Normally, Mel "Bones" Godwin applies his advertising budget to promoting his Bison Glass & Mirror Company of Tampa. But this month and next, Godwin is sending a different message to Major League Baseball owners.
Godwin and his company are responsible for approximately 50 billboards in the Tampa Bay area that proclaim: "Baseball: Say No To Foreign Owners. God Bless The U.S.A."
"I'm a baseball fan, a very avid baseball fan," Godwin said. "I don't like what happened to us on expansion. I'm not happy with what's going on with Seattle, and I don't like the Japanese being involved. They're buying our whole country. Leave us baseball.
"Hopefully, when owners come and see these, they'll take heed."
The signs will stay up through spring training, Godwin said.
Godwin, 58, a Jacksonville native, came to Tampa Bay 20 years ago. He played Little League, high school and American Legion baseball.
"I want us to have a baseball team," he said. "But even if we don't, I don't want the Japanese or any other foreign group to buy a team. What if they decide to move the Mariners to Tokyo for spring training?"