Best Of 2005

BEST NEWSPAPER STORY (FACTUAL): The St. Pete Times’ ‘What Went Wrong’ series

For a week in March, the Times stepped away from decades of boostering for Major League Baseball and used the occasion of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ 10th birthday to take a cold, unflinching look at what went wrong with the sorriest franchise in town (and, little spurts of quality play excepted, probably all of pro sports). The D-Rays suffer from poor ownership, horrible player personnel decisions, bad luck, institutional baseball problems and a market that hasn’t supported the sport, the series found. Kudos to writers Marc Topkin, Damian Cristodero, Gary Shelton and Louis Hau.