being right there in the thick of it at the end of every season. Probably the most exciting end to a season in Major League history was 2011. There were other teams involved in the drama, but I just want to focus on the Rays end of it.

It was the last day of the season and we needed a win and we also needed the Red Sox to lose in order to make the playoffs. Both games went into extra innings. The Red Sox ended up losing by 1 in extra innings. And the Rays went into the 13th against the Yankees. Longoria comes up and works it to a 2-2 count and on the 6th pitch of the at-bat he hits a line drive down the left field line that barely makes it over the small wall in the left field corner! They win it!

Honestly, as a baseball fan, it was the most exciting day I’ve ever had! I can remember I was running around my house yelling at the top of my lungs and I might have used suggestive language a couple times out of excitement! The Rays have been my favorite team for about 6 years now and I’ve followed them throughout every single game. I even watched every single (yes all 162) game of the 2010 season. MLB.tv is a great investment FYI.

They will always be my favorite team, and yes I’m die hard! It’s sad to see my boys go, but they played hard and Joe Maddon took them to another winning season. I’m not sure when we will ever win a World Series, but it could absolutely happen with the talent we have. GO RAYS!