By Robbie Knopf

TBD. That was the three-letter abbreviation for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998 until 2008. What else does it stand for? To be decided or to be determined.

Entering 2008, the Rays were still deciding what their franchise was going to be. Would they be just another boring franchise that didn’t make the playoffs for its first couple of decades of existence? Would they invest the time and effort to make it a winning team? Everything was still up in the air. In 2008, all the efforts came to fruition. The Rays decided that they were going to stop smugly sitting in the AL East cellar, accepting their fate. They were going to go for it all- not just for one year but for every year. The Rays lost the 2008 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies. But it just made us hungry for more.

Over the weekend, the Rays return to Philadelphia to face off with the Phillies. Things have changed. The Rays are in the thick of AL East race and currently sit in the AL’s second wild card spot while the Phillies are 5 games under .500 and 9 games back in the NL East. The Rays should win this series and it will be embarrassing if they don’t. Expectations have changed. And despite all the obstacles in front of them, the Rays have to take advantage.