It is looking more and more like the Baseball team in Tampa that we call the Tampa Bay Devil Rays… or Rays… or D-Rays is preparing for a name change. It would be the first major league baseball team to change their name without moving since the Houston Colt 45s in 1965 became the Astros. Of course, that is, if you don’t count the name change by the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Which brings us to our point. What will the new name be? Some suggestions have included dropping the “Devil” and simply calling the team the Rays. Others have suggested a completely new identity to go along with the new outlook and new ownership of the team, including the Tarpons, which was the name of the longtime minor league team in Tampa. Personally, we are fond of the Tiger Sharks or T-Sharks. However, one of the other points of contention is the “Tampa Bay” part of the name. The Tampa Bay sports franchises are named for a body of water and of the few in the four major sports to NOT be named directly for a city or a state. The others are the Golden State Warriors, who are named indirectly for the state of California, The New England Patriots, and the schitzophrenic Angels, who are named for two cities. The options include changing the name to Tampa, which is unlikely as long as the team plays in St. Pete. Changing the name to St. Pete is also unlikely as St. Pete is not as recognizable as Tampa on the national scene. Also the Buccaneers are now a successful NFL franchise and it is in the best interest for the Rays ,or whatever their name will be, to continue to associate with that success by maintaining the moniker Tampa Bay.
There is one other option. The oranization could follow the lead of the Angels and most politicians and try to make everyone happy. It would also could be fun to honor the team’s most famous season ticket holder, Dick Vitale….We present THE TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS OF ST. PETERSBURG NEAR TAMPA, BABY!….Alas, this name, like most politicians while trying to make everyone happy, will succeed only in pissing everyone off.
Devil Rays may play name change [St. Pete Times]