Stuart Sternberg must have found a cheap mid-week flight from New York to attend last night’s game against the Red Sox. The owner that says he has lost between $10 and $100 million since taking over the Rays insists the team will be able to add players if that will help them reach the playoffs

“By any means necessary. We’ll do whatever; money won’t be an object. Players are always an object for us. And the money will be an impediment, but we’ll figure it out if it makes all the sense in the world for this team…We’re well beyond stretched (payroll-wise), but for me, personally, this is a very special year, it’s a special team, can be a special team, and we’re going to do whatever we can, whatever’s necessary, to try to give us the best opportunity to win this year.”

So money “won’t be an object” and it will “be an impediment”? What does that even mean? Silly double-speak.

Sternberg also suggested that the team won’t mortgage too much of their future by trading prospects…

“We’re all very competitive and want to give ourselves the best chance to play as deep as we can this year,” Sternberg said. “But, and it’s a big but, it costs a lot of money to do that, as it has, and we have resources with players that we have to be cognizant of … what it means to our future.”

So money will be an impediment and the Rays will hold on tight to their top prospects. In other words, this year will likely end up just like year’s past. That is, we will hear rumors of the Rays acquiring big names (e.g. Cliff Lee), but the Rays will balk when the other team tries to negotiate.

 
 

17 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Never thought I’d see a baseball owner channeling Malcolm X (“By any means necessary?”)

  2. John S says:

    I thought the Rays was one of the more profitable teams in the league?

    If that is the case how is that possible?

    We don’t spend anything and we don’t bring that much in attendance, but the revenue is supposed to be big?

  3. Scot says:

    I fail to see which type of players the Rays need to add. If the bullpen were failing as expected, that would be one place. But recently, it has been a couple starting pitchers which should and will be one of the Rays strength. Hence no need to pay for players there. As for the blackhole of SS, it could be upgraded by leaving Reid Brignac in place. For all the complaints about Jaso, defensive stats suggest he has not been below average. And certainly he his well above average for his bat. Joyce appears to have patience at the plate and could allow Zobrist to move to 2b or anywhere else. And there is no point in upgrading CF. It would be too expensive and the benefits would be minimal.

    Apparently people don’t realize that Rays are still one of the top 3 teams in baseball. The only problem is that the other two teams are in the same division. So far – a very exciting season.

    • Connie says:

      I think we could use a big slugger. Pena is too inconsistent.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I think adding a Cliff Lee makes sense because he is certainly a big upgrade over Wade Davis. But if Lee falls through I don’t see anybody else that significantly improves the rotation.

      I can also see the Rays looking into upgrading the DH spot, but I wouldn’t blame them if they were gun-shy at that position.

      • Manny Ramirez would look good in that light blue Sunday jersey.

      • Mike says:

        I can’t imagine we could get Lee without giving up Hellboy, Davis or Jennings plus someone else and I wouldn’t want to give up several years with those guys for a few months of Cliff Lee, even if he is the best pitcher in the AL. We can win the series with the team we have. We just need Shields and Garza to remember how to pitch and we will be in great shape. We only need 4 pitchers in the playoffs anyway so Davis is unlikely to get a start. We would essentially be taking either Shields, Garza, or Nieman out of the postseason rotation and putting Lee in their place. Lee is an upgrade over those guys, but not a big enough one to give up several years of cheap young talent.

  4. Thad says:

    Stu talks a big game about “fiscal restraint”, “budgets”, “borrowing from the future”, but when it comes down to it:

    A) He’s a really rich dude that has really deep pockets (not endless, but deep within reason)
    B) He grew up in Brooklyn, NOT the Bronx and relishes the idea of clipping the Bombers any chance he can get
    C) He has a fiscally responsible exec staff in place AND a budget AND a plan for the future, BUT it’s HIS team and he can break any budget he wants
    D) He’s already broken MOST of his “we have to cut back next year” promises. After year one, every talking head was on his case for comments that payroll WASN’T going to go up an yet payroll has gone up EVERY single year since he’s owned the team.
    E) He has to publicly maintain an appearance of fiscal constraints (see New Stadium Debate and Upcoming Contract Negotitations), but if he wants to cough up another $10 million OVER BUDGET to win a World Series out of his own pocket, he can do whatever he wants.
    F) Remember that the extra gate receipts from EVERY playoff home game makes a difference in the overall “BUDGET”, so spending an extra to GET to the playoffs might actually pay for itself with a decent run IN the playoffs.
    G) They won’t mortgage the ENTIRE future of the organization, but for whatever reason (Crawford, Pena, Soriano) they are pretty clear that they see THIS year as THE year to make a push, especially with a chance now to put some distance on the Sox.

    None of this guarantees, the Rays are REALLY in the hunt for Lee, but I can guarantee that if they DON’T land him it’s not about the money.

  5. Justin says:

    Stu is full of it–he claims between 10 and 100 million dollars. That’s a HUGE range there. Couldn’t be any more specific there, Stu? Bull.

    He knows exactly how much he has lost (or gained), and is gaming the public with the above statement. He could tell us exactly how much he’s lost, but I suspect he’s talking about opportunity cost, or what he thinks he could have made elsewhere, which is not the Rays’ fault at all.

    Nor is it the fans’, so stop the guilt train, Stu.

    • Joe says:

      Welcome to my world and how I think of things….Good to see another member on board :) I get no satisfaction, but Stu Sternberg is the first time winner of the “Open Your Mouth Wide and Stick Your Own Foot In It Award” for 2010..

      I have talked in depth about opportunity cost, let anyone tell you. It is not a “loss” in the pure sense but the loss of potential income based off of decisions and choices.

  6. Don says:

    What..no one here ever hear of creative accounting…If SS says he “lost” $10-100mil…he probably did on paper…so it is in big business..to cut out Uncle Sam..
    But you can’t knock SS for paying “pick up” players …remember Burrell, Sorr. I’ll chip in for Cliff Lee…after all I pay $8.00 a beer all night….whats a few million extra… for superman (pitcher)!

  7. matt says:

    Forget about getting Lee. I just read that the M’s want two blue chip prospects and another young player. Even if they offered Upton, I’d still say Hellickson would have to go and I’d rather have him for the future then Lee for one season.

  8. robert says:

    It’s time to resign Pat Burrell. Actually, if you could get Cliff Lee for the second half, losing Upton, Garza, and a youngster (not HellBoy) and win this thing, why not? Garza fully lost my respect the other night in Boston getting bombed by of all people some guy named (Floyd) Patterson. He should of no-hit the team the depleted Red Sox put on the field.

  9. robert says:

    and if any one is interested, I make between a penny and a 1,000 dollars a week. Just saying, in the spirit of Stu disclosing his losses….

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