This could possibly be my last post as The Tampa Bay Devil Rays Writer for Bugs & Cranks.
Today, my beloved Devil Rays “officially” changed their name to something else.
I refuse to acknowledge this change. I am sickened. I can’t bear the thought of coming to our website and seeing Tampa Bay Devil Rays written without the word Devil.
Unfortunately, Bugs & Cranks Founder and Chief Editor Jesse Pugh apparently can bear the thought.
He is planning on changing things to reflect the “official” changed name and the new “official primary” logo.
He has said that I should post on the subject, and try to defend my position that Bugs & Cranks must keep the Tampa Bay Devil Rays name. I’m not sure if I can keep my emotions in check enough to do that, but I feel I owe it to everyone to try.
To me this is about more than a name or a logo, it’s about the soul of this website that we all love.
What makes Bugs & Cranks great?
First, Jesse Pugh makes this site great. He put it together, he brought the writers together, he keeps it running and keeps the peace, and does a thousand other things.
Next, our readers make us great — obviously they’re the reasons we’re all here.
Last, it’s our writers — from our first, Meech, to our oldest, to our latest — the Assistant Rectress and the new Reds guy — We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi, we’re not Spartans, we’re Americans. That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts. Here’s proof: Townie’s nose is cold.
And the interplay of all that refuse makes for good reading.
The best thing about this website is that this cacophony of abnormality leads to things you can find nowhere else.
The thing I love most about it though — for probably very selfish reasons — is that when I have an idea — no matter how stupid it is — I can make it come alive on and force it upon anyone who views the site.
Keeping the name Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the traditional Devil Ray logo is just such an idea.
A few times in the past, other writers and I have tried to use this site as a vehicle and a weapon to draw attention to injustice, as a symbolic empowerment, speaking up for those who would otherwise remain unheard.
What about all the children who grew up Devil Ray fans but now have the name snatched away from them? What about all the practicing atheists who see the team turning their backs on them in order to curry favor with religious zealots?
As a devoted Devil Rays fan from day one, I have endured a lot. Many of the news reports of today’s “official” news change used the phrase “perennial last place team.” That is of course a gross misrepresentation — we finished ahead of Toronto that one year. But it’s typical of the perception of our team that we have to put up with every single day.
Seeing writers — even on this website — write Tampa Bay Devil Rays with the word Devil
struck out is the most painful thing I’ve endured in my life as a Devil Rays fan.
I’ve spoken to hundreds of other Devil Rays fans who feel exactly the same way.
Devil mocks the horribly misguided actions of our team’s moronic ownership.
The moronic ownership that can’t see the way to gain a new image is not to change the name and the uniforms, it’s to win the World Series.
From the first month of my Bugs & Cranks career, I have said I HAVE A DREAM for all Devil Rays fans, of all religious faiths and levels of belief or non-belief, that a time will come when our team — the lowest of the low — will finally reach the pinnacle of the mountaintop. And then we will look down at the Rockies and Rangers and Astros and laugh and tell them all to change their fucking names.
That is the way to win more fans, not by exorcising the word Devil.
I think I can tolerate the stupidity and lack of vision of Devil Rays ownership — if we have the refuge of this website. One place to call our very own, where we could pretend this ugly affront never happened.
Where will we, the displaced Devil Rays fans go if even Bugs & Cranks turns its collective back upon us? Who will symbolically carry our cause, if not Bugs & Cranks?
So far, the only argument Mr. Pugh has given for making the change is that “we always use the most up to date logo for each team.” I suppose that extends to the name as well. If it’s official it must be right — with the notable exception of using the Cleveland American League franchise’s alternate cursive I logo.
If this site was about being official, we could just save ourselves the trouble and just direct people to mlb.com.
Yes, this is a website that is primarily and perhaps only about baseball.
However, this website is great because it is very unofficial. Because its writers are very passionate.
This writer is very passionate about the words and images associated with his team and his writing and its effect on other fans of his team. Shouldn’t that be enough?
Of course, it should. So please tell Jesse Pugh you’ll boycott Bugs & Cranks unless the Devil stays. (It really pains me to have to write that.)
Go Devil Rays!