Monday, February 15, 2010

Hillsborough Ready to Talk Baseball

Even if he doesn't speak for the entire board, Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan is the first public official from the Tampa side of Tampa Bay ready to talk baseball, according to the St. Pete Times.

As I wrote three weeks ago, the ABC Coalition pleaded with Tampa Bay to work together to keep the Rays. But the focus was lost when the St. Petersburg city attorney urged Mayor Bill Foster and the city council to ignore the group it commissioned itself in 2008.

What's the effect of the Hillsborough involvement?

Well, it's a nice piece of news for the ABC Coalition and certainly not a bad thing for the Rays. The letter isn't really functional as much as it is symbolic. After all, if Commission Hagan wanted to see the Coalition's findings, he could just read them - in their entirity - on the group's website.

But this isn't exactly horrible news for St. Pete or Pinellas County, either.

The Times quotes Mayor Bill Foster as saying, "It's great that Hillsborough County is ready to address the support of Major League Baseball in St. Petersburg...I've wanted their support for years."

Now, he may get it.

And remember, seven months ago, I wrote how this game would play out in the court of public opinion. That included local politicians stepping out on their own and into the spotlight. Ken Hagan just became the first...but he won't be the last.

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