Stuart Sternberg spoke up. St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster got pissed.
Then Sternberg did something we did not see coming. He basically called Tampa-St. Pete a crappy baseball market…
“If I were just coming into this, and you dropped me in the middle of the United States, this isn’t going to be one of the top five markets that doesn’t have baseball,” Sternberg said. “But we’re here. Our fans are here.”
Wait, you say. There are five markets better than this one? Five empty markets?
“Yes,” Sternberg said.
“At least five,” he said.
There are places he could move, Sternberg said, where the Rays would be among baseball’s best 10 markets. However, he says, he is thinking about only Tampa Bay.
Did you see what he did there? Sternberg just threatened to move without actually threatening to move. If this were a Spaghetti Western, Clint Eastwood just pulled his coat aside to make sure the bad guy saw his gun.
Remember folks, the contract keeping the Rays in The Trop, is also the only thing keeping the Rays in Florida. Keep that in mind if this ever goes to court.
And you gotta love the Beautiful Girls tone of the above statement: Hey,you’re not a supermodel, but I guess I’ll marry you anyway. Sternberg would rather be in “at least” five other cities. But he’ll take Tampa, because it is better than the alternative.
And just like that, we went from Sternberg making a statement confirming everything we already knew to something that escalated quickly…We mean, that really got out of hand fast. It jumped up a notch.
When does Matt Silverman kill somebody with a trident?