Editor's note: In late 2007, the Devil Rays changed their name to the Rays. This node's title was changed to reflect that, but the existing writeup on the team has been left as-is.
Expansion baseball team in the American League, the 30th major league baseball team and so far a dismal sight. Expansion teams are supposed to be mediocre, but they rise to glory more quickly these days thanks to free agency and inflated salaries. Not this one.
From 1998 to 2000, the Devil Rays' record was 201-284, and at this writing they're 32-67 (worst in the major leagues) in 2001. To their credit, they've stuck with manager Larry Rothschild through it all. It's not his fault that the team is packed with expensive, last-leg veterans.
Their first game, on March 31, 1998, was an 11-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
The Devil Rays play in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. It should be noted that St. Petersburg was supposedly a hot baseball town, and at various times in the '80s, teams like the San Francisco Giants and Chicago White Sox were being courted to move there.
The team has a 30-year lease on Tropicana Field, but it may not matter: They've already been put up for sale, and the rumors of the team leaving town have begun.
As evidence of the team's unpopularity, consider: Nobody bothered to node or even nodeshell them until 2001.
Source: The Sporting News' annual Baseball Guides ... also http://www.devilraysonline.com