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November 9, 2007 at 1:37 am ET
Fighting For The Devil & The Soul Of Bugs & Cranks


The new look unveiled Thursday.

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!

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22 Responses to “Fighting For The Devil & The Soul Of Bugs & Cranks”
  1. Actually, the Indians cursive I is more up to date than Chief Wahoo.

    Any and all DEVIL Ray fans that would like to denounce the name change please do so in the comments below.

  2. Ted Danning says:

    I want you to keep the Devil Rays logo the way it is.

    Only by channeling the unholy power of the underworld can any team hope to overcome the Evil Empire of, well, everyone else. Since Curt Shilling already plays in Boston and Miroslav Satan plays hockey, the only way my beloved Rays can win the Series is if they keep the “Devil” close to their hearts.

  3. Brad Bortone Brad Bortone says:

    Keep the logo, lose the new uni. Christ, the Rays uniforms may have been ugly, but they were original. These new duds are useless.

  4. Spencer Kyte says:


    I’m not American.

    Please don’t ever make that mistake again…

    Rays, Devil Rays, whatever. They’ll still be known as “The Worst Team in Baseball” in my book, no matter whatcha call’em.

  5. Camille says:

    so supposedly they’re changing the name to reflect the official florida nickname “the sunshine state”… that’s such bullshit. what’s more impressive? this badass devil ray: http://psrc.mlml.calstate.edu/images/manta_ray.jpg that can be almost 7 meters wide and swims fast? or a dappled little ray of sunshine? i will always be a devil rays fan. a “rays” fan, never. keep the name!

  6. Nick Kendall says:

    Are you Johnny Ray?
    Are you Slim Ray?
    Are you Faye Ray?
    Who wants to know? Who wants to know?

    Are you Sting Ray?
    Are you Nick Ray?
    Are you Jimmy Ray?
    Who wants to know? Who wants to know ’bout me?

    no… They are Tampa Bay-Rays

  7. Brad Bortone Brad Bortone says:

    No ray of sunshine ever killed Steve Irwin…but those aquatic rays can take out hordes of children’s tv icons.

    The choice is obvious, Tampa.

  8. “I’ve spoken to hundreds of other Devil Rays fans who feel exactly the same way.”

    I think it is amazing that you know every single Devil Rays fan in the country.

    More power to you, Keep the name as it is. God knows had the White Sox actually moved to St. Pete in the 80’s, I would still call them the Chicago White Sox.

  9. David Chalk David Chalk says:

    Nick — It was fairly late in the evening when I wrote that. I’ve now spoken to thousands of other Devil Rays fans. We ARE out there. (And look how quickly you & I found something we agree on.)

    Brad — Thank you for the wise words of support. Maybe you’re not so old after all.

    New Reds Guy — After I wrote how painful it was, dropping that ugly TBR slur in your comment is pretty insensitive.

    Camille — Right on.

    Spencer — There’s no pleasing you. I specifically changed it to Townie’s nose being cold so you wouldn’t feel slighted. Americans, North Americans — can’t we all just get along.

    Ted — Right on.

  10. Spencer Kyte says:

    Chalk – I’m not American, I’m Canadian… that’s the pleasing me!

    I don’t care if you call me an ESKimo or Nanook of the North, but I’m not an American!

  11. Nick Kendall says:

    I apologize for coming off insensitive. On the bright side… they could have went with something like “The Sarasota Rays of Tampa Bay”. But of course, no franchise would do something stupid like that… ACH-anaheim-OOO. In a funny coincidence… remember when Johnny Ray played for the California Angels?

  12. David Chalk David Chalk says:

    Nick Kendall — You make an EXCELLENT point — I hadn’t thought of that….

    If we were putting teams’ “Official” names on the sidebar, Jesse would have to extend it and use LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM — not just LOS ANGELES ANGELS. There’s precedent.

    You’re all right in my book, NK.

  13. Katherine says:

    The reason I come to this site is because of the passionate writing and the space that allows for it. I have no interest in a place that wants to go all PC on any level. Long live the REAL name!

  14. Chalk, I’m calling you St. Jude de Bugs from now on, ’cause you’re the patron saint of lost causes.

  15. David, B&C using “Los Angeles Angels” in the sidebar was due to space constraints. If you click onto the team page you’ll see we spell out the entire name. Coming up with stupid names for their teams is the ownerships job, we just go with what they give us.

  16. Rachael W says:

    Okay, I didn’t think the name change meant a mascot change, but looking closely at the new jerseys, I see that the ownership actually does mean to reflect the “Sunshine State” mentality with little…sparkly… things on the players’ jerseys. How is that intimidating except to people who are afraid of skin cancer? This is the worst mascot idea since the Minnesota Golden Gophers, or maybe the TCU Horned Toads or the Amherst Lord Jeffs. Gah! The twinkly jerseys are driving me nuts; at least keep the sting ray mascot around.

  17. mark lawton says:

    Who could possibly support the name change. It’s absurd. What kind of society is it, when every tom, dick, and harry is changing this or that name for frivolous reasons.

    -Mark Lawton
    A fan from afar.
    Portland, Oregon

  18. John Renneke says:

    So they’re now the Tampa Bay Rays of Sunshine but they still play indoors??? How ironic is that? I think they should focus more time and energy on building an outdoor stadium rather than changing the uni’s and nickname. After the Twins new stadium opens in a couple years, they’ll be the only all-indoor team in baseball. That’s where the biggest problem lies with this franchise.

  19. smitty says:

    As long as they still come to Baltimore three or four times a year, I don’t give a shit what you call ‘em.

  20. GBR81 says:

    Heard about this on Rays Index … both you and Cork are right — the name change SUCKS. I hope you win and keep the DEVIL.

  21. Carey Freeman says:

    And if any of you “homos” call me Francis. . . I’ll Kill you!!!

  22. Carey Freeman says:

    Sorry, but I’m just a sucker for a good “Stripes” line.

    BTW, any Joe Maddon/Big Toe analagies?

    Lastly, sorry to disagree, but the old unis were minor league at best. I like the new look (hate no Tampa Bay on the road unis, but oh well). Crisp. Professional. And, fuck, it fucking worked. No looking back now!!!! Gotta roll with the good chi.

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