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Morgan

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« : March 10, 2013, 01:43:51 PM »

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg made his first appearance at Tampa Bay Spring Training Sunday, arriving for Sunday's matchup against the Boston Red Sox.  He met with reporters and discussed a number of subjects pertaining to the Rays.

On the ongoing situation regarding a new baseball stadium and discussions with St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster:

"The mayor and I had a meeting.  It was a nice, cordial conversation, and we'll see.  I'm optimistic."

His thoughts on the team's payroll for 2013 and attendance expectations:

"[Payroll's] static, but it's well higher than it ought to be.  And the attendance, everybody knows the number, and last is last.  So we're anticipating an improvement on that."

When asked what he believed payroll ought to be:

"It ought to be commeasurate with what our business can handle.  Since we started here back [in 2006], there were a couple of years where it was lower than it could be, and we've had a number of years where it was higher than it should be.  This is one of [the latter] years."

He also discussed what it would take for the team to be able to keep Cy Young Award winner David Price in a Rays uniform long-term.  Listen to the entire conversation below!

Read more: http://www.620wdae.com/pages/rays.html?article=11045869#ixzz2N9yVjkul

Podcast: http://www.620wdae.com/player/?mid=22964780

Morgan

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« #1 : March 11, 2013, 08:21:47 AM »

Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays can afford to keep Price


 PORT CHARLOTTE --

It is widely believed that pitcher David Price is about to embark on his final season with the Rays, that the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner is about to price himself out of the market for the low-revenue club, just as Carl Crawford did after 2010 and B.J. Upton and James Shields did after last season.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Sunday that among the members of the team's front office, that conclusion has not been reached and it is possible for the Rays to keep Price beyond this season.

"Oh yeah, sure," Sternberg said. "Absolutely."

But at what cost?

Sternberg acknowledged future payrolls will be hamstrung by the six-year, $100 million extension the team gave in November to third baseman Evan Longoria.

"(A contract like that is) gargantuan for us," Sternberg said. "Numbers like that are a huge commitment for any team, and for us they're as close to being off the table as possible, yet we did one this past offseason."

Price will earn $10.1125 million this season. He is arbitration eligible for two more years, so he does remain under team control through the 2015 season. Yet, the $10 million mark seems to be the ceiling for Rays players.

"In a perfect world I could spend my whole career here. I feel at home with this organization. It's a very special feeling that a lot of other guys probably don't have elsewhere in baseball," Price said. "If we could work something out, like I said before, that would be awesome and if not, I understand."

Price said he is keenly aware of what other pitchers are making. Seattle's Felix Hernandez signed a seven-year extension last month worth $175 million. Zach Greinke signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers during the offseason for $147 million over six years. In 2010, Detroit's Justin Verlander signed a five-year, $80 million extension.

There is speculation that Price, should he duplicate his 2012 season, or Verlander could becomes baseball's first $200 million pitcher.

"I do understand what all is going on in the realm of baseball, and I do know what the going price for starting pitching is these days," Price said. "I don't want to sell myself short. There is a fine point between getting X amount of dollars and being happy, and if you can meet that point in the middle and just take it from there I think you can definitely work something out."

Sternberg's comments about Price's future and Longoria's contract followed those about this year's payroll, which, at just above $60 million, is a bit higher than Sternberg said it should be given the Rays' poor attendance, which was last in the major leagues in 2012.

But Sternberg maintains executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is not tied to any hard figure and he can spend more if he feels the extra money will keep the Rays in contention.

But, how much further can Friedman go next season to keep Price?

"Andrew said and correctly that there is no question that we can handle a contract like David's, but what are you able to put around him?" Sternberg said. "But right now, and correctly, David is focused on this season and we're focused on this season and, speculatively, it's way too early for people to be focused on what's three years from now, four years from now."

Price said he will not let his future be a distraction this season.

"I don't think about it," he said.

The Rays allowed Upton to leave as a free agent (he signed a five-year, $75.25 million contract with Atlanta) and traded Shields, who will make $11 million this year, to Kansas City along with Wade Davis and Elliot Johnson for four prospects, including outfielder Wil Myers, the consensus 2012 minor league player of the year.

The speculation is Price will leave in the same fashion as Shields, possibly as early as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline if the Rays are not in contention.

"There's been speculation but we haven't had those thoughts at all," Sternberg said.

Price said he was glad to hear that.

"OK, cool," Price said. "I didn't think I was going to be traded at the All-Star break or anytime soon anyway, so that thought process hasn't come into my mind."

Meanwhile, Sternberg addressed other items on Sunday.

    On the stadium talks with St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster:

"The mayor and I had a meeting, a nice cordial conversation and we'll see. I'm optimistic. Nobody wants to hear me talking about stadium things, so let the mayor and I handle that and everybody else can focus on what's important, which is baseball."

    On the Rays attendance, which was last in the major leagues last season:

"The attendance, everybody knows the number. Last is last, so we're anticipating an improvement on that, but we really don't have any goals. We don't try to set any goals. We want to be average in attendance and well above average in on-field performance. We're right now settling for well-above average on on-field performance, and that's the important thing."

    On the 2013 payroll, which is more than $60 million, higher than what Sternberg said it should be based on attendance:

"We've had a couple of years where it was lower than it should be, and we've had a number of years when it was higher than it should be, and this is one of those years."

    On his expectations for the season:

"Really good. Unfortunately, last year we felt incredible about the team, and the last time we felt that way was coming into '09, and they were the only two years we didn't make the playoffs, however winning the number of games we won last year (90) is nothing to sneeze at."

http://www2.tbo.com/sports/sports/2013/mar/11/1/spsporto1-tampa-bay-rays-owner-stuart-sternberg-sa-ar-655068/

McBarron

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« #2 : March 11, 2013, 09:23:34 AM »

This is why Tampa has to be the home to the Rays. Simply, Tampa will tap into shlt-ton of suburbs while St Pete taps into like none. Also, throw in the astronomical amt of retirees in Pinellas, and ALL the water in St Pete's tapping-into radius, it becomes obvious why the Rays are last in attendance.



Morgan

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« #3 : March 11, 2013, 04:07:32 PM »

This is why Tampa has to be the home to the Rays. Simply, Tampa will tap into shlt-ton of suburbs while St Pete taps into like none. Also, throw in the astronomical amt of retirees in Pinellas, and ALL the water in St Pete's tapping-into radius, it becomes obvious why the Rays are last in attendance.



Can't argue that point - too bad Sternberg took over a team with a lease into 2020+. Bad business decision on his part.

Morgan

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« #4 : March 11, 2013, 05:03:42 PM »

Sternberg’s Comments On Keeping David Price Long-Term Give Rays Fans False Hopes

http://www.raysindex.com/2013/03/sternbergs-comments-on-keeping-david-price-long-term-give-rays-fans-false-hopes.html

olafberserker

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« #5 : March 11, 2013, 10:18:39 PM »

attendance and lease helped him get the team at a bargain basement price.  that fact and his b$ about price and how his 60 million dollar pay roll being "too high" is why he can kiss my a$$ when he whines about attendance.

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« #6 : March 12, 2013, 08:56:23 AM »


Can't argue that point - too bad Sternberg took over a team with a lease into 2020+. Bad business decision on his part.

That lease blows.......and with Foster being stubborn on the idea of relocating to Hillsbrough, we may see the Rays playing elsewhere.

Regardless, a contract breaking fee will be owed to St Pete. If Sternberg is willing to pay it, then there's a chance he will not move across the Bay. He may move them out of state.


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« #7 : March 12, 2013, 08:58:51 AM »

attendance and lease helped him get the team at a bargain basement price.  that fact and his b$ about price and how his 60 million dollar pay roll being "too high" is why he can kiss my a$$ when he whines about attendance.

He's never had to drive from a Hillsborough suburb to St Pete on a school/work night to catch a 705p game after getting off work at 5-530p.

Does this guy NOT know that HOCKEY here sells better, significantly better, than the Rays do?

Why would the Lightning attract more fans than the Rays?


Morgan

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« #8 : March 12, 2013, 09:19:10 AM »

I've gone to my share of Bolt games (until this season) and it appears to me a great number of those hockey fans are snowbirders (who live in the area Oct-April) or transplants who support the visiting team.

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« #9 : March 12, 2013, 09:36:59 AM »

In FL, snowbirds can never be avoided. They're like roaches, like the smaller ones that seem to only multiply even when Raid or Combat is involved.

In 10 years, this whole state will be Foagies and transplants from Joyzee. And, I sure hope to be gone from here by then.


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« #10 : March 12, 2013, 10:22:58 AM »

attendance and lease helped him get the team at a bargain basement price.  that fact and his b$ about price and how his 60 million dollar pay roll being "too high" is why he can kiss my a$$ when he whines about attendance.

He's never had to drive from a Hillsborough suburb to St Pete on a school/work night to catch a 705p game after getting off work at 5-530p.

Does this guy NOT know that HOCKEY here sells better, significantly better, than the Rays do?

Why would the Lightning attract more fans than the Rays?

30 minutes for me to get to the Forum and an hour (sometimes more) to get to the Trop.  Hockey constantly moving and this team is generally exciting.  Rays baseball watch and hope they can get a few hits and score a couple of runs.   And I am a huge baseball fan, average at best hockey fan and had little interest before the Lightning came around.   It's easier to sit and enjoy a week night game at home with my kids, then it is to drive to St Pete and have them out until midnight

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« #11 : March 12, 2013, 10:29:44 AM »

I've gone to my share of Bolt games (until this season) and it appears to me a great number of those hockey fans are snowbirders (who live in the area Oct-April) or transplants who support the visiting team.

majority of the games are far and away Lightning supporters.  Of course there are transplants there and maybe a few snowbirders, but the place isn't sold out nightly on them.

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« #12 : March 12, 2013, 11:14:51 AM »

Olaf......double BINGO on both of your posts.

Hard to justify committing that kind of time to watching one of 81 home games when the drive is so far. Especially on weeknight when I just got off work.........

Now, I have been to numerous Lightning weeknight games against not so popular teams and the crowd is there. Mostly Bolt fans in my experiences.


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« #13 : March 12, 2013, 11:17:09 AM »

Also, Tampa's freeway AND toll-road (Selmon) both tap directly into downtown Tampa.

All you have is 275 and its corridors that tap into DT St Pete.


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« #14 : March 12, 2013, 01:01:28 PM »

It's easier to sit and enjoy a week night game at home with my kids, then it is to drive to St Pete and have them out until midnight

Or later.  It's not getting there that bothers me, it's the getting home.

 But I'll also add I'm concerned about getting out of downtown Tampa as well.  I've never been to a Lightning game, but I've been to other events at the Forum and the lines were backed up to a standstill until you get back on 275/ Int 4.  Which is why, from a fan's perspective of getting back at home on a school night, the Fairgrounds area makes the most sense.  Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Manatee, Pasco, I 4, I 75, 301, 60.   

As far as corporate ticket buying goes, I'm sure those folks would rather have it downtown.

Regardless, I believe the ball is in the Rays court to get things going.  I'm aware of the lease and the legal ramifications/tampering, etc., but  I do wonder if they're not in as big a hurry to move as I might have hoped.

It’s going to look to some people like a different play every time we use it, but pretty soon they’ll be able to recognize it....by watching the official for the first-down signal.   -Vincent T. Lombardi
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