But now, more than 500 posts later, I'd like to give a giant thank you to this site's loyal readers as well as the Tampa Bay Rays. I owe the team's ownership a debt (no pun intended) of gratitute for both appreciating watchdog journalism and for creating enough emotion in this community that people are willing to fight for their team.
Meanwhile, you can call this Part II of my Opening Day Stadium Stories post; in addition to the weekend columns and stories, the Tampa Bay Times has published its latest installment of "Let's Make a Deal":
"(St. Pete Mayor Bill) Foster faces re-election in August, and he has yet to demonstrate any leadership on this issue. Hiding behind the long-term stadium lease with the Rays and pretending the team will be playing at the Trop until 2027 is not in the best interests of the city or the region."This year's opening-day editorial was more optimistic than previous years', and at least the Times didn't praise the Marlins' stadium situation like it did last year.
Finally, we've talked here before about how pro sports owners are typically very politically active, and Tampa Bay is no exception. So for an interesting look at how your ticket purchase may be going toward lobbying Washington, check out this report from the Sunlight Foundation.
Happy Opening Day, Rays fans! For live-tweeting of all the off-the-field news, follow @StadiumShadow on Twitter.