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Rays, Bulls extend deal through 2010

Posted Apr 15, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Apr 15, 2008 at 01:39 PM

Here’s the press release from the Bulls:

The Durham Bulls and Tampa Bay Rays today announced a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract, extending the relationship through the 2010 season. The Rays have been the only parent club the Bulls have had since coming to the International League in 1998 and the relationship is the fifth longest in the league.

“The Rays have been a very good organization for us to be a part of, filling our rosters with players that have won two championships and six division titles in 10 years,” Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said, “Looking at all the improvements the current ownership has made with their team and with their relationship with the Tampa area, I think there are a lot of positives in being with the Rays.”

While the parent club in Tampa Bay has struggled since its inception, the Bulls have had a remarkable run of post-season appearances and record attendance. The Bulls have seven post-season appearances (1998-2000, 2002-2004, 2007), six South Division titles (1998-2000, 2002-2003, 2007) and back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003. The team has also recorded season paid attendance marks of over 500,000 five times, the only times in their 105-year history.

“We are proud and honored to have our long association with the Durham Bulls Baseball Club. They have been outstanding hosts to our players over the years,” Rays Minor League Operations Director Mitch Lukevics said.

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