Dances with ... Rays?

Stop the presses - the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have finally figured out what they need to push them over the edge from flat-out abysmal to modestly mediocre:

Yes, it's true. Bull Durham himself has lent his considerable Hollywood weight to the still floundering Rays. (Sadly, as we will see, the sea creature pun in the last sentence is no longer valid).

While it has been announced for months that the Tampa Bay franchise would be changing their uniforms and logos, the official unveiling took place yesterday at Tropicana Field. The Rays, as the team is now officially called, have dropped the late-90s green in favor of navy blue and light blue. The Rays will still keep a small devil ray patch on their sleeves, but the "Ray" is now a small starburst in the middle of their logo. Leading them to a bright future I'm sure.

Keenly recognizing the demographics of the Tampa Bay area population, the team trotted out Floridian-exemplar Don Zimmer (among others) as a model of the new unis last night. The crowd was understandably enthused.

The Rays' secret weapon, however, was Mr. Costner. Perhaps brought in to give the young Rays a veteran presence, Costner played a set with his band, Modern West. The Prince of Thieves stole the show, transforming Tropicana Field (typically as hollow as a Tin Cup) into a veritable Field of Dreams.

I applaud the Devil (oops) Rays for their innovative tactics. This concert will certainly motivate the franchise. Do they have an uphill struggle ahead? Sure. Is it difficult to compete when you have the smallest budget - 6 million dollars less than #29 - in the majors? Yes. Is it nearly unfathomable that a team that has essentially no fan base due to the fact that most Floridians are transplanted New Yorkers and Chicagoans anyway can possibly drum up interest? Of course.

But if anyone can motivate, rejuvenate, and rescue a franchise, it is The Bodyguard.

posted by Pedro Cerrano @ 08:13,


At November 14, 2007 at 3:07 PM, Blogger Jarrett Carter said...

BJ Upton says "The Untouchables" is number one on his Costner flicks list.


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