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)

Rays' Sternberg relishing playoff atmosphere, conflicted fans

NEW YORK — Principal owner Stuart Sternberg has his own personal, peculiar and rather pointed way of measuring the progress the Rays have made.

"What's happening this weekend is we have a lot of Red Sox fans rooting for the Yankees," he said Friday. "I just want to be there with the Red Sox fans when they cheer Jeter on, and A-Rod and their former (player) Damon and Giambi and the whole crew. All the guys that they 'love' all year long, year after year, they sit there and root for them to get hits and strikeouts and all that good stuff. …

"I've been waiting two months for this weekend, and here we are. … That's what the whole weekend's about for me. That's my version of gloating. Next we're going to go on to Mideast peace and global warming and all the important things, and the presidential election. But we're starting with this, which I think is a pretty big issue."

Sternberg said the series against the Red Sox "felt like playoff baseball," and he couldn't have enjoyed it — as a fan and as an owner — more, especially with how it turned out, winning the last two games in their final at-bat. And then he heard from more people after those two games than at any other time.

"You can't ask for more," he said, then did.

The season, Sternberg said, "seems real, but it seems extraordinarily unlikely." He noted how the Rays "didn't go on one of these 19 of 22 runs to get there," and how their success had been building all year, but also how they knew how tough the stretch of 12 games against the Jays, Red Sox and Yankees — "the so-called gauntlet" — would be.

"To go up to Boston and respond was just one more indication," he said. "So it seems real and we're just asking for more from everybody."

Sternberg will be at the Trop on Monday, to address "St. Pete-type of issues" such as the stadium situation and other "good stuff." Same with the question of what — now — it would take for him to consider the season a success.

"A few things have to happen," he said. "As far as the team itself goes, you just keep going and keep winning. It's great, it's fine, we want more."

Rays' Sternberg relishing playoff atmosphere, conflicted fans 09/13/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 15, 2008 3:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.