Stuart Sternberg has a meeting with St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster scheduled for January 17. And Sternberg is hoping that this isn’t just a chit-chat session (via Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune)…
“I’m going to talk to him, and if he’s got something to chat about other than normal chatting that would be great. If not, it will still be fine,” Sternberg said. “It’s always good to communicate.”
And herein lies a problem. Sternberg is content to sit back and hope that the Mayor will budge and cave to the Rays demands.
Hey, we understand. Being the aggressor and appearing desperate rarely leads to the best deal possible. And Sternberg and Co. are always about maximizing their return. But this isn’t like waiting for another team to blow the Rays away for one of their starting pitchers.
At this point, there is no reason for Mayor Foster to loosen his stance. The city of St. Pete already has the Rays. And they have a contract. At some point, it would seem that the Rays will need to start being more aggressive. And that means more than just hoping the Mayor will do more than chit-chat. And it means leading the conversation, not just hoping the mayor will do it for you.
If there is a good sign (or a bad one depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person), it is that it sounds like the rest of Major League Baseball is starting to get antsy.
According to Sternberg, “the owners of the 29 other teams have turned up the volume this offseason concerning the club’s stadium issue.”
There is revenue sharing in baseball, and right now the Rays are not generating very much. Other owners may be looking at the product on the field and wondering why MLB isn’t making more money off one of their best products.
And that may be all it takes to finally get the ball rolling.