Some pretty racy comments from Hall of Fame writer Peter Gammons today on the "Joe & Evan Show" on New York's WFAN radio.
After criticizing the Rays' attendance, he criticized MLB for putting a team in St. Petersburg in the first place. One of his reasons: it reduced other owners' ability to leverage their cities for new ballparks. (The good stuff starts at 8:50 on the 8/31 podcast)
"The Giants could always threaten to go to St. Pete," Gammons said, pointing out that the Giants, then the White Sox, used a hungry Tampa Bay market as leverage to get new ballparks built.
"You need to be able to blackmail people," Gammons continued. "There's no place that you can say, 'I'm moving there.' "
There's no better expert than White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who explained years later, "a savvy negotiator creates leverage. People had to think we were going to leave Chicago."
UPDATE: Thanks to loyal reader Joe D, who emailed me with a few other anti-Rays episodes from Gammons.