Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Don't count on any help, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg says

NEW YORK — The Rays were unlikely to spend any money on in-season acquisitions anyway. The cost of replacing injured players such as 2B Akinori Iwamura and RHP Troy Percival make it even less likely.

But principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Friday that they don't need more players, just more out of the players they have and those coming back from injury such as Chad Bradford, Scott Kazmir and Brian Shouse.

"If I look around the team, there's nowhere that I think at this point that we could improve ourselves dramatically," Sternberg said before the game. "There's no glaring hole. I don't see a hole.

"With the guys we have here and those (returning) guys, yeah, this is what's getting it done. I don't think anyone is lining up to throw a great player at us. We're very fortunate. We really don't have glaring needs. It's just performance."

The one area where Sternberg might get an argument is the back end of the bullpen, but he said flatly, "If we spend more money, it's not going to be on a closer."

The injuries complicate the situation because not only are the Rays still paying significant salaries to those players, they have had to pay others to take their place.

So given that the Rays went into the season saying that with a payroll increase to $63 million they wouldn't have the financial flexibility to make any additions, the injury situation "certainly doesn't help," Sternberg said. "It's not any more likely than it was before the season started."

Not a vote for Pedro: The Rays had representatives watch RHP Pedro Martinez throw in the Dominican Republic on Friday, the second time they've seen him in the past two weeks.

Despite Martinez's public comments, it hasn't appeared the Rays were seriously interested, and it sounded even less so the way executive vice president Andrew Friedman addressed the issue Friday: "We have a responsibility to do our due diligence. But I think a lot more is being made of it publicly than really exists."

Changing it up: When RHP James Shields was working his way through the Rays' minor-league system relying on his changeup, he looked up to then-Twins star Johan Santana. Today, weather permitting, he will be looking across the field at him in their first head-to-head matchup that he labeled "changeup vs. changeup."

"There weren't too many guys that had a good changeup in the big leagues, and there still (aren't)," Shields said. "There's just a handful of guys that that's their pitch. So I always looked up to him and kind of saw how he pitched. I've got a lot of respect for him."

Shields admitted he's "pretty excited" about pitching against Santana. Not so much that he has to hit against him, too: "Hopefully, he doesn't show me too many changeups."

Two minor-leaguers suspended: Two teenage players on the Venezuelan Summer League team, OF Franklin Alcala and LHP Carlos Orasma, were suspended 50 games for testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance. The Rays had four minor-leaguers suspended last season, two from their Dominican program, one from the Venezuelan team and Class A RHP Matt Walker.

"We're very supportive of Major League Baseball's policy," Friedman said. "This is something that we take very seriously. We have a lot of measures in place to educate our players, especially in Latin America, about the policy and the negative effects that this can have both personally and professionally."

Miscellany: If today's game is rained out, there is talk of a Sunday doubleheader. … SS Jason Bartlett extended his DL-interrupted hitting streak to 14 games. … This is the Rays' fifth losing streak of three or more games. … RHP Andy Sonnanstine went 1-for-2 to raise his career average to .348 (8-for-23). … Pat Burrell isn't likely to be in rightfield today, manager Joe Maddon said, despite decent numbers (5-for-16) against Santana. … The Mets are 16-7 in the first games of series.

Don't count on any help, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg says 06/19/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 20, 2009 6:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The Florida Gators' case for QB Luke Del Rio

    College

    GAINESVILLE — It took three years and two transfers for Florida's Luke Del Rio to become a starting quarterback.

    Florida Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) warms up next to quarterback Austin Appleby (12) before the game against the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Final score was Florida 32 North Texas 0. (Monica Herndon, Times)
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Jays game

    The Heater

    RHP Tommy Hunter has been so good emerging as the top set-up man for closer Alex Colome with a dazzling run, but twice in five days he has given up a game-losing homer, Sunday to Cleveland's Austin Jackson and Thursday to Toronto's Justin Smoak.

  3. Rays morning after: There (really) are still reasons to be optimistic

    Blogs

    There are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about the Rays' chances to get out of their extended skid and make the playoffs, including veteran 3B Evan Longoria's acknowledgement after Thursday's game that the pressures of …

    Trevor Plouffe reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning against Toronto.
  4. Is Bucs kicker Nick Folk a significant upgrade over Roberto Aguayo?

    Bucs

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter made it clear.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk is entering his 11th NFL season. He spent three seasons with the Cowboys and seven with the Jets. [LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Times]
  5. Tim Tebow Week: 12 stories from his Tampa Bay tour

    Minors

    Alas, Tim Tebow Week — eight baseball games in eight nights that reunited Tebow with his Tampa Bay friends and admirers — is over. The fun ended Thursday night.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow meets fans and signs autographs before the beginning of the Mets at Threshers game at Spectrum Field on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 in Clearwater. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times