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2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays

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2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays
TampaBayDevilRays 100.png
Major league affiliations
Location
2004 Information
Owner(s) Vince Naimoli
Manager(s) Lou Piniella
Local television FSN Florida
WXPX
Local radio WDAE
WFLA
Baseball-Reference 2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Record: 70-91, Finished 4th in AL Eastern Division (2004 AL)

Coaches: Lee Elia (hitting), Tom Foley (third base), Billy Hatcher (first base), Chuck Hernandez (pitching), Lee May, Milt May, John McLaren (bench), Matt Sinatro (bullpen)

The 2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays played the 7th season since the franchise was created. That year, they finished fourth in the AL East division, and managed to finish the season with a record of 70-91. Their manager was Lou Piniella who was in his second season at the helm of the Devil Rays.

In spite of finishing 21 games below .500, the Devil Rays were a remarkable 15-3 in interleague games, including 13 straight wins at one point during the season. They also went on a roller coaster ride in the standings: they started the season very poorly and by May 19th, they were already 18 games below .500 at 10-28. They then had a remarkable turnaround, reaching the break-even mark again on June 25th at 35-35, making them only the second team in history to return to .500 after amassing such a deficit - the 1899 Louisville Colonels managed to come back from 22 games below .500. Two teams have since matched the Devil Rays' feat, the 2006 Florida Marlins, who made it back from 20 games below, and the 2014 Rays, who were also 18 games below at one point. Contributing to the turnaround was a twelve-game winning streak from June 9-26th.

The Devil Rays were still at .500, at 42-42, on July 8th, but then began sinking slowly in the standings. From August 27 to September 10th, they lost 12 straight games and were back to 21 games below .500! That's where they ended the season, at 70-91, in 4th place, 30 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. The 70 wins were a franchise record until then and would not be topped until the 2008 season; it was also the first time the team had finished in a place other than last in the AL East, as the Toronto Blue Jays finished below them in the standings. However, it was a one-year blip - the Devil Rays would finish last their next three years, then suddenly become good and play in the 2008 World Series.

[edit] 2004 Opening Day Lineup

Carl Crawford, lf

Damian Rolls, 3b

Rocco Baldelli, cf

Aubrey Huff, dh

Jose Cruz Jr., rf

Tino Martinez, 1b

Julio Lugo, ss

Rey Sanchez, 2b

Toby Hall, c

Victor Zambrano, p

[edit] Awards and Honors

[edit] related Sites


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