Report: 'Devil' may be dropped from team name

Updated: January 27, 2006, 7:56 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are following through on a promise to practically reconstruct themselves under new ownership.

The franchise has overhauled the front office and hired a new manager since New York investor Stuart Sternberg took control of the club last fall. Now, officials are pondering a possible name change.

"The new management team is looking at everything," spokesman Rick Vaughn said Friday, adding that discussions about changing the name are still in the "embryonic" stage.

"It could be subtle," Vaughn said. "It could be major."

The Tampa Tribune reported in Friday's editions that there will be a name change for the 2007 season.

One of the options under consideration, even before Sternberg became principal owner, was dropping "Devil" from the nickname. Many fans already are accustomed to calling the club "Rays."

When Sternberg replaced founding owner Vince Naimoli in October, he vowed to make whatever changes necessary to make the last-place team more successful -- on and off the field.

One of his first moves was to announce parking will be free at Tropicana Field next season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press