If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Think of RI as “Tampa Bay Rays 101.”
However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that many of our wishes came true. Many did not. If we can get a couple of more this year, the Rays might just win it all.
Without further ado…
On the twelfth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, 12 ACRES IN DOWNTOWN TAMPA…
1) We have no problem with the Rays staying in St. Pete or Pinellas County. But all signs point to the Rays not wanting to be in St. Pete. And while we think the Rays can survive in Pinellas we believe Tampa is the best-possible scenario for the future of the franchise.
2) If the choice is selling the team to an outside bidder (and who thinks Stuart Sternberg is going to be loyal to the area and look for a local owner or even limit the bidding on the team to local bidders? That ain’t happening), we pick Tampa.
3) Yes, other areas in Tampa/Hillsborough may work. But if the team is going to move, then let’s do it right this time. Don’t pick the second-best scenario just because it is a little cheaper or because it might also pull in Orlando people or your cousins in Ocala. Pick the spot that is best for the majority of the people in the region. And that means Channelside. Make the park iconic and scenic. Incorporate it into the nightlife and the Aquarium, and the [whatever name it is this week] Forum.
4) If a deal on a new stadium is not reached on a new stadium by the end of this year, we are all in trouble.