With the Rays planning a year-long celebration of their 20th anniversary, the Times is taking a look back – with 20 lists of 20 things about those first 20 seasons.
Check out the rest of Marc Topkin's coverage here, on:
–20 words on the 20th anniversary
–20 numbers to remember
–The 20 weirdest moments
–Tampa Bay's 20 'Forrest Gump moments'
–20 years of Rays and 'the things we've loved' about them
–Greatest moments in franchise history
–Best signings, trades and deals
–20 players who surprisingly finished with them
–20 players you forgot ever played for them
–20 most notable draft picks
–20 Things we've hated over the years
–The 20 best players
–The 20 best quotes
–Recounting the 20 most memorable injuries
–The 20 worst players
–Ranking every season
Here are the 20 things we've hated about the Rays:
• Original Devil Rays name. Why couldn't they get Sting Rays from the Hawaiian winter league team again?
• DJ Kitty. Sorry, not sorry.
• That people still don't get they play in St. Petersburg.
• How the Trop turf looks on television.
• That fans can't see them take batting practice at the Trop (as is the case for home teams in most stadiums).
• The corporate shilling of the (now discontinued) Pepsi bottle race.
• Having the bullpens on the sidelines at the Trop.
• The constant roster churning, as much as it makes sense business-wise.
• That first they held spring training at home, then moved to Port Charlotte rather than a better located potential secondary market.
• How they don't often feature players in clever TV commercials and other marketing ventures.
• That there's only been 20 seasons so they still don't have a history or a following.
• Using their small-market standing as an excuse to not being able to win.
• That they've been okay with senior VP Andrew Friedman and others leaving but still hold something against Joe Maddon.
• How secretive they are about the innovative, creative things they're trying.
• That until now they've been reluctant to embrace their past, as inglorious as the early years were.
• Trading James Shields, David Price, Evan Longoria, etc.
• Letting Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Alex Cobb, etc., leave as free agents.
• That the uncertainty over the stadium and franchise future — albeit in a way self-inflicted — is a cloud over everything they do.
• That they play — for now — at the Trop, under a fixed roof, making the weather on good days a non-factor.