Rays' Sternberg: Limiting media access an 'awful' idea
If the baseball players union is planning to limit media access to the clubhouses, as has been reported via sources and suspected by others, in the new collective bargaining agreement, at least one powerful owner thinks it is a bad idea.
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, a member of MLB's Executive Council, was blunt about his feelings during a Monday night appearance at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg:
"I think it's an awful thing for us,'' Sternberg said. "I think it's an awful thing. Be careful what you wish for. All the sudden, you have all these people around, writing and covering and caring and photographing and blogging and whatnot. You wake up one day and nobody's there. It's not the right thing. ... We try to give as much access as we possibly can. We really do.''
Sternberg said he was not aware that was on the union's agenda until reading a note in a newspaper on Monday prior to his appearance before the Associated Press Sports Editors. Union officials have not said publicly they plan to limit access.
Sternberg said they especially value local coverage.
"I think it's important also, I know some of you are national, but I think it's incredibly important to take care of the local papers, to make sure they're on equal footing,'' Sternberg said. "We get a call from the national writers and whatnot, and you want to make sure the local guys, you can't feed them something, but you want to make sure they're not disadvantaged. That's where everything emanates out of."