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Tampa Bay Rays Tickets
Tampa Bay Rays Tickets
The Tampa Bay Rays, one of the newer teams in baseball, was founded in 1998 along with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The early history of the team was far from impressive as they found it difficult to climb out of the cellar of the difficult American League East. However, the Rays managed to turn around the organization in 2008 when they won their division and went to the playoffs for the very first time. Although the Rays usually have one of the smallest payrolls in baseball every year, the team manages to compete against the wealthy Yankees and Red Sox by building a strong farm system, which has produced star players like Evan Longoria and David Price.
Tropicana Field, Home to the Tampa Bay Rays
Tropicana Field is the only domed Major League Baseball stadium without a retractable roof. It holds the distinction of hosting complete seasons of pro baseball, football, arena football, and hockey, plus college football and basketball games. Since 2008, Tropicana Field has also been playing host to the NCAA-sanctioned Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Additionally, the East-West Shrine game, Under Armour All-America Game, and NCAA Mens Final Four are played there each year. Tropicana Field, which has previously been known as the Florida Suncoast Dome and the Thunderdome, seats 42,735 and has used Astroturf GameDay Grass since 2011.
Tampa Bay Rays and the American League East
Ever since the Tampa Bay Rays joined Major League Baseball in 1998, the club has played in the American League East. Although this would help ticket sales when the Yankees and the Red Sox came to town, it made the task of fielding a winning team far more difficult. Indeed, in the first decade, the Rays managed to get out of the divisional cellar just once. However, thanks to a talented farm system and a lot of patience, the Rays did what many people thought was impossible: win the American League East in 2008 on a shoestring budget. Since then, they have become a serious force in the American League East by winning the division yet again in 2010 and obtaining a wild-card berth in 2011.
Tampa Bay Rays 2012 Team Outlook
There may not be a team in baseball that can do more with less than the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays had the second-lowest payroll in baseball last year, but they still managed to reach the playoffs in exciting fashion. Of course, this also means that the Rays always have to be frugal in how they approach their budget. After a surprisingly strong season, first baseman Casey Kotchman decided to pursue free agency, which led the Rays to bring back Carlos Pena, who played for the team from 2007 to 2010. In addition, the Rays followed a trend that they started with Evan Longoria by extending talented rookie pitcher Matt Moore after fewer than 20 innings of total experience. The Rays have arguably the best starting rotation in the American League and a serviceable offense as well, which means that the team will once again be a contender in 2012.