MLB preview 2008
Principal owner Stuart Sternberg played a major role in the team's new look, personally working on the design of the new uniforms and logo and having a big say in the name change. He sat down recently with Times baseball writer Marc Topkin to share his outlook on a number of topics, from Bruce Springsteen to Hank Steinbrenner, from burgers to ice cream, and from American Idol to Dancing With The Stars. Here are excerpts:
Are you a better owner than you've been the last two years?
I better be.
How many times have you said "Devil Rays" since the name change?
A bunch. A couple dozen for sure.
And have you paid your fines? (Employees have to put $1 in a box for charity.)
In certain ways. It has been diminishing.
Three people you'd like to see sing the anthem at the Trop?
Tom Waits, Miami Steve (Van Zandt) and Keith Richards.
Last movie you saw in a theater?
In Bruges. A very good movie.
When it's on, (HBO's) Curb Your Enthusiasm.
What Bruce Springsteen song best describes last year?
Reason to Believe.
And the upcoming season?
Have you found the best burger in the bay area yet?
I'm always searching. I've found some good ones, but I'm still searching. And I'll take all recommendations.
When you fly, aisle or window?
Aisle, I like to get up and stretch.
Would you be more likely to be on American Idol or Dancing With The Stars?
American Idol, I cannot dance. (Son Sandy says, "You can't sing, either.") Relative to dancing, I'm Sinatra. I cannot dance at all. I can sing a little. And I whistle.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate chip. It's got your vanilla and it's got your chocolate.
What's a skill you have people would be surprised to know of?
I wiggle my ears. That's about the extent of it. And I whistle very loudly.
What's the best meal you make?
I make a great fried egg sandwich.
What's your best investment advice for people in this market?
Think long-term. Invest for the long-term.
What company do you wish you'd invested in?
Johnson & Johnson. That's one I missed I would have liked. It's a great company.
Last famous person you ran into?
(Actor) Oliver Platt (right); I like a lot of his work.
Favorite card game?
Have you found anything better than a Mallomar (a chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker combo sold primarily in New York) yet?
How could there be?
Actress or singer you would really like to meet?
Barbara Cook (a Broadway star and caberet entertainer).
Last song you downloaded?
They Called it Rock, by Nick Lowe.
Best new music you've heard?
Favorite football team?
Favorite hockey team?
Favorite basketball team?
Favorite college basketball team?
Favorite college football team?
USC. I'm not bandwagon, it's been since the '60s.
Any political leanings coming into the election?
And will you share them?
No. Let's just say I lean.
Any new perks of ownership you've uncovered?
I got my laundry done in the clubhouse.
Most exciting reason for people to come out to a game this year?
How about a little word association?
Bud Selig? Classic.
John Henry? Successful.
George Steinbrenner? The Boss.
Hank Steinbrenner? The Boss' underboss.