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)

Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg upbeat about team's future on field, in community

Principal owner Stuart Sternberg seems optimistic these days, confident the Rays offense will come around, open to an August waiver trade, looking forward to a meaningful September and encouraged by conversations in Hillsborough County about the team's future.

He answered questions on those topics and others via e-mail:

On their positioning at the trade deadline:

We do the bulk of our July work during the previous offseason. A game in April counts just as much as one in September. I can even make the case that early season games are more valuable because they provide information that can inform decisions throughout the year.

When we feel the team can remain in the race, we will do what we can to put ourselves in a position to succeed. We are always limited by our necessity to plan for the future, and it looms large in decisions we make about our players and our resources.

Starting in 2008, there has not been a year where we have weakened our team on the field in July. And if there is a move within our parameters to add a piece or two that makes us better, we will do it. That has been the case each year as well, including this one.

On not adding to the struggling offense:

Our offense over the past several years has a track record that we expected would continue for this season. The runs can and should be there, and the choppiness is something that we are forced to incur, given our position within MLB. We have played about two-thirds of season — a large sample, yes — but there's still a bunch of games to play. There are no guarantees, though we feel the pieces are in place to put enough runs on the scoreboard.

On the injuries, including Evan Longoria:

Injuries play a big role in how we need to react. … Some of our success last year can be traced to our health relative to other teams. This year we have had a rash of injuries, and we have used all of our fingers and toes to plug the holes which have surfaced. Replicating Evan's production for this extended length of time is impossible for us. A shorter-term injury gives our players and (executive VP) Andrew Friedman and his group the opportunity to try (to) replicate or even outperform the player who is out. We saw that in August of 2008. The team got hit by a few key injuries and we didn't miss a beat as others stepped up and performed.

On the talk in Tampa about the team:

I am encouraged to see substantive discussion taking place. For years it has been my stated mantra that in order to flourish, we must grow and nurture a regional fan and corporate base. Elected officials and civic leaders who value having a Major League Baseball team as a part of our community fabric are essential to achieving that goal. We attempt to do all we can to be easily accessible. Accessibility comes in many forms, whether it's through fan friendliness, affordability, value at the ballpark, geography, TV viewership, radio listenership or community involvement. It is imperative we score perfect 10s on those efforts.

On the new format to the playoff race:

Advancing in the postseason as a wild card is certainly more difficult now, yet winning the division doesn't make advancing that much easier. These are the cards all teams are dealt. Our stated goal has been and continues to be to play games on Labor Day and beyond that are meaningful.

Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg upbeat about team's future on field, in community 08/04/12 [Last modified: Saturday, August 4, 2012 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  2. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation

    Blogs

    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  3. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  4. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  5. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.