The Tampa Bay Rays are a professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of both the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League Eastern Division and the American League (AL) itself. Since the 1998 season, the Rays have played in Tropicana Field. The team was originally named "The Devil Rays", which was inspired by a common nickname of the Manta ray, but in after the 2007 season, they changed their official name to "The Rays". Tampa Bay made their Major League debut in 1998, where they were an expansion team. For their first ten seasons, Tampa Bay struggled, never had a winning record, and were always fifth in the American League Eastern Division, except for a fourth place finish in the 2004 season. However, Tampa Bay had their best season ever in 2008, when they won their first American League East Division title, defeated the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS, beat the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, but lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series. Tropicana Field was designed rather differently. Nobody who has visited it can ever forget the sight of its slanted roof, for a perfectly good reason: air conditioning. The roof itself was once the world's largest cable-supported domed roof. Only the Georgia Dome, completed in 1992, is larger today. Built to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 115 MPH,. Just beneath the roof are four circular catwalks, which have earned a certain level of infamy from being struck numerous times by batted balls. As such, ground rules were made to govern those occasions. The rings of catwalks have been labeled A, B, C and D. If a ball strikes the inner rings (A, B) in fair territory it is in play and can actually be caught off a deflection for an out. If a ball strikes the outer rings (C, D) in fair territory it is a home run.
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