Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Commissioner Bud Selig supports Rays' push for new stadium

SAN FRANCISCO — Commissioner Bud Selig backs the Rays' efforts to get a new stadium and remains troubled by the lack of attendance at the current one.

The Rays this season became the first team in major-league history to win 90 games and finish last in attendance, drawing 1,559,681 (a 19,255 average).

"I'll let you draw your own conclusion," Selig said Thursday. "I think it's a conclusion that's pretty obvious."

Speaking before Game 2 of the World Series, Selig said he planned to talk soon with principal owner Stuart Sternberg for an update on the stadium situation. St. Petersburg officials are expected to respond today to the team's request to amend its lease to allow talks with Pinellas and Hillsborough entities.

Selig has said he will defer to Sternberg on a course of action. When asked if Major League Baseball will continue to be patient with the slow pace of progress or if a clock is ticking, Selig said: "Well, that's a judgment call (Sternberg) and I will make at some point."

As for the tactics of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster? "Usually I have sarcastic and nasty moments every 10 minutes, but the answer to that is I'll let Mr. Sternberg handle that," Selig said. "I think … he has made his feelings known, and I share those 100 percent, absolutely."

PANDA POWER: Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval remained the center of attention the day after hitting a Series-record-tying three homers in Wednesday's opener.

The reaction included 300 text messages and a Twitter mention from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. No word from Reggie Jackson or Albert Pujols, who, along with Babe Ruth, are the others to accomplish the feat.

"You know, I still can't believe it," Sandoval said. "So excited how the people watched, pay attention to all the things in the game. All my friends back home, family, just excited to be part of this."

PITCHING IN: Though Tigers RHP Justin Verlander worked only four innings in the opener, manager Jim Leyland said he'd given no consideration to bringing his ace back early to pitch Game 4 on Sunday. "He's coming back in Game 5, I hope," he said

ZIM GAME: After losing the opener, Leyland said his daily call from Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer, his close friend, was more lively than usual: "He was all over my (rear end)."

POMP: In dedicating Game 2 to military veterans, MLB honored four of its own who served: Jerry Coleman, Bobby Doerr, Tommy Lasorda and broadcaster Bob Wolff. … Matthew Morrison, star of TV's Glee, performed the anthem. … Actor Colin Hanks was in Giants gear.

MISCELLANY: Giants 2B Marco Scutaro's 11-game postseason hitting streak ended. … The Tigers were held to two hits. … The Giants are 8-1 this postseason when scoring first. … Game 1's TV ratings (7.6, 12 share, seen by 12.2 million) were record lows for an opener. The rating is the percentage of TV homes tuned in; share is the percentage of homes watching among those with TVs on. … Bryan Stow, the Giants fan brutally beaten at Dodger Stadium on opening day 2011, attended as a team guest.

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