MLB Message: Make Stu Happy

April 4th, 2016

SternbergThe Rays’ stadium situation — and the future of Major League Baseball in Tampa Bay — has gained positive momentum after years of tug of war between St. Petersburg and the local ballclub.

Still, found in Opening Day’s pomp and pageantry were words of caution from two men who matter.

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred held court Sunday at the FruitDome, both providing a State of Tampa Bay Baseball. Although their overall message was optimistic, Sternberg offered a glimpse into how support for the market has eroded within the league’s halls.

Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune fought through the bunting and big crowds to listen to the Rays’ boss:

“They’re as committed as they can be … but less committed than I am,” Sternberg said. “But they want it to work. If it can work in Tampa Bay, we’re going to get something done. I’m still of the belief baseball can succeed down here and prosper. I think people believe it could, but unfortunately, the support has waned over the last five or six years.”

That’s no surprise, given that Tampa Bay’s attendance woes are a well-beaten horse. Still, Sternberg’s words highlight how vital it is for the Rays to secure a new stadium here without any political hitches.

Manfred said MLB remains committed to the market as long as Sternberg is. Reading between the lines, the message for the region’s politicos is clear: Make Sternberg happy. (For what it’s worth, Manfred said the Rays need a future home that’s more “centrally located.”)

The clock is ticking, and this tightrope act has only begun.

One Response to “MLB Message: Make Stu Happy”

  1. ndog Says:

    This is going to be a long crappy year for this team. They gave up defense for offense. Now they just have no offense or defense. Game two and it is clear this team will not complete with the good teams.


Leave a Reply