29 January 2006

Don't they have bigger problems?

The Tampa Tribune reports that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays plan to change their nickname in time for the 2007 baseball season.

The team's president, Matt Silverman, told a group of Tampa business leaders Thursday that there will be "some sort of a change" in the Devil Rays name.

The club is looking at either dropping "Devil" from the name and calling the team the "Rays" or creating a completely new name, Silverman said.
Focus groups told team officials that there was a "negative association" with the terms "Devil Rays" and "devil."

Of course, the real problem is that there is just a "negative association" with an awful baseball team. Of the four most recent expansion teams (Florida, Colorado, Tampa Bay, and Arizona), they have had the least amount of success, both on the field and at the box office. The mismanagement of the team, consistently finishing last in their division, and infighting amongst the ownership group has led to the franchise's poor team image.

"When [new owner] Stu Sternberg came in, he said there was a need for dramatic change. One way for dramatic change is to change the name," Silverman said.
Apparently, Mr. Sternberg hasn't considered WINNING a dramatic enough change to enact.

Of course, we could just use this opportunity to submit possible new names for the team. But, maybe "Tampa Bay Bottom Feeders" isn't what the new ownership has in mind to shake a "negative association."

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