The Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg and play their home games at Tropicana Field. They compete in the American League East division of Major League Baseball. The team began to play in 1998 following almost thirty years of unsuccessful attempts to gain an expansion franchise for the Tampa Bay Area. The ownership group led by Vince Naimoli was approved on March 9, 1995.
While Tampa Bay was no doubt excited to have the franchise, the first decade of the team's play was marked by futility. They finished in last place in their division in all seasons except for 2004 where they finished second to last. In 2005, Stuart Sternberg purchased a controlling interest in the team from Vince Naimoli, and two years later the team's name was changed from the "Devil Rays" to "Rays". One year, in 2008, the Rays posted their first winning season, their first division championship, and their first pennant. They defeated their rival, the Boston Red Sox, in the division but lost the World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies. Since then, the Rays have played in the postseason in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2019.
In addition to the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees are also rivals of the Tampa Bay Rays. They also have an intrastate interleague rivalry with the Miami Marlins of the National League who they play in the Citrus Series.
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