The Devil Rays are entering their 10th season and the first 9 haven’t been too good. Those 9 seasons included 8 last past finishes, only one season of 70+ wins, and of course, ZERO playoff appearances. The Rays are considered the most inept franchise in baseball, but how bad have they really been? Expansion franchises are not supposed to win right away. It takes time. However, in the modern era of free agency, the Rays contemporary expansion brethren have enjoyed periods of success. Since 1993, the Devil Rays are one of four expansion teams. The Colorado Rockies were a wild card team in just their third season. The Florida Marlins have already won more titles (2) than the Red Sox have won (1) in the last 88 years. The Diamondbacks have three playoff appearances and one title. Historically, those moments of success are the exception to the rule and all three of those franchises paid heavy prices after their early success.

So where does the failure of the Tampa Bay franchise rank in the history of baseball. Let’s compare the Devil Rays to the other franchises in Major League Baseball.

First let’s look at all modern era expansion franchises and compare how long it took to reach .500…


FRANCHISE FIRST SEASON YEARS UNTIL .500
Seattle Mariners 1977 15
Houston Astros 1962 11
Washington Nationals 1969 11
San Diego Padres 1969 10
Milwaukee Brewers 1969 10
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1998 10*
Texas Rangers 1961 9
New York Mets 1962 8
Toronto Blue Jays 1977 7
Florida Marlins 1993 5
Kansas City Royals 1969 3
Colorado Rockies 1993 3
Los Angeles Angels 1961 2
Arizona D-Backs 1998 2
*The D-Rays have never been .500

The Rays will match Houston and Montreal/Washington if they don’t finish .500 or better this season. However, they have a ways to go before catching Seattle. Still, not so good when the team is about to be tied with the second longest streak.

Now let’s look at all modern era expansion franchises and compare how long it took to reach the playoffs…


FRANCHISE FIRST SEASON YEARS UNTIL PLAYOFFS
Texas Rangers 1961 36
Seattle Mariners 1977 19
Houston Astros 1962 19
Los Angeles Angels 1961 19
San Diego Padres 1969 16
Washington Nationals 1969 13
Milwaukee Brewers 1969 13
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1998 10*
Toronto Blue Jays 1977 9
New York Mets 1962 8
Kansas City Royals 1969 8
Florida Marlins 1993 5
Colorado Rockies 1993 3
Arizona D-Backs 1998 2
*The D-Rays have never been in the playoffs

This is a bit of a skewed list. With six divisions and wild cards, it is easier to reach the playoffs in this era. Still…36 years? Those poor Rangers fans. And Seattle’s streak of 19 was fairly recent. The Rays are not likely to move to far up this list.

Now let’s look at the franchises that have the longest current streaks of losing seasons…


FRANCHISE FIRST SEASON YEARS SINCE .500
Milwaukee Brewers 1969 15
Pittsburgh Pirates 1882 15
Baltimore Orioles 1901 10
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1998 9*
Colorado Rockies 1993 7
Cincinnati Reds 1882 7
Washington Nationals 1969 4
Kansas City Royals 1969 4
Arizona D-Backs 1998 4
*The D-Rays have never been .500

The Rays don’t even have the worst streak in their own division. Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are both much improved this year and some predict one or both will end their streaks this season.

Now let’s look at the franchises that have the longest current streaks of failing to reach the playoffs…


FRANCHISE FIRST SEASON YEARS SINCE PLAYOFFS
Washington Nationals 1969 26
Milwaukee Brewers 1969 25
Kansas City Royals 1969 22
Pittsburgh Pirates 1882 15
Toronto Blue Jays 1977 14
Philadelphia Phillies 1883 14
Colorado Rockies 1993 12
Cincinnati Reds 1882 12
Baltimore Orioles 1901 10
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1998 9*
*The D-Rays have never been in the playoffs td>

Again, the Rays are not even the worst in their own division. The orioles should be ashamed of themselves. They are a big market/high payroll team. The Phillies and Toronto are also teams with big payrolls that haven’t sniffed the playoffs in a long time.

The Rays have been bad, but we are willing to bet it won’t take 15 years to reach .500 or 36 years before they reach the playoffs. And there are currently other inept franchises that have been bad longer than the Rays.

 
 

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment