Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays owner has upbeat air about stadium issues

ST. PETERSBURG — A relaxed, smiling Stuart Sternberg hinted at more upbeat relations with the city of St. Petersburg Tuesday, shortly before the Tampa Bay Rays' home opener at Tropicana Field.

Sternberg told a group of reporters that the team's goal has been to open some dialogue about stadium issues, and "we are being successful at that."

Perhaps as illustration, the Rays principal owner spent about 15 minutes talking with Mayor Bill Foster near the team's dugout after he spoke to reporters. The two last formally met in February to talk about the Rays' desire to look at new stadium options throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Said Foster after the chat: "We have a very collegial relationship, and we're communicating. So that's a good thing." He acknowledged there have been no major developments in the stadium issue.

Foster said they've been talking about finding a middle ground.

"He knows that my objective is to preserve the taxpayers' interest," the mayor said. "If there's a middle ground we can find and still do that, we're good."

Foster didn't have any specifics to offer in terms of what "middle ground" might mean, but said it has been a "good offseason."

"What's 'new' is that our staff is talking, we're looking to bridge the gap," Foster said. "And we haven't really done that before. So, yeah, I think there's a lot of new."

Earlier this year City Council member Charlie Gerdes floated a plan to let the Rays talk about possible new stadium locations with other governments in exchange for a fee. The plan didn't pass muster with the City Council in that first discussion. Sternberg, asked if he was prepared to pay money for permission to hold stadium talks elsewhere, said, "I'm always prepared for anything if the price is right."

He noted that the team, which is contractually obligated to play at the Trop through 2027, could be playing at the stadium for a number of more years. Even if plans for a new stadium got under way right now, he said, it would take five or six years to build.

"We're going to keep going until we can't go anymore," Sternberg said.

Another sign of a potential continuing dialogue: In recent years, the Rays have said they were going to avoid stadium discussions and negotiations during the playing season. But Tuesday, Sternberg said that wasn't necessarily the current plan.

"I'm up for anything that will make progress happen at any time," he said.

Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

The Rays have called up top prospect INF Willy Adames – though likely for a short stay.INF Joey Wendle was placed on the paternity list Tuesday, which allows him to miss up to three days.Manager Kevin Cash said Adames is headed back to Triple-A...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

Tampa Bay Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier and his wife Marisa are having a boy.Kiermaier shared the news on Twitter over the weekend in a most appropriate themed gender reveal event — taking a swing at ball that exploded with blue powder.Looks like im ...
Published: 05/21/18
What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

ST. PETERSBURG — When Kevin Cash called team president Matt Silverman Sunday morning to wish him happy birthday, he expected to get back some form of an "attaboy" for implementing the Rays' latest unorthodox pitching strategy in using reliever ...
Published: 05/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Published: 05/20/18