Tampa Bay Rays: Change Of Name = Change Of Pace

jeff coxContributor IJune 13, 2008

As most of the baseball world knows (except for those who haven't checked updates in the last year), the team from Tampa Bay formerly known as the Devil Rays has changed its name to the Rays during the off season.

I, being a Red Sox fan, am pretty familiar with the Rays since they are from my respective division, the AL East. The Tampa Bay Rays are notorious for being one of the worst teams in baseball. Well, you can kiss that one goodbye, as the Rays are in the second place in the AL East for well over two months into the season.

As many people know, the Rays, now in their 11th season in the MLB, have never had a winning season. However, with the way things are looking this year, they could have that and more.

Before the season started in March, some friends and I all made predictions for standings in each division. As a little experiment, I put the Rays in the second place in the AL East with a very respectable record. As another little experiment, I put them winning the wild card in the AL. As my final straw, I had them in the World Series against the LA Dodgers, and surprisingly would win the Fall Classic in six games.

Sounded a little ridiculous then, but look now.

They are only 1.5 games back in the AL East only to the Red Sox. A lot of you may be wondering since I'm a Sox fan why I didn't put them in the World Series. I'm not going to go by what I think should happen, I'm going by what I think will happen.

The Sox won the WS in 2004, and got swept in 2005 in the first round of the playoffs. And they just won last year, so there's no need to be greedy.

I am just going to go ahead and assume that I was one out of maybe 100 people in the world that saw that little ray of sunshine with the Tampa Bay Rays this season. Not every team is bad forever. Look at the Rockies.

I guess there was a little bit of influence to go for the Rays since they were getting Evan Longoria, a top prospect third baseman. But still look at him, he's probably not performing as well as the club had hoped, and they are still winning! The only other explanation is the changing of the name.

I'm not saying every bad team in baseball should change their name because that's just too many name changes. But, if it's working for the Rays, why can't it work for anybody else? If you think that the Rays are a worthless team and should just be removed from baseball, just wait until they are the 2008 World Series champions and it will shock 6,000,000,000 minus 100 people.