Saturday, September 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Most influential women in Tampa Bay sports: Melanie Lenz, Tampa Bay Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Simply stated, Melanie Lenz is in charge of the Rays' future.

Lenz is working on three major endeavors: finding a site for the new stadium and securing the next TV and concession contracts.

One is daunting enough, let alone three.

How many hours a day does Lenz work?

"As many as needed, for sure," she said. "It's exciting. It's really exciting times for the organization as a whole and to be a part of some of these key strategic initiatives, it doesn't get much better."

The Rays, naturally, want to find a stadium site as soon as possible. While Lenz is contractually prohibited from discussing when the current TV deal runs out, she did say it is within the next few years. She and her staff are working on it now, because it's not the type of agreement that can be hammered out in a week or so, not with the ever-changing world of cable TV.

"(We have to make) sure that our TV product is available to as many customers as possible," Lenz said, "because there are more people who watch us on TV every night than come to the ballpark, and we cannot afford to not have our product be available to everyone."

Add the fact gate receipts (new stadium) and TV revenue make up the majority of the Rays' cash flow, and you have one challenging day of work.

"Of course," Lenz said, "that's sports, right? Sports is all about overcoming the obstacles in front of you and taking on the challenge, on the field and off the field."

 
Comments
Rays bounce back big after a debacle

Rays bounce back big after a debacle

TORONTO — The way the Rays played Friday — all nine innings, lesson learned — in beating the Jays 11-3 provided the best answer on how, or even if, they could rebound from the crushing loss the night before that all but ended their ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Carlos Gomez says ump should’ve been ejected

Rays journal: Carlos Gomez says ump should’ve been ejected

TORONTO — After unleashing a Twitter rant criticizing umpire Andy Fletcher's work behind the plate Thursday, Rays OF Carlos Gomez doubled down on his comments, saying he was even more upset about how Fletcher treated him when questioning a thir...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Mallex Smith has his moments in the outfield, but he can produce highlights. He made two dazzling catches Friday. On one he went running and sliding across the foul line; on the other he crashed into the rightfield wall, though twisting his right ank...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays Carlos Gomez doubles down on criticism of umpire

Rays Carlos Gomez doubles down on criticism of umpire

After unleashing a Twitter rant criticizing umpire Andy Fletcher's work behind the plate in Thursday's game, Rays OF Carlos Gomez doubled down  in his comments Friday, saying he was even more upset about how Fletcher treated him when questioning...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, trying to bounce back

For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, trying to bounce back

UPDATE, 6:15: Cash talked about how tough Thursday's loss was, that he doubted many on the team got a good night's sleep. He said he took Kiermaier out to get Meadows an at-bat and doesn't know if Kiermaier would have caught the Kendrys Morales bloop...
Updated: 11 hours ago
How do you really feel, Carlos Gomez?

How do you really feel, Carlos Gomez?

Rays veteran OF Carlos Gomez made his feelings about being ejected from Thursday's game by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher quite clear in a series of Twitter posts and a live video.Gomez was in the dugout complaining about being called out on strikes...
Published: 09/21/18
How to kill playoff chances? Rays blow six-run lead in 9th, lose 9-8 to Jays

How to kill playoff chances? Rays blow six-run lead in 9th, lose 9-8 to Jays

TORONTO — The Rays had done so much right in making their entertaining, exciting and endearing September run to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot.But it was what they couldn't do Thursday night, get the final three outs ...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

As if the Rays haven't been innovative enough — with relievers starting and starters relieving, with pitchers playing infield spots and infielders playing the outfield — Thursday they unveiled a four-man outfield.Thursday was another exam...
Published: 09/20/18
Rays journal: Austin Meadows gets called up, but there’s nowhere to put him

Rays journal: Austin Meadows gets called up, but there’s nowhere to put him

TORONTO — After taking his first look at OF Austin Meadows in Rays colors, manager Kevin Cash said the promising prospect is a "huge part" of their future. But he also acknowledged that they might not get much of a look at that future over the ...
Published: 09/20/18
For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, looking to keep rolling

For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, looking to keep rolling

UPDATE, 6:36: Cash said Meadows is "a huge part" of the future and the Rays want to get a look at what he can do, but he may not get much opportunity and Cash feels Kiermaier, Pham and Smith deserve to keep playing. … RHP Yonny Chirinos is slat...
Published: 09/20/18