Yesterday we linked to a story that I wrote over at Business Insider in which I speculated that if the Wilpon Family is forced to sell the Mets, Stuart Sternberg could emerge as a candidate to buy the team. In that story I laid out several reasons why I thought the Mets and Sternberg could be a good match.

Well, that story sure caused a sh*t-storm in the interwebs and on the airwaves.

To clarify…I never said Sternberg should sell the Rays. And I certainly never said I want Sternberg to sell the Rays. In fact, most of the piece is written from the perspective of Major League Baseball and the Mets and how Sternberg would be a good match for them.

To me, this is like a University of Florida alum that has coached the University of Houston to six straight bowl games. If the Florida job looks like it is going to come open, people are going to wonder if the Houston coach would get the gig.

But to act like I have offended the delicate sensibilities of a few people is just silly. I really doubt Sternberg was sitting up there in his Westchester home reading RI yesterday and going, “wait a minute, maybe I should buy the Mets!”

Of course some just wanted an excuse to bash me and this site (it is funny how many comments in that thread were written by people that clearly never read the post in question). Which is fine. As a man wiser than me once said, there are two kinds of people who read this site, those that like it and those that really hate it. We cater to those that like it, but we do it for those that hate it.

And others got really offended and wanted to misrepresent what I wrote by speculating (ironic, isn’t it?) about why the piece was written. Which again, is fine. On a side note, it is both funny and sad how every time Jason links to something I wrote he goes out of his way to make sure his readers know that he found the link laying on a sidewalk somewhere and that he never visits my website. Jason, nobody gives a shit, so just shut up.

In the end, if I were a gambling man, I’d say Sternberg is still the owner of the Rays for the foreseeable future. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Wilpon mess gets worse and Sternberg makes a play.

After all, if you were Sternberg, wouldn’t you stop and say to yourself from time-to-time, “Damn, I’m good at this. Imagine what I could do if I had more resources.”



  1. James says:

    Looks like you are the one getting upset about it. Look, if you make an article like the one you wrote and people start believing you, some people are going to look into the matter. And yes, some people tore your idea up. This is not an offense to you, but this is what happened.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      If by “getting upset” you mean snickering like a school girl, then yes, I am clearly upset…I do this because it is fun. If I ever start getting upset about what a couple of kids write on a message board or on a blog that nobody reads, you will never read about it, because that is when I get out of the game.

      • Derek says:

        You cared enough, or were bothered enough, to check on these “kids” and Collette, then attack them personally. Clearly you and them have a childish feud, and the only ones who are snickering are us readers who get to watch this soap opera on a daily basis. hehe. ; ) <- thats my schoolgirl snicker btw. These has become nothing more than a site view war, and its dumb.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          No war. just clarifying my points.

          Rule #2 in blogging: Never write angry.
          Rule #3 in blogging: never punch down a weight class.

          • Joe says:

            Not a war at all. I don’t see Cork making fun of individual readers to his site and trying to blitz on them and make them feel unwanted? All Cork did was analyze a situation and shine a light on something that probably would not get light shined down it otherwise.

          • Derek says:

            Rule #1. Lie.

            This is a blog war. Just a few days ago you made a comment about Eric. You and them have been going at it for a long time now, if somehow drb is a weight class under you, then you should have won this war a long time ago.

          • Cork Gaines says:

            Boy, some of you guys have a twisted view of what a “war” is. I think cockroaches are annoying. I complain when one invades my space. It doesn’t mean I have declared war on roaches.

    • Steve Michaels says:

      Dude, I’ve been reading this site and DRB for years. Today is the first time I have ever heard Prof badmouth Collette. On the other hand, I have seen Collette trash Prof and his site a bunch of times in the DRB comments and on Twitter. He is relentless and obviously has an axe to grind about something. If you have a problem with somebody it should be that guy.

      • sledge says:

        I agree with Steve. I started reading RI regularly when the whole Percival shouting at a kid thing blew up a few years back. I have never noticed a bad word about a specific other blogger. Being curious by nature, I followed Cork’s post and was astounded at what I read from Collette and others on other sites on this subject. All I could think was “what a bunch of babies”.

  2. Gus says:

    DRB is so far up the backside of Stu, that bashing you is a way to further ingratiate themselves to Stu, with the vain hope that he’ll give them a job one day. DRB analysis is worth reading (even the ongoing defense of BJ Upton’s greatness), usually, but like a Keith Olbermann commentary, you have to know where they are coming from.

    As a Rays fan long before Stu came into the picture, and one who will be a Rays fan long after he is gone (be it next year or in 30 years), you have to be realisitic. The guy is a New Yorker and a Mets guy (just like we are Rays guys and gals) and that is where his heart is. The Wilpons are probably toast, and MLB is going to want to get a trustworthy owner into one of their crown jewels. There is no doubt Stu would be interested and MLB would be interested in him (what owner has done more with less than him; what owner takes home net profits like him?); he’d be crazy not to be interested. Just a question of how he could make a deal work. I guess he can ask John Henry for some tips on how he went from the Marlins to the Red Sox (Henry would be more than glad to get him out of the AL East).

  3. David Bloom says:

    As one of the first Rays bloggers and the original wriiter at DRaysBay I have supported Collette and his work. The goal when I first started the site I hoped. It would be an open community for all ideas when the team did get good. The site has become an unmoderated site where the tone is immaturity. Before yesterday I thought Collette was beyond that. The blogosphere is about engaging new ideas, promoting others work, and so on. Over years Cork has linked to peoples work and built this site upp from scratch to a huge site. Like I said yesterday I align more with this site now. As a result of questioning if RJ Anderson is a pen name or a legitimate single person or people I get bad mouthed by Jason. My communications from here on out will no longer include Collette and DRB either. I lost a lot of respect for Jason or maybe I just realized what he is all about.

  4. sledge says:

    Cork – lots of us love your stuff. Your loyal readers didn’t need the clarifications. Intelligent people avoid the name-calling rhetoric that gets spewed from the Olberman’s and the Beck’s of the world for a reason except for entertainment value. If we are wrong and you are in this for the money and ratings, then name calling and similar antics to play to your base would make sense. But, if you are in this for the fun and to provide a real objective look at topics relevant to the Rays to your followers, then keep doing what you are doing. While I understand the annoyance, resist the temptation to get dragged in to their level.

    • Derek says:

      Name calling: “Olbermans and Becks of the world”

      I took out the apostrophes and spelled Olbermann right for you.

      You shouldnt judge people for name calling by calling those people names, also Cork and several others have done plenty of name calling, which you failed to notice I guess…

  5. One of the keys the DRaysBay guys like to bring up is that you don’t speculate without facts. Ok, when making strategic moves to win a game based on points, that’s a good idea. But people’s financial moves generally don’t follow that. Buy or selling a baseball team is usually an emotional experience – especially for the reasons Cork was advocating. Emotional actions are irrational. And besides, usually your worst case scenario is the most out of the box illogical one. I believe those are called black swans. Now you won’t be surprised if it does happen. Not that I think it will.
    Anyway, good job kicking the beehive, Cork.

    • Derek says:

      Im not sure what to say to this, other than your’e 100% incorrect. Im not sure if your’e most expensive purchase is a blue wig or not, but investing in a sports team is about as far from an emotional knee jerk as it gets.

  6. Joe says:

    This is a sad episode and I was caught in the middle of it. How Cork may feel about the Rays and how I feel about the Rays is a different story. I admit, I want Stu to sell the club, only because I think, MY OPINION, that his intentions are not what is best for the Pinellas and Hillsborough county areas. I think Stu has had problems with his “message” ever since the waterfront proposal went down hill and has enjoyed rather fun coverage from the mainstream and yes, DRB.

    Having said that, Cork’s logic is rational. And what anyone else believes or wants compared to what I believe and want are two different things. I have gotten the strong whiff of belief that Stu is starting to go down the same road as Vince where he will only go as far as what attendance is at the gate (notwithstanding the outstanding TV numbers his team generates).

    The point is, that Cork made a reasoned argument. I followed some of that up with my own circumstances and knowledge about the situation. Yes, I am human and I have held certain situations and consequences against Stu that perhaps you wouldn’t.

    Blogs and writers also should not be taking out their frustration against individuals. No names here, but the fact that certain select individuals wanted to shut other commenters up and smash them while saying it isn’t personal is flat out wrong.

    Stuart Sternberg has done wonders for the team since the days of Vince. But I believe he can’t be the owner, because of his actions, and he will have to change. He has to change his candor with fans, he has to know what kind of fans he has, and he has to know that the process to build a fans base, the Rays Army, is a multiyear multistep process, and just delivering something and expecting the world is not a logical course of action.

    I share the feelings of Gus. It does not mean I am not a fan of the Rays team, I most certainly am. I just don’t like the bashing, and Stu should be the FIRST person to stop that, and he is the one I think encouraging it the most.

    There are good people and there are bad people. Good writers and bad, and sometimes you agree with people and then you disagree. And that is fine. Don’t make it PERSONAL. It’s not personal between me and Stu Sternberg, rather than the fact I can’t see his future view of the team being that of something that will sustain 30,000 fans a night at the Trop or wherever…

    • Derek says:

      The fact that attendance has risen each year doesnt matter? Look, Stu knew what he was getting into when he bought into the Rays. Now that it is beginning to look like what us fans had always hoped for, you really think he will just walk away? Him and his people have turned this team and ballpark around, if you dont think thats whats best for the area, then I dont know what to tell you. Im not sure if joe knows business, but now is the worst time to get out of Tampa. You dont buy a business then run after you turn it around. The future is bright for this team, and for the Citys around it.

      • Joe says:

        You’re right….Attendance did rise every season up until last. Yet Stu expected even more. I equate it to the glass half empty versus the glass half full. The process is going to take longer than what he thought, but it doesn’t mean letting off of the gas or easing back.

        Maybe you are giving Stu a little too much credit here? The process and the road to travel is a hard and arduous one, not an easy one. There are other positive indicators about the Rays’ fanbase. I just am not a fan of the counterintuition.

        • Derek says:

          Asking fans to come to games, and packing up his things and leaving are two different things. Im not giving him too much credit. Him and his team turned the Rays around, turned a warehouse into a decent place to see a game and have done almost everything they can to get people in the seats. Wanting him to leave is the last thing we should want, and I think its the last thing he wants. You insane speculations are insane, and Ive seen no indication that he wants out. If im giving him too much credit, then youre not giving him enough benefit of the doubt. I see no reason for him to change, as he has giving you everything he has ever promised.

  7. Joe says:

    Communication. That is a simple word isn’t it? People major in it in school and you can get post graduate degrees in that field. This bashing and the sides pro and con have now came here to fan sites. I admit that I have perceived as angry (which I am not). It all began for me when Stu Sternberg was talking about payroll a year into the future almost a year ago to this day and saying that for whatever reason, payroll would go down in 2011! What a freaking buzzkill!! And again, I was not alone in that. Fans other than myself were perturbed by that comment. What did Stu Sternberg positively gain by making that comment? I contend he shot himself in the foot doing that.

    And then you wonder about the fiasco of what turned out to be the final home game of the season. Again, why even open up about it? You got some people thinking that the even was an orchestrated litmus test just to see fan reaction to the club? On the surface, it was a positive gesture, but the undertones are something that he and Matt Silverman could take plausible deniability over, and I find that to be repulsive.

    The mere fact that Stu is having resistance with the City of St. Petersburg at this time and other political partners within Pinellas County are wrinkles to his plan. I don’t even know what Stu thinks what his endgame will be with this or how he wants to get there! Who is going to pay to break that lease? The taxpayers? MLB? City? The other city? Counties? We aren’t even talking dollars yet to build a park, which is why right now things are of a concern to me.

    Stu unfairly to me raised the stakes of the importance of 2010, knowing his baseball operations people said that “no one year is more important than another”. And we wind up with Brad Hawpe? I am trying to reconcile that still in my mind and wonder if Stu is happy to be competitive and play meaningful Septembers or win World Championships where sometimes you may have to step a little out of your philosophy but not break your back doing it.

    It’s complicated….But I care and am passionate. And I care positively. I see all sides and everyone has something positive to bring. I just wish I could see Stu COMMUNICATE a little more and a little more effectively.

    • Derek says:

      ” I don’t even know what Stu thinks what his endgame will be with this or how he wants to get there!”

      I think that right there sums up your posts and this whole mess.

      Everything you said is speculation or worst case scenario. Instead of looking for every possible reason to hate them man, why dont you enjoy two ALE champ banners, all after how many years of sub .500 seasons? Brad hawpe scored us a draft pick. As did Qualls, but hey, if fans went to games we wouldnt have to spend so much time worrying about the future.

      • Joe says:

        I do enjoy the division titles. But I also want to win World Championships. Isn’t it your goal in life to be Undisputed Numero Uno, Number One?! Don’t you play to win the World Series? How much would one taste right about now?

        • Derek says:

          I also understand to reach any goal you must take the right steps. I.E. going to college, signing guys for half a mill so you can get a draft pick for them when they sign elsewhere, buying a share of a sports team and doing everything needed to make it a success.

          Theres a difference between building a team that wins one title, and one that hangs banners every year. Im ok with losing in the ALDS, because I know we will have another shot this year, and the year after. One of these times we will win the world series, because in the playoffs anything can happen. I.E. seahawks, greenbay… 16-1 patriots.

    • Derek says:

      Also, majoring in Comm is worthless. The same can be said for majoring in Psych. Dont do it kids, youre just wasting your parents money.

  8. John says:

    As someone who didn’t follow this story when it broke and is just catching up on it now, this is fascinating to me. You know, in a car wreck sort of way.

    I haven’t read the original, and I probably won’t. If there has been any indication from ownership that Stu might be interesting in the Mets, or selling the Rays, then I suppose it is a legit story. But if this is just idle speculation about what Stu MIGHT do…well, then it is either an irresponsible story or a silly story. I can’t decide which. On one hand, I don’t care what somebody else thinks Stu might do. Or the other, a lot of people DO care what somebody else might think, and it sort of poisons the well of public opinion. Which Stu is quite capable of doing all by himself; he doesn’t need any help.

    As for the blog war: as someone who reads both sites in question, the back-and-forth over the last couple years is just really silly. And like I always told my kids, I don’t care who started it. I only care that it is annoying.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      “But if this is just idle speculation about what Stu MIGHT do…well, then it is either an irresponsible story or a silly story.”

      So if I speculate that the Rays will trade James Shields this summer, is that irresponsible or silly? What if I speculate about the starting lineup or what Sternberg will let the payroll be in 2012? What if I speculate that Sternberg will move the Rays if he doesn’t get a new stadium financed? All of that would be speculation without the Rays or Stu having said anything. So by your definition they would be “irresponsible” or “silly” stories. And if that is the case, then you must think 50% of sports journalism is “irresponsible” or “silly.”

      • John says:

        Stories about who might get traded, or which free agents we might pursue, are not idle speculation. First of all, those sorts of things are regular occurrences; buying & selling franchises are not. Second, this organization is always looking to improve itself. They have shown pretty clearly that they will at least entertain offers for anyone, and will pull the trigger if they think the price is right. Payroll is not actually speculation at all. We know what Stu has said about payroll, and we know what guys are under contract and for how much. So, no. Those types of stories would not be idle speculation.

        And frankly, that you think this story and those examples are analogous does not speak well of you, Cork.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          “Stories about who might get traded, or which free agents we might pursue, are not idle speculation”

          They absolutely can be. And writers do it all the time. Go read MLBTradeRumors for a day, a site I used to write for. They always are linking to writers that are simply speculating on where a player might sign or how much they might make or who might be traded. Sometimes they have sources and sometimes they are just SPECULATING. And how often they occur should have absolutely no factor in this.

          How many times has a writer speculated about what will happen with the Rays stadium situation? Have you never seen a story where somebody speculates that a team might move or that a team might be sold if A or B doesn’t happen? This happens all the time. And if you can’t see that, it does not speak well of you. Because that means you simply are out to judge me differently than every other writer that has done the SAME THING.

        • Steve Michaels says:

          John, you gotta chill out. you obviously don’t watch shows like Around the Horn or PTI or listen to just about any sports radio show in the country. All they do is speculate on shit like this.

          Cork, don’t sweat it. There is nothing wrong with what you wrote. The other 99.9% of us get it.

  9. Mike says:

    So tell us John, how often must something have to occur for it to be ok to speculate on? I mean so far, no proven steroid users have come eligible for the hall of fame. Are we not allowed to speculate on whether they will get in or not?

    And maybe we had an idea about the 2011 payroll, but what about the 2012 payroll? I guess Cork is not allowed to write about that because Stu hasn’t said what it will be yet?

    Do you think Sternberg is really going to own the Rays forever? No? So you admit there is a very good chance that he is going to sell the team at some point. Or is that too much speculation for you? Or is that you just dont approve of speculating when it might happen? What a joke.

    • Joe says:

      Mike, very ironic talking about 2012 payroll in 2011. When Stu opened up about 2011 payroll almost a year ago today, that is when Stu really hurt himself, besides his editorial board comments and his comments in New York later that summer about hitting the lottery.

      Speculating is forming an educated guess based off of facts and/or given information on past history. Anything else is going down that murky dark water. Speculating is NOT just throwing something up there for the sake of it. Again, John, this is sound stuff. It doesn’t mean that it will happen, but it does pass the smell test based off of other information.

    • KG says:

      Easy there Mike. Did you first check with John to make sure it was ok to speculate on what we can speculate on?

  10. Preston says:

    Cork I love you.

  11. John says:

    I’m out. Have fun in the echo chamber.

  12. John says:

    Yeah, I know I said I was out. But it just occurred to me what this story is EXACTLY like. It’s not like speculated about payroll, or who’s going to get traded. It’s like speculating that Evan Longoria’s performance in day games suffers because he routinely gets wasted at all-night parties.

    Stories about who comes & goes? Those are all in good fun, even if there is no basis in fact. Stories that damage people or organizations that I care about? Not in good fun. Bring some facts beyond the fiction in your head, or don’t write the story. Get an interview with someone in organization, get a quote from the Mets, or MLB. Get something. Don’t just make shit up and say ‘well, it makes sense, doesn’t it? It could happen!!!’ And Obama could be a secret Kenyan Muslim too. (But then, Don probably already believes that one, so maybe that’s not a good analogy for RI readers.)

    Now I’m out.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      This is where you are absolutely wrong. Two things:

      1. What “shit” exactly did I make up? First of all, you already said you never read the original story, so how do you even know what is in it. But on the off-chance you did go back and read it, tell me what I made up? Everything in that story is either 100% accurate, or it is my opinion. Which leads to the second point.

      2. I am not a journalist. In fact, I am a molecular biologist that happens to write a baseball blog. Do i interview people from time-to-time? Yep. But that’s not my job. There are other people that are paid to go out and get the answers to the questions. And some of them do a damn good job about it. I am a blogger. And a good chunk of blogging is raising questions, and debating issues. Did Sternberg ever give an indication that he was going to sell the team? Nope. But who cares? I think it is worthy topic to discuss. A journalist in New York told me that this has been Stu’s plan from the beginning. There are other people out there that think Sternberg is gone if the stadium deal doesn’t get resolved soon. These are all legitimate concerns and questions that I choose to discuss here in this BLOG. And to think that this somehow “damages” Sternberg or the Rays is just beyond crazy. It is a BLOG. It is a discussion. It is a question that a lot of people were whispering, and I was the one that broached the subject in a bigger forum. I am very sorry that this somehow offends you. But I think it is worthwhile topic to discuss and will continue to broach topics whether you are afraid to talk about them or not.

      I’m sorry to see you go, but I am not about to change what I have been doing around here for the last 5 years.

    • Steve Michaels says:

      “And Obama could be a secret Kenyan Muslim too. ”

      How is that analogous? There is evidence that Obama is not a Kenyan Muslim. Prof isn’t arguing that Stu used to be a secret Mets owner. He is speculating on something that could happen in the future. Which is what people do about things that haven’t happened yet. A better analogy would be “Will Obama Ask Tim Kaine to run for the vacant senate seat in Virginia?” Something neither Obama nor Kaine has indicated would happen. In fact, Kaine said he doesn’t want to run. And yet the New York Times still felt it was OK to speculate on the subject…

      If it is OK for the New York Times, I think it is OK for Rays Index

  13. Maisie Tourtellotte says:

    OK, I have to stick up for you this time Jeff. I will have to say Ft. Worth is absolutely NOT the lesser half of DFW. As someone who has lived in the METROPLEX my entire life, I have to say I much prefer the character of Ft. Worth over the Cosmo quality of Dallas. Personal opinion, I know, but some of the people I know from Dallas just really need to get over themselves.

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