Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Stu-realism on display at the Rays’ museum exhibition

No details are offered, but a map to Montreal is must-read fodder.
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, right, reacts during a series of questions from the media, Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at the Dali Museum, St. Petersburg about sharing home games with the City of Montreal, Canada. On the left is Rays president Matthew Silverman. SCOTT KEELER | Times
Published Jun. 25

ST. PETERSBURG — On the floor of the House That Dali Built, it was 40 minutes until the dog (French poodle) and pony show. Circus master/baseball owner Stu Sternberg was helping arrange chairs for the news conference. It was the first time in recorded human history that the Rays needed overflow seating.

Three floors down, Alan Camp, a retired cardiologist from St. Petersburg who lives close enough to Tropicana Field that he walks to Rays games, sat in the museum café and spoke of his own relocation dilemmas.

“You know, I asked my wife if I could live with another woman four days of the week, then come back to her for the last three,” Camp said. “I told her that way we would love each other that much more. She didn’t think it was a very good idea.”

So, this is?

RELATED: 'This is not a staged exit'

That Tuesday’s news conference transpired in a veritable citadel of surrealism made perfect sense, even more so because it was held under the Dali Museum’s geodesic dome, all the better to keep the heat in, just like that once proposed stadium roof in Ybor City! Ah, memories.

Tuesday, we really didn’t learn anything more about the Tampa Bay-Montreal peace accord. It’s all very fuzzy.

Fuzzy is the Rays’ friend right now.

No ballpark plans were announced. No explanation was offered on why the denizens of Tampa Bay, Trop lease safely in place until 2027, would be willing to feast on Lame Duck a l’orange for eight seasons.

Fuzzy is their friend.

We should all have apples in our mouths at this point. I like Sternberg and his Rays, the forward thinking, the winning baseball, the oversized commitment to the unwritten social contract that should exist between sports teams and communities.

I wouldn’t know how to not like the Rays.

But, like you, I am willing to learn.

RELATED: Like a Dali painting, everyone will see something different in Rays presser

Suffice to say that there are probably people around here who think Montreal isn’t far enough, that the Rays should be the first baseball team on the moon. Check out the gravity-free bar in center!

As Sternberg and his allies politely droned on, I drifted though the permanent Dali exhibits. Dali, in one of his works, illustrated that our world is made of subatomic particles moving in constant motion, unlike the Bucs’ running game. I especially like Dali’s use of spirals, which he believed were nature’s most perfect form.

And it was Dali who once said, “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers shackles limiting our vision.”

I’m telling you, if this guy doesn’t deserve a Bobblehead night, no one does.

By the way, I checked with Hank Hine, executive director of the Dali Museum, and he answered with a firm “No” when I asked if the museum was leaving or if there were plans to relocate. I had been thinking a split season with Barcelona.

I am worried about our treasure. The Rays might start a relocation craze. True, the Bucs are safe. Who would take them? The Lightning is already hard at work laying groundwork for not winning another Stanley Cup.

But I hear the Howard Frankland Bridge is in talks with an anonymous Eastern coastal city. Also, emissaries have inquired about Clearwater Beach moving to Kansas for the winter.

Sternberg tried to be nice when asked if there was any chance for Rays fans in Tampa Bay to have the Rays to themselves.

“We’ve been through this long enough to know ‘all for their own’ is not going to be an option going forward,” he said.

We are in the take-it-or-else, it’s-this-or-nothing portion of the program.

“If somebody says no baseball instead of a big chunk of the season, there’s nothing I can really say,” Sternberg said.

Later, I was back in exhibits again, admiring Dali’s use of texture and color, when I heard a commotion. After the news conference was adjourned, a man in a Rays jersey and hat and socks began screaming at all of us. He told us we were “traitors” for being part of this and added that we were “incorrigible.” At that point, he was led away by museum security, which eschewed the butterfly net but had the man by one arm. I did not get his name.

But I think he’s having a news conference today. Has to be better than the one Tuesday. Good seats are still available.

Contact Martin Fennelly at mfennelly@tampabay.com or (813) 731-8029. Follow @mjfennelly.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Most Valuable Ray? It could be All-Star Charlie Morton or All-Star Austin Meadows. MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Also up for discussion in Rays Tales: Most pleasant among many surprises and biggest of several disappointments.
  2. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws to the Los Angeles Angels during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    Rays have will Tyler Glasnow on the mound making his third start, the Red Sox are planning a bullpen day.
  3. Pete Alonso, left, celebrates his majors-leading 50th home run with Mets teammate Jeff McNeil, a two-run shot against the Reds on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    The rookie out of Plant High and Florida moves within two of the all-time rookie record.
  4. The results say Rays manager Kevin Cash was one batter too late when he removed Charlie Morton from the game on Friday night against the Red Sox. But that doesn't mean the decision was wrong. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Manager Kevin Cash rolled the dice by keeping Morton on the mound in the seventh inning against the Red Sox on Friday. The decision says a lot about a manager’s faith.
  5. The Rays' Nate Lowe grounds into a fielder's choice in the seventh, but his hustle down the line avoids the double play and opens the door for the Rays to take the lead later in the inning against the Red Sox on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Nate Lowe’s hustle pays off big; one batter too long for Morton; Cash’s sense of urgency continues.
  6. Willy Adames, center without cap, is swarmed by his Rays teammates moments after his walkoff single in the 11th inning beats the Red Sox 5-4 on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Tropicana Field. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays 5, Red Sox 4 (11): Willy Adames wins it with a walkoff single after the Rays blow a 4-2 lead in the ninth.
  7. Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow, center, is removed from the game with forearm tightness in the sixth inning against the Yankees on May 10, 2019, at the Trop. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The right-hander gets his third start since coming off the injured list and is looking for a longer outing.
  8. The Rays take on the Red Sox in a crucial four game series.
  9. Tampa Bay Rays' Travis d'Arnaud hits against the Los Angeles Angels during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    Travis d’Arnaud will be behind the plate, Charlie Morton on the mound as Rays start play tied for second wild-card.
  10. Charlie Morton starts tonight for the Rays against Boston's Rick Porcello. MARK J. TERRILL  |  AP
    Rays open final homestand tonight vs. Red Sox tied with Indians for second AL wild card with nine games left.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement