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Rays jersey changes incoming, reports the Tampa Bay Times

Kevin Cash and Desmond Jennings
Kevin Cash and Desmond Jennings
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In an article on the Rays continuing last year's marketing campaign of "Rays Up," the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the Rays will transition to heavier use of the "burst" logo prominent on the Spring Training gear used this off-season.

Watch for the Rays (sunshine) "burst" graphic that appears on player hats and shirts to gain an even higher profile. "It's kind of our Nike swoosh," says Brian Richeson, Rays vice president of sales and service. Also watch for more "Carolina blue" on Rays uniforms rather than the darker cobalt blue so commonly used by some other teams.

The article incorrectly identifies the light blue color as "Carolina" -- the color is actually "Columbia" blue, which is a shade darker, but the point stands.

In the most recent billboards posted by the Rays, the "Rays" font logo featured on the jersey is completely absent, with Columbia blue the dominant color.

Also dominant is Evan Longoria, which the article discusses at length:

"Evan has been one of our constants of success on the field and is doing some incredible things off the field, too," says Rays senior vice president Mark Fernandez, pointing to the nine-county success of Longoria's popular "Reading with the Rays." The program provides incentives to thousands of kids to read library books.

"We see Evan as our Derek Jeter," adds [Rays marketing vice president Darcy] Raymond, "with that kind of commitment to lead the team."

Longoria is most certainly the face of the franchise, and will continue to be. The only player on the team who rivals his activity in the community is Opening Day starter Chris Archer, who is heavily involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters.

No timetable was given for the changes in uniform, but the expanded use of Columbia Blue and the light burst logo are both logical progressions from what we've seen thus far.