Matt Silverman appeared on the “Happy Hour with JP Peterson” show. They discussed a number of topics including the stadium situation. But when the topic of payroll came up, Silverman’s answer showed just how far the it is from St. Pete to the Bronx and Boston. During the discussion, Silverman said the Rays are “certainly spending an uncomfortable amount of money.”  That’s right, $64.3 million is “uncomfortable.” What do you think he would call $150 million? Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Listen to the entire interview here: []



  1. mrTr0ut says:

    When Stu, Silverman, and Andrew make comments about being scared about the amount of money they spend, I can’t help but think they’re crying wolf. There’s always a risk when spending that much money, but these guys are smart. I just don’t believe they impulsively spend money they can’t afford to spend…or who knows, maybe they are just for the sake of showing St Pete they can’t afford to play there.

    • s says:

      you’re dead on about this. stu is a businessman more than he is a baseball fan. there’s no way he’s overspending on his investment. the returns are there.

      they’ve fibbed about losing money in the past and that was brought to light by the deadspin leaks. this is just another tactic in the stadium game.

      cork, are there other teams out there that whine about how much they’re spending on a yearly basis? this is getting so old it’s not funny. they need to just shutup about the payroll. they chose to keep upton, shields, and sign pena.

      we could have gotten equal talent for upton for a lot less money and i’m not sure that shields will EVER have the season he had last year. all you hear about upton is his defense. is it really all that? he plays an extremely short center, which leads to a bunch of over the head catches. it looks good, but if he play a regular center, then it would look routine. by playing short, he gets killed on line drives over his head. let’s also be honest, his arm is questionable(with the exception of one huge throw last year).

      sorry… lost track there, back to the post. the marlins cried wolf and said year after year that they were losing money, and got exactly what they wanted. basically they lied their asses off. now the rays are following down the same path. in this economy, businessment and investors are looking for a sure thing. if building a new stadium was truly that, and it guaranteed ANY profit, then there would be offer after offer on the table for the rays. paying off st pete would be nothing more than signing the check.

      i promise you this, IF they are given a new stadium, 5 years after it’s built and the royals are in town on a tuesday night, there will be less than 15K in the stands. so matt, stu, and andy, worry more about marketing your team in a positive manner. because nobody wants to hear millionaires poormouth themselves. besides if you actually filled the stands at the trop by marketing you asses off, then you really wouldn’t need a new stadium, would you?

      • J 2.0 says:

        You are an idiot if you think that marketing will fill the stands.

      • Tom says:

        The Deadspin doc’s showed they were making a profit ONLY after they received profit sharing.

        • s says:

          the welfare program is never going to end. if so, say goodbye to the A’s, marlin’s, pirates, padres, rays and a couple of more. that ain’t gonna happen.

          do you honestly think that stu is going to dump an extra $25 million into the payroll with no guarantees? he’s not losing money with a $65 million payroll, don’t be foolish.

          say we win another AL east? where’s the extra returns? a modest bump in ticket sales the next year? the “new” has worn off of our winning, gone are the days of the runs on playoff tickets and huge deposits on next years season tickets.

      • Jason C says:

        Upton’s arm strength is not questionable. His accuracy might be at times, but he has an absolute canon. He plays a short center because Maddon WANTS him to play a short center. By playing short, Upton turns guaranteed singles into pop-outs.

        • s says:

          agreed, his arm strength is good but his accuracy is pretty bad. and yes, routine popups are outs, but routine line drives are doubles. long flyouts are a wash.

          and i’ll admit, i’m not sabermetrics guru. upton supposedly produces somewhere around 4 games WAR? is that correct? does getting thrown out while making a stupid base running mistake factor into this? or getting sit down due to lack of hustle? seriously are these somehow calculated into that number? are there numbers for “what if”? how about numbers for other teamates reaming you out for not trying? for every positive on upton, there’s a negative. is he honestly worth 1/8th of our payroll?

  2. s says:

    producing a winner sure won’t!!!! raising ticket prices sure won’t!!!! look at what the dodgers are doing to boost season tickets. slashing prices!!

    they’re not trying to fill the stands. they love the press that we receive about empty seats. it free advertising for a new stadium or a new city. there is something completely wrong about this when a outfield or upper level seat in LA is drastically cheaper than in the trop. if you want to boost attendance, then the cheapest seats are where you look to draw the fans.

    once again, they make a profit drawing nothing, and get free ads on espn, and selig tries to tighten the screws on our area. THEY COULD CARE LESS ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOW UP AT THE TROP!! if they sell it out, or put anywhere near capacity in it, then it completely puts the new stadium on the backburner. if you think they are going balls out in marketing and actually trying to put asses in the seats, then you are the idiot. they are more interested in milking the seats sold vs. actually selling the place out.

    • Tom says:

      Joe, Did you change yor screen name?

      • s says:

        not hardly.

        like i said tom, if they want to FILL the stands, then slash prices in the upper levels and outfield. they would make more off of parking, and concessions and the price difference would be offset by the tickets sold. but they have ZERO interest in doing that. because then attendance wouldn’t be on the front page.

        Tom, do you not think there’s an issue when you can buy an outfield or upper level seat in LA much cheaper than the trop? especially when the owner and management are non-stop whining about people not showing up? sorry but then not truly caring about selling the place out is the only logical reason for this.

        • Tom says:

          Do you have an evidence to support your assertion that slashing pries in the outfield and upper levels would increase profit due to more tickets sold, more concessions, and greater parking revenues?

      • J 2.0 says:

        Ok for one thing, the team is still only 13 years old. So the fan base has to age with the team. Most Rays fans will be young because the fossils that move down here still cheer for their teams. I mean I go to games against Baltimore or Kansas City or Cleveland and see a lot of people in those teams colors. Thats just people being a–holes because they think they are making a statement.

        Building a winner in a stadium that is centralized in its population is the answer. All these people from Boston and New York like to talk about how they would drive an hour and half to watch a game. Well we have people like that too. We just have less people, as in population. The population of Tampa is what? 350,000? The greater metro area has what 2.5 million? And our population is very spread out. Our stadium is in an extreme corner when you compare it to rest of our population. It needs to be centralized. It’s not rocket science. Stu is right. They need a new stadium it is the elephant in the room.

        • s says:

          is raymond james centralized? yes, no bridge, yet no fans. coming off a 10-6 season(winner) yet no one showed up. why? overpriced tickets in a very bad economy in an area that is full of transplant fans that won’t drop their hometown allegience.

          so yeah let’s dump $750 million on a new stadium in the worst economy since the depression. for what? so 15K can show up on a tuesday night against the royals after the new wears off. that’s absurd. the glazers hosed this entire area. the marlins hosed miami. so lets bend over for stu.

          he bought the team knowing about the lease, knowing that producing winners in this state(marlins) didn’t guarantee attendence, and is still turning a profit. so why should ANY taxpayer money go toward a new stadium? like i said, if it was profitable to for the builder of the stadium, then private investors would be beating down the door.

          $4 gas, huge unemployment, we’ve got a lot bigger issues than the trop and making a millionaire richer. if the economy was good and i truly thought they were making a effort to sell the place out, then i would be all for it. but when my season tickets increased 35% after the 2009 season, then it’s really hard to listen to them whine about people not showing up.

      • Sarah says:

        Tom, I was thinking exactly the same thing! “s” sounds exactly like “Joe” — the run on writing, over use of capitals, and general sense of a guy so inflamed that he’s about to spontaneously combust. Either Joe = s, or there’s something about the “Rays front office is out to screw us!” crowd that invites this kind of verbal hyperventilating.

        S, Joe, calm down!

        • Joe says:

          It is certainly pretty nice to be thought of so well, isn’t it? You don’t get why I appear so antagonistic do you? I just want the owner and the team president to be the fans’ fan. Yet Silverman opens his mouth and make it sound like it’s a chore to have a payroll that is only higher than 2 or 3 other teams? Maybe Matt should look in the mirror and realize that maybe he doesn’t want to be Stu’s patsy and be president of the Rays? I hear this and realize that we can never have a payroll that is league average, even though our television market size is 12th or 13th in Nielsen average? To have the gall, Matt Silverman to state what you do is disingenuous. If you don’t like spending money, get out of baseball and go into another line of work. I am serious too. It’s not my fault baseball is revenue driven, nor is it yours Sarah or Tom or anyone here. If you think a below average payroll is uncomfortable, get out of the game and bid everyone good riddance.

  3. s says:

    i have evidence to support that producing a winner and increasing prices won’t put people in the seats.

    i’m sure the dodgers did a little homework on this. and it’s working for them in tickets sold.

    once again tom, i’ll ask you. is there not something wrong with a upperlevel or outfield ticket costing much more in St pete vs LA? especially when filling the seats is a daily headline?

    • Tom says:

      “I have evidence to support that producing a winner and increasing prices won’t put people in the seats”

      Care to produce this evidence? According to Baseball-Reference, the Rays averaged 15,924/game from 1999-2007 than averaged 21,855/game 2008-2011. It seems to me winning does increase attendance.

      As far as the price of seats being lower in LA than St. Pete, I have no idea how or why the Dodgers price their tickets. I know they need to compete with the Angels and that may influence their decisions. I do know the Rays have been rated the best bargain in pro sports a couple of times. The way things have gone with the Dodgers the past few years I would not want to follow their ownership model.

      • s says:

        ok, let me rephrase that. winning may improve sales but it will never get us anywhere near “mlb average”. and stu knew this, all he had to do was look across the state to see it BEFORE he bought the team.

        the dodger cut prices to increase season ticket sales. i’m trying not to be a complete ass here. but if we slashed prices in the cheap seats, don’t you think a hell of a lot more people would show up? look at the free ticket day. people lined up for hours for seats.

        i just don’t think they’re making 100% effort to get anywhere near a sellout. they try to maximize the dollar of the seats sold vs selling more ticket at a lower price. for them it’s a wash it’s the same amount of money in ticket sales and they get leverage for a new stadium.

        when you’re market is full of retirees and families on a major budget due to the economy, then drastically slashing prices on the cheap seats is the ONLY way your going to fill the trop and solve the attendance woes.

        and please, why in the hell would i post as a different name on a anonyomous comment to debate with other anonyomous posters?

        • Tom says:

          “I just don’t think they’re making 100% effort to get anywhere near a sellout. they try to maximize the dollar of the seats sold vs selling more ticket at a lower price. for them it’s a wash it’s the same amount of money in ticket sales and they get leverage for a new stadium.”

          All businesses do this, they try to maximize revenue not attendance. I cannot fault Sternberg for trying to get the best return on his investment possible. I doubt they made much money when they gave away tickets.

  4. s says:

    “All businesses do this, they try to maximize revenue not attendance. I cannot fault Sternberg for trying to get the best return on his investment possible. I doubt they made much money when they gave away tickets.”

    the businesses that do this aren’t bitching every year that they don’t have enough customers, they’re happy with what they have. stu takes the saks 5th ave approach as gets as much out of the fans that can afford to go. i’m suggesting taking the walmart approach and sell more for less. if they were truly trying to fill the trop then this is how to do it.

    but i repeat over and over, they GAIN leverage by not filling the stands. if the trop is full, then stadium talk is a moot point and won’t be addressed until the economy improves. so if they can make the same amount of money and gain leverage then that’s the plan they’re sticking to. if it was my business, and my money, then i probably would do the exact same thing. but as a fan, and knowing what they are doing, i’m complete sick of hearing them squeal like a stuck pig about how much they are overspending and a lack of ticket sales. it’s already beyond old!!!

    • Tom says:

      I can certainly agree that I am tire of hearing the Rays complain to the media about attendance, it is not winning them any fans.

  5. MJ says:

    all he said is they are spending an uncomfortable amount of money. In other words, Stu is not comfortable spending the amount of money he is spending, simple as that. It just let’s us know what their self-imposed limits are. I don’t hear it as complaining. Its just a statement. Do with it what you will i suppose (which appears to be complain). Its just the reality of the situation. When will you all stop being exasperated every time FO says something like this? It shouldn’t surprise anyone anymore.

  6. Joe says:

    As I stated above $64.3 million in major league payroll is uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the average major league salary is in excess of $3 million and major league minimums is north of $400K a season. The Rays want you and I believe that attendance and payroll have a direct relationship. I refuse to believe it, as a matter of fact, it’s a lie. The only restriction on payroll is Stu Sternberg and he himself or whatever his investment group says what they can spend. As in life, you are only restricted by your own ambition. These are words taught to me by my father and I live that as an axiom as I dare to dream of being better. I am not happy I have some debt in paying back a student loan, but lo and behold, I am paying it back. And if you want to be a major sports owner, you must ask yourself, what do you want to be? Anyone and everyone can make money. Anyone can have a plan. But what do you want to be? I credit Stu Sternberg and his team for having a process and executing the process. But I contend the process is flawed. The process puts a limit on success, as in Stu Sternberg’s goal is not a World Series champion, but by playing meaningful games and getting into the postseason. You can argue with me that the postseason is a crapshoot, and its a fair argument, but there are certain acquisitions that can hedge your bet, and he hasn’t assumed that “risk”.

    I have argued with John Romano, Gary Shelton and people nationally for why have Tampa Bay fans have in my opinion been disregarded. Even by the Rays management team themselves, their very tactics, although understandable, have fans voting with their wallets. I know many of you don’t agree with me, but I find it odd that many of you don’t mind Stu Sternberg taking a parental role and admonishing the fanbase. I will say it one more time, if Stu or Matt think $64.3 million is uncomfortable, then as kindly as I will say it, its time to find another way to line your pockets and leave the baseball industry. I just don’t understand how they can justify that amount of money as a lot of money, especially when you said at $40 million it was an “untenable” as a model?!

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