order apcalis sx uk buy dostinex in usa etodolac discount copay order singulair order meclizine dosage buy valtrex 500 mg rogaine 2 discount nizoral cheap kamagra oral jelly malaysia flagyl er discount diclofenac gel discount zentiva order evista powder female cialis discount how does order innopran xl price cheap hair loss reasons buy bupropion sr libido toradol discount programs cholesterol lowering discount smoothie order calendar buy capoten at walmart abilify discount code cheap muscle relaxant guidelines buy kamagra chewable review buy tofranil reviews buy zithromax canada bystolic discounts order lopid dosage buy accutane us order frumil ls cheap micronase price rumalaya forte discount review buy elavil uk order ginseng seeds buy revatio new york buy toradol dosage buy quetiapinum qtc buy l-tryptophan powder buy rosuvastatin africa cheap female cialis viagra cheap doxazosin prescription buy kamagra oral jelly does it work buy anafranil online buy cheap neurontin buy emsam wholesale diclofenac gel discount or ibuprofen order rogaine 5 biovea mircette discount coupon cheap mevacor lovastatin buy lithium cells cheap hair loss experiences urispas discount card buy clomid testosterone buy ginseng uk buy rogaine 2 foam buy men;s health facebook cheap anti viral avg antivirus buy abilify rid tretinoin 0 05 discount harga buy cabergoline research chemical endep discount order remeron from mexico order hair loss xanax buy zetia you order remeron can cheap elocon buy buy menosan comprime's buy viagra soft europe cheap abilify australia buy diclofenac tablets online order eurax hydrocortisone discount on alli cheap rental new york cheap effexor xr birth defects buy asacol online buy legit accutane buy rogaine 2 canada walmart buy levitra plus the counter exposed skin care order tracking buy rogaine 2 montreal buy nexium online uk prednisone mail order buy generic ventolin cheap lioresal buy shuddha guggulu discount opinie order tadalis sx pharma generic cialis order propecia zimbabwe cheap canon lenses for sale cheap prevacid online female viagra discount nz buy hydrea work buy maxalt online uk order dipyridamole canada order diclofenac gel cvs cheap v gel polish buy lioresal place buy prednisolone acetate cheap fml forte ingredients lasix discount get sleep aid discount counter order benfotiamine the uk cheap femara australia cheap lithium polymer batteries buy calendula oil buy combivent generic order diclofenac zealand cholesterol lowering discount ldl without drugs buy synthroid online pharmacy cheap viagra super active effects order lasix overnight delivery buy ortho tri cyclen emergency contraception buy clomid 100mg online buy viagra plus singapore cheap betoptic bula tenormin discount card buy glucotrol xl dailymed buy zyprexa africa cheap viagra sublingual dosage cheap desyrel high actors names alphabetical order cheap cephalexin yeast buy nexium over the counter buy strattera cheap buy cialis canada buy cymbalta generic online buy minocycline uk buy mentat ds syrup of himalaya buy zetia generic buy mentat tablets cheap cytoxan buy ashwagandha sensoril venlor discount vouchers buy ventolin inhaler order pain relief after tooth extraction cheap cialis sublingual xanax zantac discount buy rhinocort aqua pain relief discount dogs buy nolvadex ireland cheap cytotec jenjarom buy arava the counter buy cheap lamisil order moduretic lek buy alli online cheap nitroglycerin discount buy buy arava vietnam order furosemide lasix cheap wellbutrin sr manufacturer coupons antabuse discount price cheap lotensin generic buy alli boots cheap female cialis for sale cheap casodex buy cheap lanoxin australia cheap paroxetine yawning cialis jelly discount wirkung order levitra professional order tulasi nair buy suhagra duralong buy kamagra from india cheap glucotrol xl half life order glucotrol xl how it works buy cytotec for abortion cheap ginette 35 effects tretinoin 0 05 discount review buy zoloft in usa order meclizine in canada buy zyvox work mango order status arava discount program noroxin discount code aleve discount vouchers discount for viagra order benfotiamine liquid buy bystolic bali buy arava cream cheap lady era rock buy viagra plus gel order effexor xr birth defects order prazosin nightmares buy periactin legal zerit discount vouchers buy tinidazole dosage cheap ortho tri cyclen yahoo answers order mentax tablets viagra pro discount tablette buy glucotrol xl drug class hair loss discount blog cheap neurontin high order zetia australia buy yagara naruto buy dostinex you order alli slimming tablets cheap pletal uk pravachol discount online cheap actoplus met manufacturer coupon buy amitriptyline for cats buy cialis jelly wirkung buy bupropion sr erowid order nitroglycerin order clomid over the counter buy cytotec malaysia grifulvin v discount tablets side effects order requip powder cholesterol lowering discount unclog arteries order weight loss challenge buy viagra soft high street order starlix prescription nizoral discount cheap amitriptyline online buy anafranil in australia wellbutrin sr discount insomnia order cymbalta kong order bystolic samples buy toradol legal order actoplus met medication guide buy bystolic in europe cheap cialis super active information cheap pure acetone buy diclofenac drug cheap hotels in negril jamaica all inclusive ortho tri cyclen discount yasmin order valtrex online buy rosuvastatin from uk order mango earl stevens buy combivent inhaler online buy premarin 0.625 mg buy periactin online order diclofenac gel brand name cheap metformin online buy augmentin bulk cheap penegra zydus januvia cheapest price order accutane dubai buy emsam new york order requip can order tadalis sx tadalis-sx vs tadacip buy pyridium singapore order viagra super active cheap differin jel levitra professional discount cheap generic buy propecia mastercard order anavar buy ditropan vidal buy nitroglycerin vancouver order glucotrol xl gain buy baytril for rats online cheap strattera alternatives buy amaryl online order benfotiamine neuropathy amitriptyline to buy pamelor discount coupon buy levitra super active online buy kamagra with paypal cheap cialis professional nuovo buy coolant order tretinoin 0 05 nuface order serophene wiki buy cardizem next day delivery buy purinethol need order zanaflex safe order wellbutrin sr just once a day order clomid australia pravachol discount get buy urispas zealand cheap alli mexico cheap singulair 10mg buy hydrea usa cheap cholestoplex buy men;s health problems exposed skin care order status buy men;s health xtreme muscle pro order betnovate cream online cafergot discount vouchers buy zithromax paypal order actoplus met loss buy kamagra oral jelly ebay order compazine suppository buy olanzapine uk cheap lady era pills results stromectol discount buy ciprofloxacin eye drops shuddha guggulu discount work cheap real kamagra cheap v gel manjakani order tricor australia order toradol prescription seroflo discount voucher order femara best place ampicillin discount vouchers cheapest strattera online buy shatavari yrtti buy diclofenac potassium online uk order cialis professional lilly cheap imuran cheap apcalis sx oral jelly uk order mango pure cleanse buy generic zovirax tinidazole discount code buy dutas generic online buy antivert angeles order amantadine uk cheap lady era pills review cheap inderal buy buy luvox online order toprol xl quetiapine fumarate buy xalatan from canada buy canadian prednisone cheap avapro irbesartan buy trial erection packs 1 year cheap cialis professional generika order viagra super active wiki buy dapoxetine sweden order brand advair diskus equivalent buy trazodone you cheap ginette 35 india buy famvir you buy myambutol can buy celebrex in canada pain relief discount with shingles buy l tryptophan libido buy xenical and reductil sumycin discount code cheap toprol xl oral dosage buy tricorn buy rogaine 2 the uk buy minocycline acne cheap augmentin online buy aricept veterinary order levitra super active review order wellbutrin sr for anxiety buy cialis daily use online cheap zyloprim online order glucophage online micardis discount generic buy citalopram online viagra jelly discount day delivery buy xenical orlistat cheap cleocin gel reviews acne.org cheap mentat benefits order a bank card buy clindamycin australia isoniazid discount code lexapro discount cards order clozaril cheap viagra super active erfahrung buy tricorder buy erythromycin antibiotics buy cardizem usa buy desyrel online order tadacip avis cheap wellbutrin sr zoloft combination cheap zebeta online cheap erythromycin dosage buy elocon generic discount asthma supplies cheap hytrin uk buy cefixime brisbane cheap diclofenac gel xerostomia buy orlistat australia sleep aid discount xr order deltasone uses cheap bupropion xl rumalaya forte discount gel oxytrol discounts astrazeneca nexium discount card cheap capoten price buy singulair medicine buy myambutol the counter dutas discount program cheap atorlip 10 atorlip atorvastatina 10 mg singular software discount code cheap ventolin hfa buy aceon line order methotrexate illegal buy l tryptophan sleep buy zanaflex kuala lumpur order zanaflex usa cheap vpxl review buy minocycline side cheap prandin a prescription buy clomid new zealand cheap arimidex side order tetracycline online uk order caverta avis buy cymbalta in uk cheap voveran sr pregnancy shuddha guggulu discount how does buy kamagra oral jelly dosage hytrin discount vouchers buy femara cheap order betnovate buy cytotec philippines buy alavert guide order prazosin mail buy genuine xenical online where to buy lipothin with raspberry ketone cheap lamisil tablets buy floxin otic order cleocin gel phosphate buy azulfidine buy saw palmetto dht cheap combivent dosage cheap rumalaya gel price buy atorlip 20 atorlip atorvastatin 20 mg clomid discount card vpxl discount buy hydrea generic online cheap effexor xr yahoo answers order benzac differin cheap effexor xr package insert order baytril online order antivert generic cheap ortho tri cyclen lo cheap cialis soft brasil cheap lithium golf trolley order voting card cialis super active discount vs cialis review buy cheap atarax online cheap hydrochlorothiazide australia cheap flagyl jarabe liv 52 discount liquid abilify to buy viagra best deals buy ventolin australia order hair loss prevention buy hoodia lip gloss buy voveran sr mg dosage cheap lady era heian zyvox discount generic cheap lady erath buy ventolin asthma inhalers order pain relief you can take when pregnant buy clomiphene online safe cheap retino-a cream 0 05 unguento cheap atorlip 10 sirve grifulvin v discount pediatric dosage discount for benicar hct order hair loss wiki buy rosuvastatin legal desyrel discounts order cytotec generic order diclofenac gel in canada buy anti fungal brand buy yasmin uk buy retin-a 0 025 nasal methotrexate back order periactin discount vouchers buy viagra super active viagra buy myambutol tablets viagra discount walmart buy casodex usage buy glucotrol xl bupropion buy tretinoin 0 05 harga vitacid hyaluronic acid discount in skin care cheap trental cleocin gel discount for acne men;s health discount recipe finder cheap celexa online grifulvin v discount micr 500 side effects order cialis over the counter cheap v gel za bolec(ine v mis(icah tofranil buy canada buy kamagra oral jelly in london atacand hct discounts cheap finpecia online buy flonase mail buy viagra plus with mastercard cheap azithromycin online cheap actos overdose order calendar online india buy flonase uk buy finasteride 5mg cheap hytrin a prescription cholesterol lowering discount alternatives to statins order lamisil in canada order revia australia order trandate gravid cheap viagra xanthi pain relief discount crocin order hytrin ovulos buy cholesterol lowering zealand buy motilium new zealand buy lasix from canada cheap ortho tri cyclen breast growth buy viagra plus in singapore cheap hair loss breastfeeding buy topamax and phentermine cheap isoptin wiki viagra soft discount under the tongue buy shatavari kalpa in usa order weight loss food plan buy tenormin angeles order hair loss breastfeeding hydrochlorothiazide discount coupon order brand levitra generic buy zyloprim in australia cheap ortho tri cyclen skip period buy penegra tablet buy naprosyn tablets order avalide
Home BSN News Tampa Bay Rays - 2008 MLB Organization of the Year

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 621 guests online

Atom RSS

Tampa Bay Rays - 2008 MLB Organization of the Year
User Rating: / 29
PoorBest 
Written by the Staff   
Monday, 03 November 2008 19:37
2008 Business of Sports Network MLB Organization of the Year

 

It seemed there was a never-ending stream of superlatives when it came time to describe our selection as the 2008 MLB Organization of the Year. Unconventional, youthful, tenacious, coming of age, and plucky were but a handful. But, if you were to say at the beginning of the 2008 MLB season that the Tampa Bay Rays would make the World Series, maybe the best word used to describe them would be “unimaginable.”

The Rays, this year’s AL representative in the World Series, won our selection by going from worst in '07 to first in '08, and in the process breathed life into an organization that for the majority of its tenure has been running on life support.

To start with, the organization rebranded itself, removing "Devil" from the club name, and changing the team colors. At the time, owner Stuart Sternberg seemed to encapsulate how the team would be remembered in 2008:

"We were tied to the past, and the past wasn't necessarily something we wanted to be known for. Nobody's running from it or hiding from it, and we're proud of certain aspects of it, but this is something the organization was able to really put their arms around. I hope and expect the fans who come out will see it as a new beginning," he said.

From a player payroll perspective, no team did so much with so little. Using the Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins metric (see a detailed break down of all 30 clubs), the Rays had the second lowest Opening Day payroll in the league at $43,820,598, then won the AL East with a 97-65 record, which comes to an incredible $679,764 per marginal win. To place this in perspective, the Rays were the only postseason team to tout a cost per marginal win less than $1 million, with the nearest being the Brewers at $1,692,854 per MW --- nearly two and a half times greater.

As they say, winning cures all ills and the Rays were no exception. The Major League's largest increase in average attendance came to the Rays, who saw a jump of 28.20 percent to 22,370 per game, or 1,780,791 in total attendance, up from last season’s 1,389,031. The total attendance count was nothing spectacular, but given the fact that the (then) Devil Rays had posted total attendance of 1,369,031 in 2006 (29th out of 30), and 1,124,189 in 2005 (30th out of 30), the Rays see hope in growing fan interest over the next few seasons based on their improbable run through the AL East and the postseason.

That winning also parlayed into increased viewership on television. FSN Florida and the Tampa Bay Rays saw nearly a 100 percent increase in ratings from last year (99%) posting a 3.47 rating this year compared to 1.74 last season. To add an extra shine to the regional ratings, the Rays doubled total households from 31,000 in '07 to 62,000 in '08.

This increase in viewership has allowed Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and his staff to negotiate an 8-year extension with FSN Florida through 2016. While figures have not been released, the Rays will see a substantial increase in television rights fees from FSN Florida over the life of the agreement.

On top of all this, the real reason the Rays received our 2008 award is the make-up of the team. From GM Andrew Friedman, to the pitching staff, through the rest of the roster, the best word to describe them is “youthful.” That quality pervades every aspect of the team.

Come sail away? The Rays wisely opted to wait for a
better economic and political opportunity to pursue
a proposed new waterfront ballpark in downtown
St. Petersburg. (see more images)

The club's Wall Street analyst-turned general manager, Andrew Friedman (age 31), had never worked in MLB until owner Stuart Sternberg tapped him for the position. The Rays' World Series starting rotation has an average age of 24.6. The team roster includes 11 first-round draft picks, five of which the Rays drafted.

We also tipped our hat to manager Joe Maddon, who was selected as The Sporting News Manager of the Year for the American League. Maddon’s taste for what some termed a “new age” style resonated with the players, and his straightforward candor and honesty was a breath of fresh air for the league.

Other points of interest that make the Rays our selection as MLB organization of the year:

  • For the second consecutive season the organization played a series at Disney's Wide World of Sports, just outside of Orlando, this year taking on the Toronto Blue Jays. The games were a proactive effort by the Rays to increase fan interest regionally before the realization that the team would become a force in the AL East. How have the Rays fared at Disney? To date, they are undefeated.
  • The club announced plans to develop a new ballpark in downtown St. Petersburg at the Al Lang Park location. The design, arguably the most unique in all of sports, has sail-like panels that would create cover in the event of rain. While the Rays were hoping to obtain public funding this year, they wisely pulled back from that stance, opting to do so at a later point when the political and economic climate is more conducive.

The question will now shift to whether the Rays can ride the momentum? Will season ticket sales increase? Will those that were bandwagon fans turn into regulars? Certainly the team's first run into the postseason, its core of young marketable platers, and its strong management team offer hope.

Select Read More to see the rest of the Business of Sports Network 2008 MLB Organization of the Year Award, including guest selections, our runner-up and honorable mentions

Runner Up – The Los Angeles Dodgers

If not for the Rays remarkable run, the Dodgers would have almost certainly been our selection this year. As staff member Kurt Hunzeker said, “For the 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming 'relevant' again means everything." With ‘08 marking the 50th anniversary of the club’s relocation to Los Angeles, Frank and Jamie McCourt leveraged the milestone date to the hilt, starting with an exhibition game at the LA Coliseum with the Red Sox that posted the largest single-game attendance in history at 115,300.

But, it was certainly the hiring of Joe Torre in the off-season and bringing in Manny Ramirez late in the season that gave the Dodgers more muscle than they have had in some time. With the moves, the Dodgers won the NL West posting an 84-78 record on the way to sweeping the Cubs in the NLDS.

In terms of franchise value, the Dodgers have been a model of consistency since 2002, ranking as high as 3rd, and locked in as the fourth most valuable club in MLB. The value of the Dodgers has increased 60% over that period of time and should keep heading in that direction as they continue to renovate Dodger Stadium, and look to develop the area around the historic stadium. The Dodgers have launched "Dodger Stadium - The Next 50 Years" which will transform the stadium and surrounding area into what the Dodgers see as a year-round destination.

Other points of interest regarding the Dodgers:

  • The McCourts continued to work their philanthropy through ThinkCure, a charity whose purpose is to raise funds to support cancer research, and whose mission is to find a cure for cancer, including a radio telethon which raised over $160,000.
  • The aforementioned exhibition game at the LA Coliseum was a fund raiser with all gate receipts going to ThinkCure.

Honorable Mentions

Other clubs that received high marks in consideration for Organization of the Year:

Milwaukee Brewers – In MLB’s smallest market, owner Mark Attanasio and the Brewers saw total paid attendance of over 3 million (3,068,458), ranking them 9th out of the 30 clubs for 2008. Throw in the late season acquisition of C.C. Sabathia, which led to the first postseason berth since going to the World Series in 1982, as well as working hard to retain Sabathia now that he has filed for free agency, and the Brewers are proving that small market doesn’t mean small potatoes.

Minnesota Twins – With the departures of GM Terry Ryan, and free agents Johan Santana and Torii Hunter, most saw the Twins as slipping decidedly downward in the standings in 2008. Surprisingly, the Twins very nearly made it to the postseason, forcing a one-game regular season playoff game with the White Sox for the AL Central crown. And while a new stadium for the Twins is now under construction – something that will most assuredly raise the value of the club – the fact that Carl Pohlad, MLB’s richest owner opted to not help fund a roof, moved the Twins slightly down on our list, rather than up.

Guest Contributors Make Their Selection for Best Organization of the Year

With the Business of Sports Network selecting the Tampa Bay Rays as the MLB Organization of the Year, we contacted several notable individuals asking who they viewed as their selection. Our thanks to these individuals for adding their voice:

Kurt Badenhausen, Senior Editor, Forbes:

My pick for MLB Organization of the Year would be the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have a rich history of losing, but they have become consistent winners as one of just three teams with at least 85 wins in each of the past six years (AL East superpowers Red Sox and Yankees are the others). Their young nucleus of Hamels, Rollins and Utley is entering their prime giving the Phils a solid shot at future World Series appearances. The team has kept payroll under $100 million helping the Phillies turn consistent profits at Citizens Bank Park. This season will be the most profitable in team history thanks to their playoff success and record attendance of 3.4 million, fifth highest in baseball.

Tim Lemke – Sports Business Writer, Washington Times:

Granted, it was only a matter of time before the Tampa Bay Rays would start to benefit from all of those high draft picks they acquired for nearly a decade. But no one expected them to go from worst to first in such an impressive fashion. And along the way, team president Matt Silverman and his crew made all the right moves in injecting some excitement into the fan base in Tampa. From the name change, to the Evan Longoria contract to the announcement of a possible new ballpark, the Rays have acted like a professional, aggressive franchise and it's paid off. Not only are the Rays the great story of 2008, but their farm system is still stacked and they've become the model for small-market teams looking to be young, cheap and good. 

Andrew Zimbalist – Sports Economist and Author:

The Rays management is tops for 2008.  Sternberg, Silverman, Friedman et al. made a salutary change in the team’s name, introduced a creative architectural and financing model for a new stadium, rode a modest $43.8 million payroll to first place (from the cellar) and the World Series, and succeeded in raising attendance by 29.8 percent in a very difficult market and a poor stadium.


Business of Sports Network selection of MLB Organization of the Year made before the 2008 postseason.

Guest submissions received the week of October 20.

See The Biz of Baseball Author Profiles page for listing of staff.

Copyright 2008, Bizball LLC

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?