Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times is back at it again. You know, the same columnist that wrote that the Tampa Bay Rays have the least supportive fans in baseball.

This time he rips on the Rays calling them one of five professional sports franchises you wouldn’t want to own (be sure to check out the picture of empty seats from 2010 that will help perpetuate the stereotype that the Rays have no fans)…

Working on a financially responsible budget, the Rays executive staff of Sternberg, president Matt Silverman and vice president Andrew Friedman, as well as manager Joe Maddon, have put together an organization that is as impressive as any in baseball. But the team needs a new stadium and has a fan base that would rather stay home and watch on TV instead of going to the ballpark. On the field, everything is great. Off the field? I wouldn’t touch it.

Let’s ignore for a second that the Rays are still worth over $300 million according to Wait. No, let’s not ignore that. Who wouldn’t want to own an investment worth $300 million? And who wouldn’t want an investment that has had an annual growth rate of 9.06% since Sternberg purchased the team? Oh yeah, Tom Jones “wouldn’t touch it.”

And since when does people watching on television mean nothing? We would argue, that with the new enormous television deals, people watching on TV are actually more important than selling tickets.

And while it is still a few years away, the Rays’ next TV deal is going to be huge.

Yes, the stadium situation is ugly. But when it gets worked out (even if it is not here, the stadium situation WILL get worked out), the value of the Rays will jump even higher.

Are the Rays a cash-cow now? No. But the growth potential is huge. And any smart investor would recognize that.

And all of this ignores that some owners actual enjoy sports and don’t care about making money with their teams. And for those owners, the Rays’ young talent and solid farm system would be a dream scenario.

A strong franchise that is showing a decent return on investment and a bright future? That is more than can be said about a lot of other pro sports teams. We’re just glad Tom Jones isn’t managing our money.



  1. CC says:

    Jones is a d-bag and has been for years. Another writer who thinks they are more intelligent than the readers.

  2. CC says:

    By the way, the 620 morning shows sucks to. Way to go DAE.

  3. JN says:

    I have no respect for Tom Jones. You made great points Joe about why the Rays are a good team to own. Lazy journalism by TJ and unfortunately, the repercussions are the national media reading his trash column and spewing the same garbage down the road when they need an easy go to story.

  4. Gus says:

    He's a radio guy now. Needs ratings.

    • zenny says:


      620 should've hired Bobby Fenton full-time, but the TB Times offered to pay for the time slot, so we're stuck with hacks like Jones. I listened to his show once... once.

      • Hal says:

        Right on. Fenton appeared to actually know what he was talking about and seemed to have some genuine interest. That morning show now is a unmitigated disaster - absolutely unlistenable. I wonder what the arrangement is between the Times and DAE for that show. Any of the fill-ins since they booted Sileo would have been better.

  5. tampafan26 says:

    Posted a few weeks back by the same author, entitled "Tired, Tedious Topics":

    "The Trop stinks. I get it already. The Rays have been playing there since 1998, and other than rearranging some furniture and a few coats of paint, the Trop is pretty much the same dump it has always been. And this blogger is just now weighing in? Even the team that plays there is begging for a new stadium, so why do we have to keep talking about how crummy this one is? We're just going around and around."

    I dunno, for being a 'tired' topic, it's sure brought up quite a bit....

  6. Leighroy says:

    Tom Jones is a writer for a living, not a venture capitalist. If I wanted business advice from him, I would ask him for a tip, and then go the opposite way.

  7. DontBeATomJones says:

    Wonder if the local economy has anything to do with it. Why is this never mentioned in these hard hitting reports?

  8. Kurt Smith says:

    The Trop isn't the best venue, but I don't hate it. It's got a cool outfield restaurant, cool concourse areas and the food is pretty good. However little Tom Jones thinks of the Rays as an investment, I'd be happy to own them. Fairly proud too, given the team's performance in recent years in the toughest division in baseball.

  9. ed says:

    I always wondered about tom, unfortunatly i subscribe to the times because the trib really stinks. When i read what he wrote i was thinking , if the rays are so bad financially than why doesn't stu sell the team. Maybe because they are making money , maybe not as much as the owner wants , but they are not dirt poor, i for one would love to own them, heck i would love to own any major league team. Oh and about the article on the tampa bay area finances, i was wondering why we don't hear about that either. Oh well , Go Rays.

  10. ed says:

    oh , i forgot , the morning show does stink.

  11. MarkE says:

    Tom Jones is the idiot who entertained Mitch Williams on his radio show the other day. Mitch said "the Trop is not a place you can take your kids". Sounds like Tom has about as much knowledge and experience with what he's talking about as his know-nothing radio show guests.

    Tom, your paper is withering on the vine because I, and thousands of others, don't subscribe anymore because of its political agenda and penchant to invent fantasy "news" stories that support its agenda and gain readership. So I'm glad I didn't have to waste 3 minutes of my life skimming your ill-informed column. You've just revealed that you, like the parroting puppets on national media, have zero knowledge of the Rays fan base, the Trop, the local economy... You just skim the headlines of BSPN and "report" the popular misconceptions about our team because you're LAZY and ENTITLED.

    Tom, you're not the type to ever be in the position to own a franchise of ANYTHING, let alone a MLB team. So, next time, keep your negligent and ignorant comments about the Tampa Bay fan base (YOUR BREAD & BUTTER - MORON) to yourself and stick with the "which Hollywood celebrity looks most like Tim Tebow" breaking stories.

    • don says:

      Goes to the local media feeding the National media,,ie MLB,
      mis information...Mitch Williams has 30 teams to worry about and collect information to report, so he just repeats on a national stage what he hears from the local media...
      Until the Rays get that cleared up..expect more from MLB, ESPN ect.

  12. bucyea says:

    In a nutshell, Tom Jones is the reason, print media(newspapers) are a dying breed. They've become no more than an "opinion blog" and shock jornalism(ie National Enquirer). The 'net has made "journalists" like Tom Jones, fat, lazy, irresonsible bloggers, that are no better than the blogshere that they so often rail against. I quit taking the Times 5 years ago, after reading nothing but negative press about EVERYTHING Buc related. Just sick of it!!!!

  13. josecuer420 says:

    Dont worry we Marlins fans have been thru the same sh#@ from the new times and the miami herald giving up a bad rep, but hopefully you guys get a new stadium and the only ones criticizing will be the ones jealous of your success , Good Luck From Miami

  14. Jake Cain says:

    Yeah, I definitely disagree about the notion that you wouldn't want to own them. The Rays have shown the ability to draft well and win at the "small market" game. I think the upside is huge IMHO


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