May 16, 2007
When the Arizona Diamondbacks were awarded as a franchise on March 9, 1995 they were not alone. They were one of two franchises the other one being the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Since that moment these two organizations have been connected and probably will remain so for the their entire existence. The two teams took very different approaches to building their teams. The Devil Rays had an existing stadium, Tropicana Field, and chose to build the team using their farm system. The Diamondbacks on the other hand chose to build a team partly with young players but the majority of the team would be made up of veteran players with a 5 year plan to become a contender. This strategy paid off as the Diamondbacks reached the play-offs in just their second year and won a world championship in just their fourth season. The Devil Rays on the other hand have never had a winning record since joining the American League East ten years ago. Going on a decade of losing has been a painful process and has taken its toll on the Rays fans. As a result Tampa Bay is now in a position where they are trying to build a larger fan base.