FanDuel - WFBC

November 08, 2007

Tampa Bay Rays Cast Out the Devil: Baseball's most woebegotten franchise has changed its name, dropping the Devil and adopting a new two-blue color scheme and logo. No longer a filter-feeding eater of plankton, the Rays have become a "beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida," said a beaming owner Stuart Sternberg.

posted by rcade to baseball at 07:23 PM - 32 comments

You always could call them Rays, Johnson would've told them that.

posted by geekyguy at 07:33 PM on November 08

And I'm sure, after exorcising this logo demon, they will go on an unbeaten run all the way to next year's World Series championships. But seriously, that Devil Ray is a cool logo. Glad they still kept it on the left sleeve of the home jersey. Wonder how long that will stay. I'm guessing one season, then it gets phased out. Then all they'll be left with is that little sparkle. Sigh. I ain't saying the old one was that great -- dark devil ray on dark background is going to make it hard to see, turning the whole logo into a blob -- but getting rid of the ray and coming up with this new lifeless logo was not really a solution. How about a new logo with a better rendition of the devil ray so as to make it stand out from the TB initials and any background it went on? You could still lose the "devil" in the name (it was never on the logo anyway) and still have a better logo than this new one. Man, way to take the life out of a brand. btw, "The elongated tail of the "R" further reinforces the water imagery." That's some wishful thinking there, hotshot. I don't see it. Man, wonder how many people will line up for shirts with the new logo?

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:39 PM on November 08

Great flashback geekguy . . . As far as the uniforms - I've seen slow pitch softball uniforms with more creativity. I liked the old colors and logo personally, the new ones remind me of every retiree's bathroom in the Tampa area . . . ( I keed, I keed)

posted by B-2 Spirit at 07:58 PM on November 08

Gall dang that new logo would look perfect on a bag of chips. As for a baseball team's identity, it absolutely positively blows...unforgettable, unownable, unexciting. What exactly does it say about the team? "Hey folks, come and nap in our stadium!" Who the hell is designing pro sports teams' visual identities these days and why are they designing them to look so dang temporary? At the very least, a visual logo for a sports team should leverage a design and colors that are iconic and memorable. For example you could put one hand over one eye and stand 40 feet away from a Detroit Red Wings, NY Yanks or SF Giants uniform and still recognize it instantly -- even if you can't make out the type. Seems that many new baseball and hockey unis are going for looks that are contemporary but quickly dated...no fun.

posted by diastematic at 08:02 PM on November 08

Tampa has changed their uniforms a whole bunch of times. They finally hit on one that worked, the dark green, which looked great, and now they change it to this boring crap. Dropping the Devil is fine, but they should've just kept the rest how it was.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:05 PM on November 08

feh...

posted by bobfoot at 08:33 PM on November 08

Could it be.......Satan?

posted by tommytrump at 08:42 PM on November 08

I bet it was the Rockies made 'em do it.

posted by THX-1138 at 08:52 PM on November 08

I kind of like the new uniforms. Colors are appealing, and good looking overall.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:53 PM on November 08

I'm guessing it's the first step toward moving the franchise. Switching from the maritime Devil Rays to the sunbelt Rays opens up the opportunity to move to, say, San Antonio, one of the Carolinas, Vegas... some town with corporate money for a ballpark that doesn't look like the teams are playing in somebody's basement. Tropicana "Field" is a depressing venue, better for boat shows and flea markets than big league baseball. I mean, why put a ray of sunshine in the logo for a team that plays in the dark?

posted by Monkeyhawk at 12:55 AM on November 09

"I kind of like the new uniforms. Colors are appealing, and good looking overall. posted by jerseygirl at 8:53 PM CST on November 8" Given that the team is the "former" Devil Rays (better know as Devil Dogs), the owner should have used a hot pink on cool pink color scheme. The guy should start focusing on stopping the bleeding away of good young players instead of wasting time on names and uniform colors.

posted by Cave_Man at 06:29 AM on November 09

Didn't the ownership go from Vine Namoli to three smart guys who seem to know how to manage a team? Assuming they don't trade Kazmir away, they've done a good job building that team. There's a scary amount of potential talent there.

posted by yerfatma at 06:39 AM on November 09

I like the new look. The name's much better -- I've been expecting Toronto to do the same and become the Jays. The new logo and uniform aren't flashy, but they make the team look like a franchise that's been around forever. I think that will age well.

posted by rcade at 06:41 AM on November 09

This is a very old story. They were the Rays all year this year and had the new unis.

posted by Steel_Town at 06:51 AM on November 09

Are you posting from a year in the future, Steel_Town? They were the Devil Rays when their season ended Sept. 30, and the new unis and name were publicly unveiled yesterday.

posted by rcade at 06:55 AM on November 09

"ST. PETERSBURG -- A palpable vibe reflecting a new beginning resonated throughout Straub Park on Thursday afternoon, where the Devil Rays officially became the Rays, and the colors of the team's uniforms changed from green to blue." Hahahahahaha no seriously, no stop it, you are killing me

posted by Venicemenace at 06:57 AM on November 09

but getting rid of the ray and coming up with this new lifeless logo was not really a solution I actually like the simple format. Why do sports teams have to have a shitload of cartoon characters on them? Classic is better IMHO. Look at the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Reds, Red Sox.... All those are classy looks. The name's much better -- I've been expecting Toronto to do the same and become the Jays. They did. Like five years ago. Goes to show how much impact that really had. But the Jays new unis suck.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:50 AM on November 09

What I really don't like is the spineless cave-in over the use of the word "devil". Can we just install a fundamentalist Christian theocracy and get it over with?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:58 AM on November 09

Toronto's still the Blue Jays, Weedy. They've de-emphasized the word "Blue" on their jerseys, but the name hasn't changed.

posted by rcade at 08:20 AM on November 09

I wonder if the name "Devil" wasn't dropped because of Baptist and other Church groups having a fit over the name?

posted by dbt302 at 09:10 AM on November 09

Steel_town, while they have been sort of using the "Rays" name for most of the season, it was never official. Now it is. Also, they were not using those uniforms this year or that logo design. It's a new redesign. There are plenty of teams still using Devil in their names - on both the national, and collegiate stage, all the way down to my high school Alma mater. At one point or another, from memory there has been some pressure or hubbub about the Devil in sport team names. More times than not, again from memory, I can't recall this actually happening. I know it was a local issue around here for a while, but I think the general consensus ended up being: "We've got more important things to worry about and do" and it was dropped. I would guess Monkeyhawk is more on the money in regards to the name change. He surmises that they'll eventually move the team and this makes it more marketable and eases the transition if they do. Anyway, I still like the colors and the uniform. Less is more. Also, I am firmly in favor of anything that gets rid of those idiotic vests. I hate vests in baseball.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:32 AM on November 09

My apologies, I heard about this much earlier in the year and thought it was already implemented. I do believe jerseygirl is right and they have been unofficially using the "Rays" name this year.

posted by Steel_Town at 09:38 AM on November 09

Can we just install a fundamentalist Christian theocracy and get it over with? They did. Like five years ago. Goes to show how much impact that really had.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:49 AM on November 09

Didn't the ownership go from Vince Namoli to three smart guys who seem to know how to manage a team? Assuming they don't trade Kazmir away, they've done a good job building that team. There's a scary amount of potential talent there. I think there's a good chance the Rays will be highly competitive in the AL East playoff hunt by 2009. Of course, making the playoffs would be much easier if they played in just about any other division, but the talent already there, plus the talent in the pipeline (including pitching) is very good and very real, and they're not going to lose a whole lot of it unless they make trades. What I really don't like is the spineless cave-in over the use of the word "devil". Can we just install a fundamentalist Christian theocracy and get it over with? Is this really a "spineless cave-in" over the use of "devil"? I could be wrong, but I believe I read in some article from when this was first discussed (earlier in the year) that the team had gone out to focus groups and those groups had suggested some sort of negative connotation with "devil" or that a non-devil name would be more widely embraced. In that light, seems like what the team has done is more good business rather than caving to any sort of anti-devil hysteria or campaign. Again, I could just be missing something, but I just haven't read anything about any Christian populations being up in arms in protest about use of "devil" in the team name. If any team was ripe for a re-branding, this is probably it, considering the losing ways, low attendance, etc.

posted by holden at 09:51 AM on November 09

the team had gone out to focus groups and those groups had suggested some sort of negative connotation with "devil" or that a non-devil name would be more widely embraced. Fucking market research. Just a terrible method of decision making. It's totally untrustable. There is most assuredly an element of Christian pandering attached to this decision.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:49 AM on November 09

Very nice juxtaposition of quotes, Venicemenace. Very clever.

posted by DudeDykstra at 12:24 PM on November 09

Well, Holden said: Is this really a "spineless cave-in" over the use of "devil"? And Weedy said: There is most assuredly an element of Christian pandering attached to this decision. And earlier I said: I bet it was the Rockies made 'em do it. Case closed. Court adjourned. Let's do lunch. Procter and Gamble and Gilette, you're next.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:33 PM on November 09

I believe devil ray is an accepted term in Tampa. It is used as a monicar for Manta Ray due to the way it looks.

posted by Steel_Town at 01:32 PM on November 09

The new logo and home uni look like the Mariners gear. I always thought it was bad design if you couldn't tell the difference between your brand and your competitors. I actually like the simple format. Why do sports teams have to have a shitload of cartoon characters on them? Cause it sells stuffed animals, pennants, shirts, and the like to the kiddies. Classic is better IMHO. Look at the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Reds, Red Sox.... All those are classy looks. True, but the majority of the "classic" designs were created (or at least the most prominent elements of the design) between 1930 & 1960. I blame the 90s for the more egregious designs. Totally clown shoes.

posted by lilnemo at 03:06 PM on November 09

Charlie O. Finley broke the rule for baseball uniforms. The Kansas City A's came out in Kelly Green & Gold and the traditionalists were apoplectic. The team wore white shoes! "Albino kangaroo pelts," Finley lied. Finley's A's were the first teams with names above the numbers. But he insisted on nicknames. So it was "Catfish" instead of "Hunter" and "Blue Moon" instead of Odom. Most people hate the early 80s Astros uniforms, but I kinda liked them. It's probably apocryphal that the Yankees adopted pin stripes to make Babe Ruth look slimmer, but there's something special about seeing those uniforms only in the Bronx, and those dull-gray road uniforms everywhere else. It was the fault of polyester and the 70s that the Pittsburgh Pirates wore those garish gold Cap Anson uniforms, but they were distinctive. Call me a purist, but I preferred the old black-and-white vests for the Pirates, and the read and white vests for Cincinnati (who was that 50s homer-hitter who played with *no* sleeves?) Changes are made for all sorts of reasons. The Yankees used to be the Hilltoppers. The Brooklyn Trolly-Dodgers were once the Superbas. During the McCarty era, the "Reds" became the "Red Legs," so as not to confuse them with commies. The Cardinals only became the "Red Birds" because they originally selected cardinal red as the team color. (Let's face it, the 19th Century was overly concerned with team colors: cardinal, brown, red sox, white sox... One of my first memories of big league baseball was going to a game and the Chicago team wasn't wearing white sox.) At least baseball execs have a little common sense when they move franchises. Is there anything more patently absurd than the Utah Jazz? Yeah, that's where we all go to hear be-bop and dixieland near a Great Salt Lake. Shouldn't the "Lakers" be in Utah instead of a desert town on the Pacific Coast? If MLB worked like the NBA, there'd be the Baltimore Browns. If the NFL worked like the NBA, they'd be the Tennessee Oilers. And wouldn't make a lick of sense. That beam of sunlight in the new Tampa Bay logo signals they don't want to be a dome team. Mark my words: the "Rays" will move in a few years. Maybe they'll retain the Rays nickname; maybe they'll become the (I dunno) Las Vegas Hookers or the San Antonio Roses. Or go retro and call themselves the Memphis Blues.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 04:27 PM on November 09

Terrific comment, Monkeyhawk, but be honest: were the Astros unis always cool or have they come back into style? Because I remember watching Mike Scott & Nolan Ryan in the 86 playoffs and thinking my retinas would never recover. SportFilter: Totally clown shoes.

posted by yerfatma at 05:46 PM on November 09

Personally haven't heard anything about any Christian movement involving the changing of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays name and logo.I definetly think the last colors they had were alot better.And if there was any Christian pandering involved,whats next?,making Drakes change the name of "Drakes Devil Dogs"to just Drakes Dogs or maybe "Drakes Cream Dogs"?I think the word devil's meaning is taken a little too serious sometimes by some people and or some Christian movements.But on a more serious side,I think the new unis are a bit bland.And maybe management should start thinking about fielding a better team than just changing uniforms.

posted by Ghastly1 at 03:58 PM on November 10

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