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)


Sternberg eyes even better future

Stuart Sternberg said he expects attendance to pick up next season.

Stuart Sternberg said he expects attendance to pick up next season.

ST. PETERSBURG — Principal owner Stuart Sternberg said the season already is a "tremendous success" — no matter if the Rays make the playoffs or how far they advance — and will be "even greater" from here on out.

Sternberg was cautious in assessing attendance, and the lack of, which has been a popular topic of community debate.

He first said he "can't be disappointed in anything" and acknowledged the large — though not sellout — crowds for the Red Sox games (29,772 on Monday for a total of 1,626,161 for the season).

But he later said, "certainly it's disappointing" they probably won't have even 20,000 for Thursday's game against the Twins.

"I can't tell you it's what we would hope to have happen at this point in the season given where everything is," he said. "But I think the proof will be next year.

"Once this year is done and people have gotten used to the fact that we're actually a winning organization and an organization they're proud of to see from Day 1 how we hit the ground, and if we're having these conversations next year at this time, I might have a different answer. But right now, I think we're trying to look at the positives."

Catwalk time: Rookie CF Fernando Perez, in his first game at Tropicana Field, got a taste of its uniqueness when Jason Bay's fourth-inning homer got stuck in the C-ring catwalk. It was just the third time a fair ball has hit a catwalk and not come down.

"It was weird," Perez said. "I think I would have caught the ball at the wall, on the track."

Warning time: Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he was "shocked" when plate umpire Jerry Meals issued a warning in the second after Scott Kazmir hit Jason Varitek with a pitch. Two others, Evan Longoria and Mike Lowell, were hit but no action taken. Francona said umpires told him the warning stemmed from the team's "history," including a June 5 brawl.

New additions: With September callups RHP Jeff Niemann and Mitch Talbot joining the Rays on Monday, manager Joe Maddon said their roles mostly will be to appear when "something unforeseen" occurred, such as a short outing by a starter or an extra-inning game.

When LHP Scott Kazmir lasted three innings Monday, Talbot made his debut. Maddon said both are candidates to start the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday in Baltimore.

“I felt good," Talbot said. "I just wasn't hitting my spots."

Upton update: CF B.J. Upton (strained left quadriceps) ran and took swings in the batting cage Monday afternoon, saying he feels like he could be available to pinch hit. Upton said the injury, which he suffered Sept. 8, has kept him out longer than expected, but he was hopeful he can return in a few days. But Maddon said he would have to be "really convinced" Upton's leg was fine.

Crawford progresses: LF Carl Crawford said his injured right middle finger feels better and rehab is "ahead of schedule" in the fact he can make a fist. But Crawford, who had surgery last month to repair a tendon, said doctors haven't cleared him to swing a bat. He said his return is still unknown, though it still is likely in the late September/early October time frame set when he went on the DL on Aug. 10.

Miscellany: Rookie C John Jaso got his first hit, a single in the sixth. … Lightning coach Barry Melrose threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Kazmir and Rays president Matt Silverman will attend a South Brandon Little League (600 Parsons Ave.) rededication ceremony at 11 a.m. today.

Sternberg eyes even better future 09/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 1:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games


    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.