Sunday, August 18, 2013

Re-posting Henderson's Missing "Thumbscrew 101" Column

Reader Kevin Vahey pointed out the column penned this weekend by Tampa Trib columnist Joe Henderson disappeared from  Not sure why, but here is what was published:
To help the Tampa Bay Rays get a new stadium, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says he might send someone to “intervene” (whatever that means) here in bickering bay.

I know what most Rays fans believe it means: A leg-breaker sent here by Selig with stadium blueprints and orders to get busy building, or else.

Here’s the point where we ask: Or else, what?

Ryan Roberts is brought back to the team and installed as the permanent clean-up hitter? Pat Burrell is appointed to the Hillsborough County Commission? The Rays cut David Price and re-sign Dewon Brazelton?

They turn that 20-foot python that was in the Rays clubhouse Thursday loose in the home of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, with orders to put the squeeze on?

Let’s get serious.

Baseball values stability. It has had exactly one team move to a new market since 1972, and that happened after Montreal basically kicked the Expos out of town.

In the same time period, 13 National Basketball Association teams moved, along with eight National Hockey League teams and six from the National Football League.

I wouldn’t consider this a toothless threat, though.

The last time Selig sent someone here to “intervene” was when former owner Vince Naimoli couldn’t get along with his partners. That’s how the Rays wound up with current owner Stu Sternberg.

As always with pro sports, follow the money.

The Rays get at least $35 million a year in subsidies from baseball’s richest teams. Those clubs are tired of paying so much to get their butts kicked by this exceptionally well-run organization.

With a new stadium, preferably in downtown Tampa, the Rays theoretically wouldn’t need handouts on that scale any longer.

Fine, I get that.

But instead of dispatching a hit man here from the commissioner’s office, how about sending someone with a plan to help us mortals solve this problem without raising taxes or going bankrupt? That’s what I hope Selig intends to do.

The early signs are not encouraging, though.

Just a few months ago, Sternberg told reporters that MLB no longer believes Tampa Bay is viable as a market. That’s no way to start a dialogue, but I wouldn’t read a darn thing into it.

We heard basically the same thing about Seattle and other cities when those places needed new stadiums and St. Petersburg just happened to have an empty one. If we don’t know the game by now, we never will.

This is Thumbscrew 101. Leagues do this because stadiums almost never get built without the kind of posturing we now see.

And you know what? Tropicana Field, as I have repeatedly said, needs to be replaced. I also believe there are enough baseball fans in this area to make it work, just like it has in all those other cities where teams struggled but now mostly thrive.

So, “intervene” all you want, Bud. I actually think that could be a good idea.

Just leave the python out of this. Oh, and Pat Burrell. You can keep him, too.


  1. This blog seems to like to bash a lot of other Tampa Bay reporters reports when the "reporter" that host this site only seems to like to RE-report other peoples reports, lol... #getyourownstories

  2. This blog acts as a aggregator of all Rays stadium-related news. But if you think there is never anything new here, I'd encourage you to read more often.

    1. I did, and I couldn't find any real "investigating" you personally did...

    2. Sorry, but I'll get my Rays-related news from the real Rays reporters like Marc Topkin, Tom Jones, Rick Stroud, Gary Shelton, and Rodger Mooney.

    3. Ignore these clowns, Noah. Lots of us read your site to get all the latest shennanigans being pulled by the crooks running the MLB and their moronic cronies in our govt.

      The info you post usually goes right into my letters to my city reps to tell them to cease playing the scam that Bud and the MLB monopoly endlessly repeat.

    4. You might wanna dust the dirt off your knees paulus...
      It seems obvious that paulus never held a job of importance, because if so he would understand that his assumption of people in higher up jobs like MLB owners & Gov. is (mostly) far from reality...
      Yah, it sounds like that to me to! The angry lil' man that regardless of the truth, he always feels like he's getting the shaft...

  3. The Expos didn't get kicked out of Montreal. The left because they had an embarrassingly low attendance and they couldn't get funding for a new ballpark downtown. Boy does that sound familiar.

    A couple of strikes against Expos that Rays are in good shape on. Poor ownership (Loria), a low Canadian dollar at the time. But then again, at least the Expos had the rights to look at sites around the city for a potential ballpark.

  4. Article is back up. ..

  5. the idea of a baseball blog is to bring all other stories and links to one place while adding tidbits of your own thoughts. How much time do you want Noah to devote to the site. Obviously, there are some jealous sportcasters out there.

    1. Don't try to put yourself in the limelight of the issue of a Rays stadium in Tampa if your NOT willing to do real reporting on it. Sitting back posting articles that only goes against the idea of a new ballpark & with his ideology is lame...