Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays owner Sternberg rejects phrase 'all in'

Based on what they've been doing — and, in the case of a certain left-hander, not doing — to improve their roster and how much they've been spending, with an opening-day payroll pushing $80 million, the Rays are certainly looking like a team committing to making a serious run at a championship.

But don't say they're "all in."

At least not around principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

"I don't believe in the phrase, 'all in,' " Sternberg said. "I've heard it, and I don't care for it. We are feeding the beast. That usually comes with very successful teams who have to keep throwing money into an incinerator to keep things going.

"This is a beast that has been very successful for a number of years now. And we've come to the understanding that we're going to do everything in our power, if we have a chance to get to the World Series, to try to get to the World Series."

Which is why they spent the money to bring back 1B James Loney, why they traded for C Ryan Hanigan, why they unexpectedly signed All-Star closer Grant Balfour and why they — at least thus far — haven't traded ace David Price.

"In for a penny, in for a pound a little bit, I guess," Sternberg said. "We want to give this organization and teams like this the best chance to compete and to win. And we know that it's going to cost us more than we can afford. …

"When you see the opportunity for somebody like (Balfour), the way the payroll has grown around it, in some respects, it's the price of success. If you didn't have these kinds of players, we'd be looking at a whole different kind of payroll."

But, still, it's all being done with a plan, with an eye on the future and with limits.

" 'All-in' means there's no next year," he said. "That's 'all in.' We could go that way and run $25 million payrolls the next three years and bankrupt our farm system. That would be 'all in.' "

DINNER BELL: Fewer than 100 tickets remains for Saturday's Ted Williams Museum induction banquet at the Trop, known this year as Dinner with Ben Zobrist & Friends, featuring Price, Alex Cobb and Chris Archer. Inductees Craig Biggio, Johnny Damon, Dwight Gooden, Jim "Mudcat" Grant, Frank Howard and James Shields are all expected. Tickets, $125 and including an autograph session with some current and former players (Desmond Jennings, Matt Moore, Jim Perry just added), are available through Wednesday by calling (727) 534-5343 or via (under the FANS tab).

CAMP TIME: Free agent OF Sam Fuld, still considering the Rays and other teams, will hold his third annual Diabetes Sports Camp for kids 8-17 next weekend at USF. Registration is $70; see … OF Matt Joyce hosts his annual camp today at 10 a.m. at the North Brandon Baseball Complex (2915 Kingsway Ave.) with a few spots open. Register, for $102.50, on site; info on

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Barry LeBrock won't be back on Rays TV broadcasts; word is Rich Hollenberg takes over. … Minor-league coaching staffs, including a new Double-A manager, will be (finally) announced this week. … OF Wil Myers was at the New York BBWAA dinner Saturday to receive his AL rookie of the year award. … Three Rays made's top 100 prospects, though the highest ranked was RHP Jake Odorizzi at 56; SS Hak-Ju Lee was 84; RHP Taylor Guerrieri 94. … Balfour's two-year, $12 million deal is the third largest for a free agent under Sternberg, behind Loney's three/$21 million and Pat Burrell's two/$16 million. … LHP Cesar Ramos was to be married Saturday. … 3B Evan Longoria was chosen Face of the Rays by MLB Network respondents. … George Pappas was hired as a communications coordinator. … Former Ray Toby Hall hosts his annual charity golf event benefiting the Miracle League and Buddy Baseball on Feb. 7 at Feather Sound. … ESPN's Buster Olney picks the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees to all make the playoffs. … Balfour declined comment on a potential grievance against the Orioles, who backed off a December deal due to health concerns: "That stuff is going to be taken care of by other people on my behalf." … Zobrist was named to Anthony Castrovince's all-underrated team.

Marc Topkin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.


Rays key dates

Feb. 14: Pitchers and catchers report to Port Charlotte

Feb. 20: First full-squad workout in Port Charlotte

Feb. 22: FanFest at the Trop

Feb. 28: Exhibition opener vs. O's at Port Charlotte

March 31: Regular-season opener vs. Jays at the Trop

Rays owner Sternberg rejects phrase 'all in' 01/25/14 [Last modified: Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. If Tony Dungy sticks around, he'll broadcast the 2021 Tampa Super Bowl for NBC


    Lost in the Super Tuesday news of the Super Bowl coming back to Tampa was this nugget:

    Pictured, from left, Dan Patrick, co-Host, Tony Dungy, studio analyst, Aaron Rodgers. [Ben Cohen/NBC]
  2. Tragedy, tenacity helped shape Ridgewood valedictorian Johannah Cummines

    Volleyball Preps

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Even if her daily routine didn't permit calories to melt off, Johannah Cummines would deserve to pick anything on the menu.

    Ridgewood High senior Johannah Cummines and mom Chenell. Cummines is headed to Florida Atlantic, where she will play beach volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Johannah Cummines)
  3. Bucs Roberto Aguayo kicks off 2017 on the wrong foot


    The goal posts still seem to be moving for Roberto Aguayo.

    The Bucs woebegone place-kicker, who is in a battle with veteran Nick Folk, went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights, the first day of full squad Organized Team Activities.

    If that weren’t …

    Roberto Aguayo went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights.
  4. Rays morning after: Are cold bats a sign of things to come?


    How does an offense that has ranked among the most productive in the league for seven weeks go so cold?

    Steven Souza Jr. extended his weeks-long skid to 8-for-67.
  5. Calvary Christian takes strong lineup, defense to state baseball tournament


    CLEARWATER — No matter what happens in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal against Delray Beach American Heritage, Calvary Christian has already had a historic season. The unbeaten Warriors have won 28 games and qualified for the school's first state baseball tournament.

    The addition of Nolan Hudi to the rotation made a difference, said Calvary Christian coach Greg Olsen. “It was huge.”